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Mary Barrett Dyer (1611 – 1660) was an English Puritan turned Quaker who was hanged in Boston, Massachusetts for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the colony. She is one of the four executed Quakers known as the Boston martyrs.
Freedom of Conscience
For Quakers, the belief that there is ‘that of God in everyone’ leads to a deep conviction that conscience should not be coerced. Freedom of worship, freedom of speech, and conscientious objection are aspects of particular concern to Friends.
Mission in Colonial North America
(1656 – 1783) Quaker missionaries from Britain began visiting in 1656, and went on doing so throughout the colonial period, soon joined by American missionaries. Some travelled for years at a time. They visited all the thirteen colonies that founded the US, and Quakerism became strong in several places, notably Rhode Island, Nantucket, Long Island, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.
Mission in Colonial New England
(1656-1783) The first Quaker missionaries came to Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth and Rhode Island. They were persecuted in the first two, but welcomed in tolerant Rhode Island. Later missionaries took their message all over present day New England, and Quakers were to be found in many parts, with the largest concentrations in Rhode Island and Nantucket.