Chapter 24 » 24.17

Personal witness

Conscientious objection to taxation for military purposes

From time to time the British crown asked the governing bodies of the colonies to support its military ventures in America by levying taxes towards its wars. This proved to be a problem for the Quaker members of the Pennsylvania Assembly as well as for individual Friends. Some Friends in both England and America paid such taxes but John Woolman became uneasy, so he wrote in his journal:

Yet there was in the deeps of my mind a scruple which I never could get over… I all along believed that there were some upright-hearted men who paid such taxes, but could not see that their example was a sufficient reason for me to do so, while I believed that the spirit of Truth required of me as an individual to suffer patiently the distress of goods rather than pay actively.


See 14.08

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