Is it true an eminent trans Quaker was preaching in 18th century USA? Not quite, says Simon Webb

‘Many of the first people to attend the Friend’s preaching sessions did so out of curiosity. But lots of them stayed to become disciples.’

Portrait of the Public Universal Friend by John L D Mathies,1816. Yates County NY History Cente.

Is it true that an eminent trans Quaker was born in eighteenth-century USA? Can it be that a Friend who lived through the war of independence embraced an androgynous lifestyle, chose a genderless name and eschewed the use of the pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’? Well, not exactly.

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