Free History Studies: Anthony Benezet

Anthony Benezet was a Quaker teacher and early American abolitionist who also supported the Acadians in their displacement.

Read the current chapter online: “A Great Good Man”

  • Map the following (you’ll find mapping resources below):
    • France (where Benezet was born)
    • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (if you haven’t already)
    • Nova Scotia, Canada
  • Compare and contrast the way Benezet was a school teacher to other school masters of his time according to the text.
  • Why is being a great teacher better than being a great soldier?
  • Make a list of the ways one could judge Benezet as a “good man.”
  • Benezet, like William Penn, was a Quaker.  Learn more about the Quakers of colonial times.
  • Narrate the story of Benezet and the Acadians.
  • Read more about the French and Indian War and the “Burning of Acadia.”
  • More about the Acadians from the Book of Knowledge:

    The conflict between English and French in North America lasted, off and on, for 150 years and ended in victory for the English. There were various points at which the two sides came in contact, where most of the fighting took place. Acadia, where the French had planted a colony, lay close to the English colonies in New England, and the sea routes from New England to England were endangered by this French outpost….

    The conflict which took place in these areas was not continuous, but sharp fighting kept flaring up along the frontier, and every once in a while the smoldering rivalry flamed into open war…. In 1689 the battle was joined again on a grand scale. In Acadia, the English took Port Royal and managed to control the whole of this area…. This part of the war was brought to an end in 1713 by the Treaty of Utrecht. The English regained Hudson Bay. Acadia was also surrendered to England and was named Nova Scotia, New Scotland. However, the peace treaty did not settle the reasons for the conflict.

    The uneasy peace lasted until 1756. Then another general conflict broke out. We call it the French and Indian War. Canadians call it the Seven years’ War. There had been fighting even during the years of peace; and one unhappy result had been the decision of the authorities in Nova Scotia to drive out the French Acadian settlers, lest they join with the Indians to make war on the English. The story of the Acadians, who were called together one day and told to board ships at once, has been made famous by Longfellow in his poem Evangeline.

    “French Canada Before the Conquest,” The Book of Knowledge

Further Investigation

Anthony Benezet
Biography at Pennsylvania State University.

Anthony Benezet
Biography at PBS focusing on his antislavery work.

An Abstract of the Life of Anthony Benezet
A timeline at

French and Indian War Timeline
For background information at PBS.


Pennsylvania Map/Quiz Printout

Label the Canadian Provinces Map

Interactive Map Maker {Free}
Make your own maps.

Activity: Compare & Contrast
Useful for the suggestions above.

The War That Made America: Timeline
Interactive timeline of the French and Indian War.

French and Indian War
Interactive focusing on the French and Indian War.


Anthony Benezet from the Original Memoir by Wilson Armistead
Older students can read an abridged version of Benezet’s memoir which includes mention of the incident referred to in Eggleston’s last paragraph.

“How the Quakers First Came to New England”
Chapter from This Country of Ours by H.E. Marshall.

Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Older students can read Longfellow’s poem about the Acadians.

Unit Studies & Lesson Plans

Bound Labor in Philadelphia
Lesson plan looking at the early abolitionists in Philadelphia beginning with the Quakers including Benezet.

Printables & Notebooking Pages

Blank outline map at for locating France.

Pennsylvania Map
Map for notebook, helpful for locating Philadelphia.

Canada map for locating Nova Scotia.

Anthony Benezet Notebooking Pages
Simple pages for copywork, narrations, or wrapping up.

Enjoy the complete series:
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans
Free History Studies: Stories of Great Americans

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