John Woolman was one of the most significant Americans of the eighteenth century, though he was not a famous politician, general, scientist, or man of letters, and he never held public office. This superb book makes it clear why he mattered so much. A humble tailor known at first only to the other Quakers who encountered him at meetings in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New England, Woolman became a prophetic voice for the entire Anglo-American world when he spoke out against the evils of slavery.
Thomas P. Slaughter’s deft, dramatic narrative reveals how it was that the mystic Woolman became an unforgettable public figure, his gospel infused with a benign confidence that ordinary people could achieve spiritual perfection. Placing Woolman in the full context of his times, Slaughter paints the portrait of a hero – and not just for the Quakers, social reformers, labor organizers, socialists, and peace advocates who have long admired him.