The Rest is History podcast had a recent episode over-enthusiastically entitled The First Abolitionist covering the life and abolitionist work of Quaker Benjamin Lay. Lay set out to convince Quakers in the Americas that slavery was a great evil back when slavery was simply taken for granted over most of the world. As usual, historians Sandbrook and Holland are tastefully entertaining in their telling of Benjamin Lay’s otherwise sobering story. Please note that his podcast contains description of the torture of enslaved people, and is not intended for younger audiences.

For more background on early Quaker abolitionists, see articles on John Woolman and Anthony Benezet.

Benjamin Lay painted by William Williams in 1790. Image from National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, via Art Resource, New York