Anthony Benezet

(2160 words)
  • Maurice Jackson (Georgetown University )

Anthony Benezet was a Philadelphia Quaker who became one of the earliest and most influential pioneers in the movement for the abolition of slavery. He was born in St. Quentin, Picardy, France, on January 31, 1713. His father, Jean-Etienne Benezet, and his mother, Judith, were Protestant Huguenots. The Huguenots had experienced a period of semi-religious freedom, lasting from the promulgation of the Edict of Nantes, under Henry IV in 1598, until the revocation of the Edict by Louis XIV in 1685, which led to renewed persecution by Catholics. The Benezet family fled France for the Netherlands in 1715, then went to England, and finally settled in Philadelphia in 1731.

In 1735 Anthony Benezet was naturalized as a British citizen. He h…

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Jackson, Maurice. "Anthony Benezet". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 January 2009; last revised 08 May 2010.
[, accessed 26 September 2016.]