front cover of The Quaker Community on Barbados
The Quaker Community on Barbados
Challenging the Culture of the Planter Class
Larry Gragg
University of Missouri Press, 2009
Prior to the Quakers’ large-scale migration to Pennsylvania, Barbados had more Quakers than any other English colony. But on this island of sugar plantations, Quakers confronted material temptations and had to temper founder George Fox’s admonitions regarding slavery with the demoralizing realities of daily life in a slave-based economy—one where even most Quakers owned slaves. In The Quaker Community on Barbados, Larry Gragg shows how the community dealt with these contradictions as it struggled to change the culture of the richest of England’s seventeenth-century colonies.

Gragg has conducted meticulous research on two continents to re-create the Barbados Quaker community. Drawing on wills, censuses, and levy books along with surviving letters, sermons, and journals, he tells how the Quakers sought to implement their beliefs in peace, simplicity, and equality in a place ruled by a planter class that had built its wealth on the backs of slaves. He reveals that Barbados Quakers were a critical part of a transatlantic network of Friends and explains how they established a “counterculture” on the island—one that challenged the practices of the planter class and the class’s dominance in island government, church, and economy.

In this compelling study, Gragg focuses primarily on the seventeenth century when the Quakers were most numerous and active on Barbados. He tells how Friends sought to convert slaves and improve their working and living conditions. He describes how Quakers refused to fund the Anglican Church, take oaths, participate in the militia, or pay taxes to maintain forts—and how they condemned Anglican clergymen, disrupted their services, and wrote papers critical of the established church. By the 1680s, Quakers were maintaining five meetinghouses and several cemeteries, paying for their own poor relief, and keeping their own records of births, deaths, and marriages. Gragg also tells of the severe challenges and penalties they faced for confronting and rejecting the dominant culture.

With their civil disobedience and stand on slavery, Quakers on Barbados played an important role in the early British Empire but have been largely neglected by scholars. Gragg’s work makes their contribution clear as it opens a new window on the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Atlantic world.

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Quakers and Nazis
Inner Light in Outer Darkness
Hans A. Schmitt
University of Missouri Press, 1997

Why the title Quakers and Nazis, not Quakers against Nazis? Was not hostility part of the interaction between the two groups? On the contrary, Hans A. Schmitt's compelling story describes American, British, and German Quakers' attempts to mitigate the suffering among not only victims of Nazism but Nazi sympathizers in Austria and Lithuania as well.

With numerous poignant illustrations of the pressure and social cost involved in being a Quaker from 1933 to 1945, Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness reveals a facet of Nazi Germany that is entirely unknown to most people. The book focuses on the heroic acts foreign and German Quakers performed under the Nazi regime, offering fully documented and original information regarding the Quakers' commitment to nonviolence and the relief of the victims.

Schmitt's narrative reveals the stress and tension of the situation. How should a Quaker behave in a meeting for worship with a policeman present? Spies did not stop Friends in worship services from openly criticizing Hitler and Göring, but Nazis did inflict torment on Friends. Yet Friends did not, could not, respond in like manner. Olga Halle was one Friend who worked to get people, mostly Jews, out of Germany until America entered the war. When emigration was outlawed, twenty-eight were stranded. Years later her distress was still so deep that even on her deathbed she recited their names.

Schmitt reminds us that virtually all the Berlin Quakers secreted Jews throughout the war. He shows how these brave Quakers opposed the Nazis even after they lost their jobs and had been harassed by the Gestapo. Risking their lives, the Friends persisted in their efforts to alleviate suffering.

At a time when the scholarly world is divided as to whether all Germans knew and approved of the Final Solution, this book makes a valuable contribution to the discussion. Quakers—despite their small numbers—played, and continue to play, an important role in twentieth-century humanitarian relief. Quakers and Nazis: Inner Light in Outer Darkness, a study of how Friends performed under the extreme pressure of a totalitarian regime, will add significantly to our general understanding of Quaker and German history.


front cover of The Question of MacArthur's Reputation
The Question of MacArthur's Reputation
Côte De Châtillon, October 14-16, 1918
Robert H. Ferrell
University of Missouri Press, 2008
Perhaps the best known of all American five-star generals, Douglas MacArthur established his military reputation at the hill of Châtillon during the great battle of the Meuse-Argonne in World War I. The thirty-eight-year-old brigadier general in command of the Eighty-fourth Infantry Brigade boasted to a fellow general that he had inspired his troops by example, taking the hill and breaking the main German line in northern France. Ever since, historical accounts and biographies have celebrated his leadership and bravery.
            That MacArthur’s forces prevailed is beyond question, as military historians have shown. Yet in all the annals of the Great War there is no detailed description of what happened at Châtillon, nor of what MacArthur had to do with it. Robert Ferrell examines those events and comes to a startling conclusion—one that will revise how we view this archetypal American hero.
            After sifting through the inexact accounts of the battle found in regimental and divisional histories—and through the many biographies of MacArthur that assert his leadership at Châtillon but do not describe it—Ferrell has gone into Army records to determine if what MacArthur claimed was true. In a moment-by-moment account of the battle, he reconstructs the movements of troops and the decisions of officers to show in detail how MacArthur’s subordinates were the true heroes.
Ferrell describes how the taking of Côte de Châtillon could have been a disaster had the Eighty-fourth Brigade followed MacArthur's original plan, a bayonet charge at night. Wiser heads prevailed, and the attack of the Iowa and Alabama regiments was a great success.
            Ferrell has completed a chapter in the history of World War I that has stood unfinished for years, showing in masterly fashion how MacArthur exaggerated his reputation at Châtillon. The Question of MacArthur’s Reputation will reward historians seeking to fill gaps in the record, engage readers who enjoy descriptions of battle, and startle all who take their heroes for granted.

front cover of Quinine and Quarantine
Quinine and Quarantine
Missouri Medicine through the Years
Loren Humphrey
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Presenting a fascinating overview of medicine in Missouri from the early days of epidemics to present-day technological advances, Quinine and Quarantine approaches the history of medicine as an integral part of the state's development.

Examining the changing environmental risks and diseases that threatened Missouri over the years and the role of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers as prime routes for the spread of diseases and innovations, Loren Humphrey discusses the efforts of citizens, legislators, and health officials confronting various medical challenges. He offers intriguing medical details of the past two centuries interspersed with the stories of significant historical figures and Missourians' personal accounts. He tells of the pioneers' struggles to use natural remedies acquired from Native Americans, the gory and unsanitary attempts to treat early gunshot wounds, and the common afflictions and diseases such as "swamp fever," measles, mumps, consumption, dysentery, smallpox, and typhoid that seemed beyond medicine's effects. Humphrey also discusses the significance of the discovery and reluctant acceptance of the "antifever" breakthrough now famous as quinine, as well as the lessons learned as a result of Civil War medical techniques.

Quinine and Quarantine takes readers on a remarkable journey that concludes in the present, arguably the most exciting and controversial era for medical advances. Humphrey explores new imaging techniques, laparoscopic surgery, and research on ways to overcome bacterial resistance to antibiotics. He challenges the reader to consider such compelling issues as the escalating cost of health care and the threats posed by environmental hazards. He also identifies topics over which Missourians will likely struggle well into the next century, such as transplants, managed care, abortion, and assisted suicide.

Organized chronologically in fifty-year segments and written in language free of jargon, Quinine and Quarantine offers readers a broad historical view of the medical problems and solutions faced by the people of Missouri, preparing them to cope with medical issues of the new millennium.


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