A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Woolman, John

Woolman, John (1720-1772).—Quaker diarist, b. at Burlington, New Jersey, began life as a farm labourer, and then became a clerk in a store. He underwent deep religious impressions, and the latter part of his life was devoted to itinerant preaching and doing whatever good came to his hand. To support himself he worked as a tailor. He was one of the first to witness against the evils of slavery, on which he wrote a tract, Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes (1753). His Journal "reveals his life and character with rare fidelity" and, though little known compared with some similar works, gained the admiration of, among other writers, Charles Lamb, who says, "Get the writings of John Woolman by heart." In I772 he went to England, where he d. of smallpox in the same year.