Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature: An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891. Vols. III: Colonial Literature, 16071764
A Recital of Grievous Outrages
By The Quaker Petition
[Collection of the Sufferings of the People called Quakers. 1753.]
The Protest and Appeal, to the Throne, of Rouse, Copeland, and Others, Presented by Samuel Shattuck in 1661.
A DECLARATION of some part of the sufferings of the People of God in scorn called Quakers, from the Professors in New England, only for the exercise of their consciences to the Lord, and obeying and confessing to the truth, as in his light he had discovered it to them:
2. Twelve strangers in that country, but freeborn of this nation, received twenty-three whippings, the most of them being with a whip of three cords with knots at the ends, and laid on with as much strength as could be by the arm of their executioner, the stripes amounting to three hundred and seventy.
4. Sixty-four imprisonments of the Lords People, for their obedience to his will, amounting to five hundred and nineteen weeks, much of it being very cold weather, and the inhabitants kept in prison in harvest time, which was very much to their loss; besides many more imprisoned, of which time we cannot give a just account.
5. Two beaten with pitched ropes, the blows amounting to an hundred and thirty-nine, by which one of them was brought near unto death, much of his body being beaten like unto a jelly, and one of their doctors, a member of their church, who saw him, said, it would be a miracle if ever he recovered, he expecting the flesh should rot off the bones, who afterwards was banished upon pain of death. There are many witnesses of this there.
6. Also an innocent man, an inhabitant of Boston, they banished from his wife and children, and put to seek an habitation in the winter, and in case he returned again, he was to be kept prisoner during his life, and for returning again he was put in prison, and hath been now a prisoner above a year.
8. Fines laid upon the inhabitants for meeting together, and edifying one another, as the Saints ever did; and for refusing to swear, it being contrary to Christs Command, amounting to about a thousand pounds, beside what they have done since that we have not heard of. Many families, in which there are many children, are almost ruined by their unmerciful proceedings.
9. Five kept fifteen days in all, without food, and fifty-eight days shut up close by the gaoler, and had none that he knew of; and from some of them he stopt up the windows, hindering them from convenient air.
16. At a General Court in Boston they made an order, that those who had not wherewithal to answer the fines that were laid upon them for their consciences, should be sold for bondmen and bondwomen to Barbadoes, Virginia, or any of the English plantations.
17. Eighteen of the People of God were at several times banished upon pain of death; six of them were their own inhabitants, two of which being very aged people, and well known among their neighbors to be of honest conversation, being banished from their houses and families, and put upon travelling and other hardships, soon ended their days, whose death we can do no less than charge upon the rulers of Boston, they being the occasion of it.
19. And since they have banished four more upon pain of death, and twenty-four of the inhabitants of Salem were presented, and more fines called for, and their goods seized on to the value of forty pounds for meeting together in the fear of God, and some for refusing to swear.
These things, O King! from time to time have we patiently suffered, and not for the transgression of any just or righteous law, either pertaining to the Worship of God, or the Civil Government of England, but simply and barely for our consciences to God, of which we can more at large give thee, or whom thou mayst order, a full account (if thou will let us have admission to thee, who are banished upon pain of death, and have had our ears cut, who are some of us in England attending upon thee) both of the causes of our sufferings, and the manner of their disorderly and illegal proceedings against us; they began with immodesty, went on in inhumanity and cruelty, and were not satisfied until they had the blood of three of the martyrs of Jesus: revenge for all which we do not seek, but lay them before thee, considering thou hast been well acquainted with sufferings, and so mayst the better consider them that suffer, and mayst for the future restrain the violence of these rulers of New England, having power in thy hands, they being but the children of the family of which thou art Chief Ruler, who have in divers their proceedings forfeited their Patent, as upon strict inquiry in many particulars will appear.
And this, O King! we are assured of, that in time to come it will not repent thee, if by a close rebuke thou stoppest the bloody proceedings of these bloody persecutors, for in so doing thou wilt engage the hearts of many honest people unto thee both there and here, and for such works of mercy the blessing is obtained; and showing it is the way to prosper: We are witnesses of these things, who
Besides many long imprisonments, divers cruel whippings, with the seizing on our goods, are banished upon pain of death, and some of us do wait here in England, and desire that we may have an order to return in peace to our families,
SAMUEL SHATTOCK, JOSIAH SOUTHICK, NICHOLAS PHELPS, JOSEPH NICHOLSON, JANE NICHOLSON.