Benezet instructing colored children.
This celebrated philanthropist was a native of France. On account of religious persecution in that country, his parents, in 1731, removed to London. While here, the family adopted the religious opinions of the Society of Friends, and in 1731, emigrated to Philadelphia. In his zeal to do good, he left a profitable mercantile business, and devoted himself to the instruction of youth. He was a friend to the poor and distressed of every description, and he labored most earnestly for their relief and welfare. He made great exertions to have the slave trade suppressed. The unfortunate and degraded situation of the African race in this country, deeply moved his sympathy, and he made strong efforts for their elevation and improvement. The loss of this benevolent man was deeply felt, and his funeral was attended by all religious denominations. Many hundred colored persons, with tears, followed his remains to the grave. An American officer of the Revolutionary army, in returning from the funeral, pronounced a striking eulogium upon him. "I would rather," said he, "be Anthony Benezet, in that coffin, than the great Washington with all his honors."
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