He was an early convert to abolition, causing disturbances that drove his Quaker meeting house to remove him from membership.
He was a dwarf who married another Little Person, Sarah, a well-liked Quaker preacher, while he himself was reviled for his extremism.
The Fearless Benjamin Lay by Marcus Rediker resurrects the forgotten man who dared to stand up to wealth and power with the message that all creatures are God's children, and that to own a slave is to be steeped in sin.
Lay went to extremes to get his message across. Lay had been pressuring a neighbor Quaker in Abington, PA over their owning a slave girl. One day Lay encountered the couple's son and invited him to his cave. When the distraught couple found their son with Lay, he chastised them saying, "You may now conceive of the sorrows you inflict upon the parents of the negroe [sic] girl you hold in slavery, for she was torn from them by avarice."
Without a formal education, Lay wrote a book that was printed by Benjamin Franklin. It was Deborah Franklin who commissioned a portrait of Lay, a gift for her husband. It resides in the National Portrait Museum.
|Lay's book printed by Benjamin Franklin|
I received a free book from the publisher through LibraryThing.
Read an excerpt at http://www.marcusrediker.com/books/benjamin-lay-detail.php
The Fearless Benjamin Lay
by Marcus Rediker
Publication Date: 9/5/2017