Author Event | Prisoners of Congress: Philadelphia’s Quakers in Exile, 1777-1778

Mon, December 4, 2023 6:00 P.M.
Cost: FREE

Join scholar Norman E. Donoghue II for an inside look into an untold story of Philadelphia Quakers during the American Revolution.

In 1777, Congress labeled Quakers who would not take up arms in support of the War of Independence as “the most Dangerous Enemies America knows” and ordered Pennsylvania and Delaware to apprehend them. In response, Keystone State officials sent twenty men—nineteen of whom were Quakers—into exile, banishing them to Virginia, where they were held for a year.

Prisoners of Congress reconstructs this moment in American history through the experiences of four families: the Drinkers, the Fishers, the Pembertons, and the Gilpins. Identifying them as the new nation’s first political prisoners, Norman E. Donoghue II relates how the Quakers, once the preeminent power in Pennsylvania and an integral constituency of the colonies and early republic, came to be reviled by patriots who saw refusal to fight the English as borderline sedition.

Join us for a presentation and Q&A session with the author!

Norman E. Donoghue II is an independent historian of American Quakerism based in Philadelphia. His website is

Monday, December 4th  |   6:00 p.m.   |  Skyline Room, Fourth Floor

Register Here

To attend the event virtually, please register on Zoom here.

Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street (between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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