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Episode 69. North Carolina: How Quakers Shaped the State with Lee Ann Miller

podcast Dec 28, 2021

In this episode, Lee Ann Miller joins Sharon to hear the connection between Edward R. Murrow, famous American Broadcast Journalist, and a North Carolina Quaker community that organized and ran a large portion of the Underground Railroad. Listen in as Sharon gives details about Quakers and the ways in which they shaped American history dating all the way back to the 1600s. By the 1850s, in Jamestown, North Carolina, Quakers were actively working for the abolition of slavery, which included building a false bottom wagon to ferry enslaved Americans into free states.

Links to Full Episode: 

This Episode Will Teach You:

  • About Edward R. Murrow, famous American broadcast journalist
  • The persecution of George Fox, the leader of the Religious Society of Friends
  • The basic beliefs and practices of Quakers
  • Their settlement in the new colonies, specifically North Carolina
  • The North Carolina Mendenhall Family
  • How Quakers got involved in Abolition but not violence or war
  • About the Stanley-Murrow False Bottom Wagon

3 Biggest Takeaways:

  • Edward R. Murrow was a famous American broadcaster. When we think about well-known broadcasters today, we picture Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer, Tom Brokaw, etc. Edward Murrow was just as famous in the 1940s and 50s, if not more so. Families would gather around the radio or television to listen to him report, especially on news from Europe during World War II.
  • Long before Edward R. Murrow was born, there was another important man in American history: Evangelist George Fox. Fox founded the Religious Society of Friends, or Quaker community, in England in the 1600s. Quakers call themselves ‘‘children of light’’ and live their lives under the core belief that human life is sacred. Persecuted in England, Fox and many early Quakers emigrated to the American colonies, and while they still faced persecution from other Christian denominations, they set down roots, many in North Carolina, and continued to practice their beliefs of equality and education for all.
  • By the mid-1850s, North Carolina Quakers, often led by Jamestown’s Mendenhall family, began to organize and work for abolition causes. Because Quakers are pacifists, they do not believe in using force or violence against their fellow humans. However, this does not mean they sit idly by and watch unjust things happen. Many North Carolina Quakers became active in the Underground Railroad, and even helped create and operate the Stanley-Murrow False Bottom Wagon to ferry enslaved people to free states. One of the wagon drivers, Andrew Murrow, is Edward R. Murrow’s great grandfather.

About the Guest:

Lee Ann Miller makes her home in Ohio’s Amish Country. Married to an Amish man, she has created a zany life filled with hospitality, small business and joy. Lee Ann has shared wholesome, easy, country cookin’ recipes on Ohio FOX affiliates for 16 years. She loves cooking & sharing on LIVE TV! Find her on IG: @leeannmiller

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