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The Furnace of AfflictionPrisons and Religion in Antebellum America$
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Jennifer Graber

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780807834572

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807877838_graber

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The Prison as Hell, 1848–1860

The Prison as Hell, 1848–1860

(p.157) 6 The Prison as Hell, 1848–1860
The Furnace of Affliction

Jennifer Graber

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter tells the story of how Quaker Isaac Hopper almost got himself thrown out of the capital. Like many Friends, he refused to show deference to government officials. When he declined to remove his hat, the assembly's guard threatened to eject him. Hopper explained his position to the guard and took his place in a hearing about the state prisons. His visit, however, continued to provoke responses. His traditional clothing, plain speech, and adherence to old customs reportedly amused lawmakers. They “regarded [him] as a curiosity.” Hopper's conspicuous attachment to the Friends tied him to another world, one legislators associated with church instead of politics.

Keywords:   Quaker, Isaac Hopper, Friends, government officials, state prisons, old customs

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