HomeThe Atlantic World of Anthony Benezet

HomeThe Atlantic World of Anthony Benezet

*  *  *

Published on Monday, May 13, 2013 by Élodie Faath


There is renewed interest today in the study of early North American  antislavery, and thus Quakers. Yet the French Atlantic dimension of Quakerism has been left unexplored. We thus found it useful to focus on the Atlantic world of Huguenot Anthony Benezet, a mere schoolteacher and the first antislavery propagandist of modern times. Benezet was born in Saint-Quentin in 1713, then left for France eventually to settle in Philadelphia where he converted to the Quaker faith. His antislavery ideas later had a major influence on Quaker communities in North America, but also other antislavery activists on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the eighteenth century.


Organisé conjointement par l’Université Paris Diderot et l’Université Paris 8-Vincennes

Avec le soutien de Redehja, la Société de l’Histoire du Protestantisme Français, les équipes LARCA (Paris Diderot) et Transferts critiques et dynamiques des savoirs (Paris 8-Vincennes), l’Institut des Amériques (Paris)

Organisation :

  • Marie-Jeanne Rossignol et Bertrand Van Ruymbeke
  • Anne-Claire Faucquez et Louisiane Ferlier


Thursday May 30, 2013

9h30-11h Panel 1 “The French Origins of Anthony Benezet”

Moderator: Bernard Cottret, professeur émérite Université Versailles St Quentin en Yvelines

  • Bernard Douzil, doctorant, Paris I, « La filiation vaunageole d’Anthony Benezet »
  • Didier Boisson, Université d’Angers, « Être protestant en Vermandois et en Thiérache au XVIIIe siècle »
  • Jeanne-Henriette Louis, émérite Université d’Orléans, « William Penn, Philadelphie, Antoine Bénézet, et Congénies »

11h15-12h15 Plenary lecture Bertrand Van Ruymbeke, University Paris 8-Vincennes

  • "Was Anthony Benezet a Huguenot? Putting Benezet back into the Refuge"

12h15-14h00 Lunch

14h-16h Panel 2 “American Quakers and Benezet”

Moderator: Geoff Plank, University of East Anglia

  • Anne-Claire Faucquez, Université Paris 8-Vincennes, “Neau, Benezet and the Establishment of African Schools”
  • Richard Allen, University of Wales,  Nantucket Quakers and Wales and Revolutionary Wars
  • Sue Kozel, Kean University, NJ,  “Following in the Footsteps of Anthony Benezet: One NJ Quaker’s Pursuit of Abolition and a “Natural Right to Liberty” for  African-Americans, 1772-1793”
  • Jerry Frost, Swarthmore College, “Anthony Benezet: The Emergence of a Weighty Friend”

16h-16h15 Break

16h15-17h45 Panel 3 “Spiritual and Literary Dimensions of Benezet’s works”

Moderator Hubert Bost, EPHE

  • David Crosby, “Anti-Slavery as Spritiual Renewal: How Benezet's Peace Witness Drove his Campaign against Slavery”
  • Geoff Plank, University of East Anglia, Norwich, “John Woolman, Anthony Benezet and True Gospel Nothingness”
  • Brycchan Carey, Kingston University, London, “Anthony Benezet’s Sentimental Rhetoric”

Reception Institut des Amériques

Friday, May 31, 2013

9h30-10h30 Plenary lecture, Maurice Jackson, Georgetown University

“Let this Voice Be Heard: Anthony Benezet –Founding Father of Atlantic Abolitionism”

10h45-12h45 Panel 4 “Benezet and the World of Books”

Moderator Robert Mankin, University Paris Diderot

  • John Anderies, Haverford College (PA, USA), “The Literary Universe of Anthony Benezet”
  • Louisiane Ferlier, Université Paris Diderot, “The circulation of Quaker books against slavery : a transatlantic passage”
  • Randy Sparks, Tulane University, “This Precious Book”:Africa and Africans in Anthony Benezet’s Account of Guinea”
  • Marie-Jeanne Rossignol, Université Paris Diderot, “The Translations of Benezet’s works in French”

12h45-14h00 Lunch

14h00-15h00 Plenary lecture Richard S. Newman, Rochester Institute of Technology

“From Benezet to Black Founders: New Directions in Atlantic Abolition”.

15h00-16h45 Panel 5 “Benezet and Transatlantic Reform”

Moderator Randy Sparks, Tulane University

  • Jonathan D. Sassi, College of Staten Island CUNY, “Anthony Benezet and Emancipation in New Jersey, 1772-1775: A Colonial Political Campaign in its Trans-Atlantic Context”
  • Ellen Ross, Swarthmore College, PA, “War, Peace and Social Reform in the Work of Anthony Benezet”
  • John Kershner, University of Birmingham, England, “To meditate awhile on this subject: John Woolman's (1720-1772). Reading of Anthony Benezet's (1713-1784). A Caution and Warning to Great Britain”

16h45-18h Panel 6 “The Abolitionist Legacy of Anthony Beneze”

Moderator Allan Potofsky, University Paris Diderot

  • Nine Reid-Maroney, Huron University College at Western London, Ontario, “Benezet’s Ghost: Revisiting the Antislavery Culture of Benjamin Rush’s Philadelphia”
  • Lucia Bergamasco, Université d’Orléans, “After Benezet: St George Tucker’s Proposals and Questionnaire”

18h-19h Book club

Brycchan Carey and Geoff Plank will present their new books on Anthony Benezet, John Woolman, and other Quakers, and answer questions

  • Brycchan Carey, From Peace to Freedom: Quaker Rhetoric and the Birth of American Antislavery, 1658-1761, Yale University Press, 2012
  • Geoff Plank, John Woolman’s Path to the Peaceable Kingdom: A Quaker in the British Empire, University of Pennsylvania Press, 2012.

19h30:  Dinner for the participants


  • Institut des Amériques, salle Tocqueville - 175 rue du Chevaleret
    Paris, France (75013)


  • Thursday, May 30, 2013
  • Friday, May 31, 2013


  • Atlantic World, Anthony Benezet

Information source

  • Louisiane Ferlier
    courriel : benezet2013 [at] gmail [dot] com

To cite this announcement

« The Atlantic World of Anthony Benezet », Conference, symposium, Calenda, Published on Monday, May 13, 2013, https://calenda.org/247157

Archive this announcement

  • Google Agenda
  • iCal
Search OpenEdition Search

You will be redirected to OpenEdition Search