Benjamin Lay: The Quaker Who Called Out the Hypocrisy of Slavery, Part 1


Benjamin Lay painted by William Williams in 1790. Image from National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, via Art Resource, New York

<p>Nowadays, people often look back on U.S. Quakers as staunch abolitionists, but this wasn't always the case. In fact, when the Quakers first arrived on the continent they, like many other colonists, owned slaves. It was up to Benjamin Lay to bravely call out their hypocrisy, pointing to the discrepancy between their religious views and their earthly practices.</p>