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L’Amérique et le France

IV. Religion, révolution, contre-révolution

Mennonites in the American Revolution

Richard MacMaster

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1The years of the American Revolution from 1775 through 1783 proved to be a time of severe trial for the Amish and Mennonites as for all of the historic peace churches. Their experience led the pacifists to reassess their role in the state and to become by choice "the quiet in the land". The newly independent United States also had to reassess their understanding of religious liberty in response to the firm stand taken by Mennonites, Quakers and others during the war.

  • 1 The quotation is from a 1755 Mennonite petition to the Pennsylvania Assembly. Guy F. HERSHBERGER, " (...)

2The leaders of the American Revolution put more and more emphasis on military service as an essential element in the definition of a good citizen. Christians who believed that non-resistance and peace were integral parts of the Gospel found themselves in a dilemma. They had always been faithful subjects, paying their taxes and obeying the laws, but they could not acknowledge any obligation "of Testifying our Loyalty by defending him with Sword in hand." King George III and his colonial governors had never asked that of them1.

3Mennonites in Virginia explained their situation in a petition to their state legislature shortly after the close of the Revolutionary War :

  • 2 "Members of the Menonist Church", December 10, 1785, Legislative Petitions, Archives Division, Viri (...)

They have whished at all times to be faithful to the Laws that have given them protection, and ever wish so to be, when consistent with the dictates of their religious Profession. Their forefathers and Predecessors came from a far Country to America to Seek Religious Liberty ; this they have enjoyed except by the Infliction of penalties for not bearing Arms which for some time lay heavy on them2.

  • 3 Edwin B. BRONNER, William Penn’s "Holy Experiment" The Founding of Pennsylvania 1681-1701, New York (...)

4Political leaders in the legislatures also faced a dilemma. Was religious liberty to be construed as broadly as in William Penn’s 1701 Charter of Privileges, so that no one could be obliged "to do or to suffer anything contrary to their religious persuasion", or was religious liberty to be defined more narrowly as freedom of worship? Was the right of conscientious objection absolute or were these religious pacifists merely indulged in their claims at the convenience of the state? With the nation in danger, should they forego their liberty of conscience in defense of American liberties3 ?

  • 4 John HORSCH, Mennonites in Europe Scottdale, Pa., 1942, p. 266-270. Walter KLAASSEN, "Mennonites an (...)

5Should conscientious objection be contingent on the performance of some equivalent duty or the payment of an equivalent tax? The British Colonies in North America had never followed this policy, but it was similar to the practice in the Palatinate and other German states where Mennonites paid a special tax in return for military exemption4.

  • 5 Pennsylvania Gazette, September 2, 1789, October 7, 1789. Robert A. RUTLAND, The Birth of the Bill (...)

6In the context of the American Revolution Mennonites moved away from asserting natural rights to religious liberty and invoked a more European understanding of religious liberty as privilegium. The men who framed American state constitutions also moved in this direction. They linked exemption for those conscientiously scrupling to bear arms to payment of an equivalent for such service. When Congress debated the amendments to the United States Constitution known as the Bill of Rights in 1791, the lawmakers deleted James Madison’s words providing that "no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service." In voting to eliminate this provision they agreed with Egbert Benson of New York who argued that conscientious objection "may be a religious persuasion, but it is no natural right, and therefore ought to be left to the discretion of the govemement"5.

Mennonites in the American Colonies

  • 6 Christopher SAUER estimated 3,000 Mennonite families in the Pennsylvania colony in 1780. Morgan Edw (...)

7Mennonites and their Amish cousins were relatively few in the British Colonies in North America. In an estimated population of 1.3 million within the thirteen colonies, Mennonites counted only some 15,000 settlers with two-thirds of them concentrated in Pennsylvania and the rest scattered through the western counties of Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina6.

8The earliest Mennonites in the Colonies came from the Netherlands in the mid-seventeenth century, but the first Mennonite congregation took root among settlers who came to Germantown, near Philadelphia, in 1683. Initially Mennonites from the Netherlands and from Krefedl and other North German towns settled together in eastern Pennsylvania, but as early as 1730 the vast majority of Mennonites and all the Amish in North America traced their ancestry to religious refugees from Switzerland who had found toleration and a measure of economic security in Pfalz, Ober-Pfalz, Hesse-Cassel, Zweibrucken and neighboring German states and in Alsace.

9These Swiss Taufer, heirs of the Anabaptists of the Reformation, had experienced a division in the last years of the seventeenth century. The followers of Jacob Amman, known as Amansch or Amish, were found in the main outside Switzerland among the Palatine and Alsatian refugee communities. The majority group accepted the name Mennonite (Menist or Menonist), an identification originally applied to Anabaptists in the Netherlands. Swiss Mennonites and Amish began coming to North America after 1710, their numbers rising and falling with the general "Palatine" immigration, while the emigration of Mennonites from the Netherlands and northern Germany slackened off to a mere trickle.

  • 7 Richard K. MACMASTER, Land, Piety, Peoplehood : The Establishment of Mennonite Communities in Ameri (...)

10Despite a heritage of persecution in Switzerland, eighteenth-century Amish and Mennonite immigrants to Pennsylvania were not now fleeing renewed persecution. They had not lost the privileges granted them by the Elector Palatine or other German princes, but a growing population of a tolerated minority could not always obtain land. Like other officially-recognized minorities at other times and places, Mennonites were at risk if they became too prosperous or if they were not prosperous enough to justify privileges related to special taxes. Their brethren in the Dutch Mennonite Commissie voor de Buitenlandsche Nooden urged them to remain where they were, but wartime devastation, increased taxes, economic and political uncertainty, and glowing reports of this new land called Pennsylvania encouraged many of them to emigrate. Dutch Mennonites reluctantly aided them. This assistance proved invaluable7.

11By the 1760’s, when the troubles between Great Britain and the American Colonies began, Mennonites were generally prosperous farmers, millers, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, weavers, dyers, and artisans of many kinds. Contemporary observers often spoke of "the rich Mennonites" and tax lists bear out their impressions. Many Mennonites were very substantial landowners, even by North American standards, and most were situated on two or three hundred acres of the best land in the region. Mennonite preachers also commented on the perils of prosperity in the 1760s and 1770s, noting that Mennonites lived well, wore clothing of good quality, and that parents seemed more anxious for their children to succeed in this world than in the next.

  • 8 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 196-210 ; Land, Piety, p. 138-141.

12Mennonites were by no means isolated. Their occupations, which are described in a 1773 letter as including every sort of legitimate business except overseas trade and tavern-keeping, would naturally involve them with their neighbors. Mennonites held public office at the local level, serving as township constables, overseers of the poor, school trustees, overseers of highways, and even county commissioners. Only one Mennonite was elected to a Colonial Assembly, but few German settlers ever held office at that level. Mennonites voted and, at least in Lancaster County in the 1760s, caucused to choose their own candidates for office8.

  • 9 MACMASTER, Land, Peity, Peopleehood, p. 147-248.

13The liberties that Mennonites and Amish settlers enjoyed in the Colonies went far beyond any privilege granted by the Elector. Quaker-dominated Pennsylvania imposed no military obligation on anyone, since the colony had no militia laws and depended wholly on volunteers. In Maryland and Viriginia Mennonites and Quakers enjoyed exemption from military duty. Colonial law permitted affirmation by anyone with scruples about taking an oath. Religious freedom in the Colonies meant that Mennonites could enter any profession, testify in court, inherit property, buy and sell land, vote or hold office without any restriction. They had reason to remember King George III in their prayers9.

The Challenge of the Revolution

  • 10 Edmund C. BURNETT, The Continental Congress, New York, 1964, p. 56-57. MACMASTER, Conscience in Cri (...)

14The gathering storm of the American Revolution caused some strain within the Mennonite community. When the First Continental Congress met in September 1774 and imposed a boycott on British goods through a non-importation agreement, they also required committees in every county and every township to enforce this regulation. Several Mennonites voluntarily served on these committees, more than a dozen on the Lancaster County Committee alone. Like their Quaker neighbors, Mennonites participated in the general feeling that Parliament should alter its policy towards the American Colonies, but they drew back from any step in the direction of violence or disloyalty to the Crown10.

  • 11 Israel Pemberton to Dr. John Fothergill, 15th 2nd month 1775, Pemberton Papers, Historical Society (...)

15The historic peace churches drew together in this crisis. Mennonites looked to the leadership of the Quakers who had long played a major role in the affairs of Pennsylvania. In January 1775 a delegation of Mennonite leaders met with the Quakers at Gwynned Meeting House. The Quaker leaders provided a German edition of a statement emphasizing the peace testimony and counseling patience and non-violence, which the Mennonites circulated11.

  • 12 Christopher Schultz to Edward Burd, January 12, 1775, cited in Elmer E. S. JOHNSON, "Christopher Sc (...)

16The pacifists already anticipated the next problem. Late in January a Provincial Congress met in Philadelphia. Since the Pennsylvania Assembly had done nothing about passing a militia law, the Congress was under some pressure to create a militia. The peace churches saw such an action, in the words of Berks County leader Christopher Schultz, "at this time of professing and petitioning for peace… would be a very foremost step towards War, before the other Colonies." But the Congress also adjourned without adopting a militia law12.

  • 13 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 231-245.

17The county committees seized the initiative in May by ordering every able-bodied male over the age of fifteen to sign a voluntary Association and assemble "to learn the art of war" in companies of Associators. They imposed this obligation primarily as a political move. The entire population would be in arms against Parliament and any man who failed to sign the Association, for whatever reason, would declare himself an enemy to American liberty13.

  • 14 Ibid., p. 245 ss. One observer noted "That the rich Mennonites in Lancaster County and the Quakers (...)

18Mennonites could not "provide themselves with Arms and Ammunition, and learn Military discipline" with their neighbors. They received rough treatment here and there. Church leaders proposed to the committees an alternative – a voluntary assessment for the poor, especially refugees from British-held Boston. This alternative was well-rooted in Mennonite tradition. During the French-and-Indian War (1755-1763) Mennonites had provided relief for refugees from Indian raids and ransomed other settlers taken prisoner by the Indians. Mennonites and Quakers independently proposed something of the same sort. Local authorities accepted a voluntary assessment, equal to each man’s annual taxes, but they could not promise the money would only be used for non-military purposes14.

  • 15 The Mennonite Address was printed as a broadside. A copy is in the Rare Book Room, Library of Congr (...)

19For many who drilled with the Associators, this seemed too little. A company of Associators forced the Lancaster Committee to resign and other companies all over Pennsylvania petitioned the Assembly to take harsher measures with Non-Associators. Matters had reached a crisis by November 1775 when the Mennonites sent their "Short and Sincere Declaration” to the Assembly. Benjamin Hershey, a Lancaster Mennonite wrote the text15.

20They expressed gratitude to the Assembly for prior benefits and urged the Assembly "to grant Liberty of Conscience to all Inhabitants" as William Penn had done. They were willing to pay taxes and to render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to be subject to the higher powers, but they informed the Assembly "that we are not at Liberty in Conscience to take up Arms to conquer our Enemies, but rather to pray to God for us and them." They explained further :

The Advice to those who do not find Freedom of Conscience to take up arms, that they should be helpful to those who are in Need and distressed Circumstances, we receive with Cheerfulness towards all Men of what Station they may be – it being our Principle to feed the Hungry and give the Thristy Drink ; we have dedicated ourselves to serve all Men in everything that can be helpful to the Preservation of Men’s Lives ; but we find no Freedom in giving, or doing, or assisting in any Thing by which Men’s Lives are destroyed or hurt.

  • 16 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 223-224.

21In spite of eloquent petitions from the pacifists sects, Quakers as well as Mennonites, the Pennsylvania Assembly laid a special tax on all Non-Associators. Many more petitions reached the Assembly from Associators who wanted the penalties increased. This was the beginning of a series of additional taxes imposed on religious pacifists because they failed to perform some patriotic duty. Here was the crux of their problem. They had heretofore paid all their taxes and obeyed all the laws to the letter and, having demonstrated their loyalty in this way, they appealed for exemption from the one duty that they could not undertake. The Revolutionary authorities had now made this duty the sole test of loaylty and no payment of taxes, as penalty or otherwise, nor observance of the civil law could remove the suspicion of disloyalty that clung to all pacifists16.

  • 17 Theodore THAYER, Pennsylvania Politics and the Growth of Democracy 1740-1776, Harrisburg, Pa., p. 1 (...)

22Mennonites compounded that suspicion by supporting conservatives and moderates in two elections held in 1776. They joined a majority of Pennsylvania voters who returned members of the Assembly favorable to compromise between Britain and the Colonies in the May elections. The vote did not fairly represent opinion in the province since election rules and the apportionment of seats favored conservative eastern counties over the newer western counties. After the election, radicals manoeuvered to call for a constitutional convention to establish a government they thought would be more responsive to the popular will and more committed to the cause of American independence. They wanted to set aside Penn’s venerable Charter of Privileges and write a new constitution for a newly independent state17.

  • 18 Christian FUNK, A Mirror for All Mankind, Norristown, Pa., 1814, p. 7-8. This is a personal memoir (...)

23Mennonites expressed fear "that our liberty might be endangered" and attended township meetings in substantial numbers. Christian Funk a Mennonite bishop, attended the meeting in Franconia Township in then Philadelphia County ; Mennonites formed about two/thirds of the meeting and evidently agreed with Bishop Funk that as "a defenceless people" they could not be involved "in tearing ourselves from the king" nor "institute or destroy any government." Such neutrality must have sounded like a pledge of support to the Crown. Mennonites everywhere took this stand18.

  • 19 Edward Wickersham to James Burd, November 6, 1776, Burd Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvanie, (...)

24Neutrality did not prevent them from voting in record numbers against the new constitution. When the first elections under the new government were held in November, Mennonites again went to the polls. One Patriot lamented that "a very great Number of the German Menonists" voted in Lacaster County and he feared the results : "I am ready to pronounce our Convention are Blown up"19.

  • 20 Pennsylvania Statutes at Large Harrisburg, Pa., 1896, IX, p. 110-114. Proceedings of the Convention (...)

25The Constitution of 1776 guaranteed the right of conscientious objection, but made explicit the link between exemption and some equivalent in lieu of personal service. The newly-elected Assembly proceeded to enact a militia law embodying these features. Military service was a common obligation and every able-bodied man would be enrolled in a militia company. Anyone scrupulous of bearing arms could serve by substitute, hiring another man to take his place, if his company should be drafted into actual service. Otherwise he would be carried on the muster roll and be fined for missing drills. Since the peace chruches objected as much to hiring a substitute as to serving in person, the militia authorities had the right to seize property of whatever value they believed necessary to pay a substitute. Virginia levied the cost of the substitute on the Mennonite or Quaker community as a whole. Other states adopted plans similar to Pennsylvania’s20.

Redefining Citizenship

  • 21 MACMASTER, Land, Piety, Peoplehood, p. 266.

26Mennonites found themselves reluctant participants in the war effort. Occasional militia excesses, arresting and parading pacifists through the streets, reminded them that their conscientious objection was merely tolerated at best. The special tax on Non-Associators remained in force and other taxes and militia fines mounted up. By the war’s end Mennonites were paying twenty times their normal taxes in wartime fines. They also contributed wagons and teams, cattle, horses, grain, and whatever the army needed, sometimes willingly and sometimes by distraint21.

  • 22 Pennsylvania Statutes at Large, IX, p. 110-114. Owen S. IRELAND, "The Ethnic-Religious Dimension of (...)

27The definition of a loyal citizen was given further refinement in 1777. Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia and nearly every other state passed a Test Act that year in an effort to smoke out covert Loyalists. The Pennsylvania legislators provided a loyalty oath that could be offered to suspicious characters and heavy penalties for any who refused to take it. After several opportunities to subscribe his abjuration of King George and his government, his readiness to fight for American liberty, and his unswerving loyalty to the new regime, the Tory recusant would face banishment and seizure of all his property22.

28Local Patriots in Northampton County, Pennsylvania, seized on this new law in a way unintended by its framers. They offered the Test Oath to every Mennonite in the county and, when they refused to pledge to defend their country by force of arms, began legal proceedings against them. All their property, "not a Morsel of Bread left them for their Children", was sold at auction and a sentence of banishment pronounced on the adult males. Protests that they had always been loyal and inoffensive, paid their taxes, provided wagons and teams and food for the army, and even served in non-military capacities were to no avail.

  • 23 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 394-407.

29A storm of protest blew up over this incident. Pennsylvania authorities overturned the action of the Northampton justices and instructed them on the real meaning of the act passed the previous session. But they did not respond favorably to suggestions that Mennonites and other religious pacifists be exempted from the Test Act or the oath modified so that they could take it. In December 1778 the Pennsylvania Assembly repealed the harsher provisions of the Test Act, but substituted a new section that excluded nonjurors from voting, holding office, or serving on juries and continued the provision for double taxation of nonjurors23.

  • 24 George Bryan to John Thorne, May 25, 1778, Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, III, 169-170.

30George Bryan had explained his government’s intentions in framing the original Test Act. It was intended solely to entrap "persons whose character & conduct shall threaten active mischief against the State" and only such Tories should be compelled to take the oath or brought before a justice. But the act had another purpose. Bryan wrote that it was not by accident that those who did not voluntarily take the Test Oath would be excluded from voting or being elected to office. There were probably no Mennonites in the first category, Bryan acknowledged, but "if many of these people should be found to qualify themselves for enjoying all privileges, they might by appearing at elections disturb the plans layed for the defense of the State"24.

  • 25 IRELAND, "Ethnic-Religious Dimension", p. 432.

31Pennsylvania used the Test Act to deprive Mennonites and other religious pacifists of their civil rights to keep them from voting. The Assembly modified the law in December 1778 to allow the sectarians "to pursue their professions, conduct their schools, preserve their property, and wait upon the outcome of the war without prejudice." In 1779 the Assembly voted a new Test Act which required that all citizens take the prescribed oath by the end of December 1779 or be forever barred from political participation in the State25.

32Maryland and Viriginia maintained harsher provisions in their laws, closing certain professions including preaching and teaching school to nonjurors, but they repealed these laws after the war. Pennsylvania’s law remained in effect after the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1789. Periodic efforts to have the Pennsylvania law repealed cited the loss to the state by disfranchising these good citizens. An editiorial in the Pennsylvania Gazette commented :

  • 26 Pennsylvania Gazette, February 4, 1789.

There are many thousands of good foederalists who will never vote at our elections while that weak and unnecessary law is in force. Virginia, and the governor of Canada, have already taken advantage of our folly ;… It is said, that thirty families of the people called Menonists are about to emigrate from Lancaster county to Niagara, on purpose to avoid the disagreeable consequences of our ridiculous and tyrannical test law26.

The Quiet in the Land

  • 27 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 459-461, 474-477.

33The sympathies of many Mennonites were undoubtedly with the old order exemplified in Penn’s Charter of Privileges. They hesitated to do anything that would further the war effort. A meeting of some Lancaster County Mennonites in 1780 even questioned whether planting and harvesting crops did not serve some military purpose. As the war dragged on, they found it difficult to draw the line. Millers were grinding grain "for the public service" and most peacetime occupations had acquired some indirect link with supporting the men in the army. An Amish farmer went to jail, charged with treason, for refusing to give a horse "to such blood-spilling people". Many others handed over their livestock, flour, or other property to the commissary officers on demand27.

  • 28 MACMASTER, Land, Piety, Peoplehood, p. 268-274. MEKEEL, Relation of the Quakers to the American Rev (...)

34The payment of taxes, once the mark of loyalty, became an issue. Some Mennonites had no trouble in rendering to the Congress what belonged to the Congress. Many others scrupled at paying taxes that were intended as a direct equivalent for military service. Quakers and Mennonites both had problems with the payment of "war taxes", but the Mennonite concern was especially with the Non-Associator tax from its identification as a substitute for personal service. In the end, there was little they could do except compel the authorities to take their goods by distraint28.

  • 29 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 502-516.

35The Mennonite tradition of feeding the hungry and giving drink to the thirsty took on political implications. Mennonites were sometimes arrested for sheltering escaped British prisoners as well as American soldiers wandering the roads. In some cases the authorities decoyed Mennonites with men who pretended to be deserters or fleeing prisoners of war. Kindness to men of the other side was no excuse29.

  • 30 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 492-501.

36Some Mennonites took an active part on the British side, just as other Mennonites willingly served the Patriot cause. In both cases the church excommunicated members who took up arms30.

  • 31 The quotes are from Henry Funk’s statement, August 8, 1777, Records of the Supreme Executive Counci (...)

37The official Mennonite position was one of waiting the outcome. They believed that government was established by God and that they must be "subject to the higher powers", as St. Paul had instructed his own converts in the Roman Empire. They were obliged "to be true to the State", but in a revolutionary situation "it is so uncertain upon what side God almighty will bestow the Victory" that they could "not know whether God has rejected the King and chosen the Congress." This was a point of view appropriate to a withdrawn sect, but seemed questionable for people who voted and held public office31.

38By depriving Mennonites of those rights, through the Test Acts, the Pennsylvania Assembly helped them in the process of withdrawal from the larger society. Indeed the events of the American Revolution encouraged them step by step to withdraw from political life and to concentrate on strengthening their own religious communities.

39As the Mennonites retreated to an outlook familiar to them in the Palatinate and other European states that tolerated their presence, American law withdrew from that broad understanding of freedom of conscience enunciated in Penn’s Charter. Militia laws in each of the independent United States provided exemption for those with conscientious scruples against war at the price of providing substitutes or paying fines. The religious pacifist labored under the difficulty that these alternatives also required him to do his part in providing for the common defense. The authorities knew this. Roger Sherman of Connecticut observed in a speech in Congress in 1789 :

  • 32 SCHWARTZ, The Bill of Rights, p. 1052.

It is well known that those who are religiously scrupulous of bearing arms, are equally scrupulous of getting substitutes or paving an equivalent. Many of them would rather die than do either one or the other32.

  • 33 Pennsylvania Gazette, September 2, 1789.

40The question of conscientious objection naturally rose during the debates on the United States Constitution. Ratifying conventions held in Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, and Rhode Island proposed amendments guaranteeing this right. It was difficult to find an appropriate formula that would not somehow weaken the link between military service and the good citizen forged during the Revolution. In the last analysis no such formula could be found. Congress rejected James Madison’s provision for conscientious objection as part of the Bill of Rights, agreeing with Egbert Benson that this "religious persuasion" was "no natural right" and ought to be "left to the discretion of the government." A constitutional guarantee, Benson argued, would wreak havoc with state militia laws that rested on the assumption that personal military service was the duty of every citizen33.

  • 34 Williazm DUKE, Observations on the Present State of Religion in Marlyand, Baltimore, 1795, p. 33.

41In 1795 William Duke, a Methodist preacher, offered some insight into the way Americans looked at Mennonites as the eighteenth century neared its end. In his Observations on the Present State of Religion in Maryland, Duke noted that Mennonites had "a scheme of discipline" that was divisive to the social order and clashed with "the common methods of government and civil society." But it was obvious that they were "remarkably peaceable and passive" and did not "intend any disturbance or innovation," so they were "readily tolerated and excused"34.

42The "quiet in the land" had found a place within American denominationalism. Americans could tolerate these hardworking and successful farmers, craftsmen, and small-scale businessmen since they confined their potentially disruptive ideas of pacifism and religion within the walls of their meeting-houses. Eighteenth-century American pluralism could make room for them on these terms, which were essentially its own terms.

  • 35 Edwin Scott GAUSTAD, Dissent in American Religion, Chicago, 1973, p. 130-140.

43The irony did not escape a contemporary historian of American religion, Edwin S. Gaustad. It was safe to sentimentalize Amish and Mennonite pacifists, "these quiet, quaint dissenters… their nonviolence, their agricultural diligence and efficiency," except when pacifism alarmed" a militarism that increasingly penetrated every layer and every corner of contemporary life." Films, television and stage plays present these modem Anabaptists as sturdy symbols of a simpler America and the breadth of American religious liberty, never as an alternative to the American way35. That may be reason for regret.

Notes

1 The quotation is from a 1755 Mennonite petition to the Pennsylvania Assembly. Guy F. HERSHBERGER, "A Newly Discovered Mennonite Petition of 1755", Mennonite Quarterly Review, XXXIII (April 1959), pp. 143-151.

2 "Members of the Menonist Church", December 10, 1785, Legislative Petitions, Archives Division, Viriginia State Library, Richmond, Virginia.

3 Edwin B. BRONNER, William Penn’s "Holy Experiment" The Founding of Pennsylvania 1681-1701, New York, 1962, p. 247-269, 257-258. Hermann WELLENREUTHER, Glaube und Politik in Pennsylvania 1681-1776 : Die Wandlungen der Obrigkeitsdoktrin und des Peace Testimony der Quaker, Koln, 1972, p. 71-72, 81-96. Mennonites and Schwenkfelders as well as Quakers cited this particular phrase and its implied definition of religious freedom in petitions in 1775. Richard K. MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis : Mennonites and Other Peace Churches in America 1739-1789 Interpretation and Documents (Studies in Anabaptist and Mennonite History, 20), Scottedale, Pa., p. 256- 257.

4 John HORSCH, Mennonites in Europe Scottdale, Pa., 1942, p. 266-270. Walter KLAASSEN, "Mennonites and War Taxes", Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage, I (April 1978), p. 17-23. Although "payment of an equivalent" was never made the explicit reason for exmption in Colonial militia laws, pacifists and non-pacifists alike paid fines for missing militia drills. Peter BROCK, Pacifism in the United States From the Colonial Era to the First World War Princeton, N. J., 1968, p. 22-23.

5 Pennsylvania Gazette, September 2, 1789, October 7, 1789. Robert A. RUTLAND, The Birth of the Bill of Rights 1776-1791, New York, 1966, p. 201-203. Bernard SCHWARTZ, The Bill of Rights : A Documentary History, New York, 1971, p. 1052. Cf. MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 531-536.

6 Christopher SAUER estimated 3,000 Mennonite families in the Pennsylvania colony in 1780. Morgan Edwards estimated 1,200 families in 1770 within Pennsylvania. Morgan EDWARDS, Materials toward a History of the Baptists in Pennsylvania, both British and German, Philadelphia, 1770, p. 97. Donald F. DURNBAUGH, The Brethren in Colonial America, Elgin, III., 1967, p. 407. R. C. SIMMONS, The American Colonies From Settlement to Independence, New York, 1981, p. 174.

7 Richard K. MACMASTER, Land, Piety, Peoplehood : The Establishment of Mennonite Communities in America 1683-1790, Scottdale, Pa., 1985, p. 28-40, 50-78. Martin LODGE, "The Crisis of the Churches in the Middle Colonies 1720-1750", Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, XCV (April 1971), p. 197-198 cited the better planning, organization, and support of Mennonite and Schwenkfelder migration as a major factor in their ability to transfer their institutions to the New World. Marianne WOKECK, "The Flow and Composition of German Immigration to Philadelphia 1727- 1775", Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, CV (July 1981), p. 149-178. On Dutch Mennonites in this highly specialized trade, see Marianne WOKECK, "Promoters and Passengers : Ther German Immigrant Trade "683-1775", in Richard S. DUNN and Mary MAPLES DUNN, The World of William Penn, Philadelphia, 1986, p. 259-278.

8 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 196-210 ; Land, Piety, p. 138-141.

9 MACMASTER, Land, Peity, Peopleehood, p. 147-248.

10 Edmund C. BURNETT, The Continental Congress, New York, 1964, p. 56-57. MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 213-220.

11 Israel Pemberton to Dr. John Fothergill, 15th 2nd month 1775, Pemberton Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Cf. Arthur J. MEKEEL, The Relation of the Quakers to the American Revolution, Washington, D. C., 1979, p. 95-97.

12 Christopher Schultz to Edward Burd, January 12, 1775, cited in Elmer E. S. JOHNSON, "Christopher Schultz in Public Life," Schwenkfeldiana, I (september 1940), p. 18. Schultz quoted John Bechtel, a Mennonite minister.

13 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 231-245.

14 Ibid., p. 245 ss. One observer noted "That the rich Mennonites in Lancaster County and the Quakers in Philadelphia displaid so little inclination to follow this advice, gave the first occasion to the subsequent bitterness against them." Kenneth G. HAMILTON, John Ettwein and the Moravians in the American Revolution, Bethlehem, Pa., 1940, p. 234.

15 The Mennonite Address was printed as a broadside. A copy is in the Rare Book Room, Library of Congress, Washington, D. C.

16 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 223-224.

17 Theodore THAYER, Pennsylvania Politics and the Growth of Democracy 1740-1776, Harrisburg, Pa., p. 179. Wayne L. BOCKLEMAN and Owen S. IRELAND, "The Internal Revolution in Pennsylvania, An Ethnic-Religious Interpretation," Pennsylvania History XLI (April 1974), p. 125-160.

18 Christian FUNK, A Mirror for All Mankind, Norristown, Pa., 1814, p. 7-8. This is a personal memoir originally published in 1785.

19 Edward Wickersham to James Burd, November 6, 1776, Burd Papers, Historical Society of Pennsylvanie, Philadelphia, Pa.

20 Pennsylvania Statutes at Large Harrisburg, Pa., 1896, IX, p. 110-114. Proceedings of the Conventions of the Province of Maryland, Held at the City of Annapolis in 1774, 1775 and 1776, Baltimore, 1836, p. 74-75. W. W. HENING, ed„ The Statutes at Large of Virginia, Richmond, 1819, IX, p. 281-282.

21 MACMASTER, Land, Piety, Peoplehood, p. 266.

22 Pennsylvania Statutes at Large, IX, p. 110-114. Owen S. IRELAND, "The Ethnic-Religious Dimension of Pennsylvania Politics, 1778-1779", William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series, XXX (July 1973), p. 423-448.

23 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 394-407.

24 George Bryan to John Thorne, May 25, 1778, Pennsylvania Archives, Second Series, III, 169-170.

25 IRELAND, "Ethnic-Religious Dimension", p. 432.

26 Pennsylvania Gazette, February 4, 1789.

27 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 459-461, 474-477.

28 MACMASTER, Land, Piety, Peoplehood, p. 268-274. MEKEEL, Relation of the Quakers to the American Revolution, p. 191-192. Brock, Pacifism, p. 209-218.

29 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 502-516.

30 MACMASTER, Conscience in Crisis, p. 492-501.

31 The quotes are from Henry Funk’s statement, August 8, 1777, Records of the Supreme Executive Council, Clemency File, Pennsylvania Archives, Harrisburg, Pa.

32 SCHWARTZ, The Bill of Rights, p. 1052.

33 Pennsylvania Gazette, September 2, 1789.

34 Williazm DUKE, Observations on the Present State of Religion in Marlyand, Baltimore, 1795, p. 33.

35 Edwin Scott GAUSTAD, Dissent in American Religion, Chicago, 1973, p. 130-140.

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Bluffton College, Ohio

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