In 1657, Small Group Stood Up For Religious Freedom — For Others

Commentary Inside the First Amendment By Charles C. Haynes First Amendment Center senior scholar

Three hundred and fifty years ago, on Dec. 27, 1657, 30 inhabitants of Flushing, New Netherland (now New York), defied Gov. Peter Stuyvesant’s order barring townspeople from harboring Quakers.

“For our part,” they protested to Stuyvesant, “we cannot condemn [the Quakers], neither can we stretch out our hands against them, to punish, banish or persecute them.”

Today the signers of what is . . .

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