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Quakers and Abolition$
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Brycchan Carey and Geoffrey Plank

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038266

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038266.001.0001

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Friend on the American Frontier

Friend on the American Frontier

Charles Pancoast’s A Quaker Forty-Niner and the Problem of Slavery

Chapter:
(p.149) 10 Friend on the American Frontier
Source:
Quakers and Abolition
Author(s):

James Emmett Ryan

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252038266.003.0011

This chapter asks how an ordinary Quaker not involved in the abolition campaign might have considered the matter of slavery and answers this by reading the memoir of Charles Pancoast, A Quaker Forty-Niner: The Adventures of Charles Edward Pancoast on the American Frontier. Pancoast was a Philadelphian Quaker whose time on the frontier in the 1840s and 1850s was marked by a cautious response to the problem of slavery. Most of his account in details his own adventures and fortune-seeking in the Midwest and the Pacific Coast. Failing as a drugstore entrepreneur in Missouri, Pancoast spent time owning and operating a steamship on the Missouri River, and eventually found himself at work and seeking his fortune in business among the gold rush miners of California. In all, young Pancoast spent 14 years afoot in the hinterlands and byways of Western America, before returning home to settle in Philadelphia in 1854 at the age of thirty-six.

Keywords:   Charles Pancoast, memoirs, Quaker, antislavery, abolition, slavery, American Frontier

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