Quaker minister. He began preaching when he was twenty-seven-years-old. Disinterested in religion when young, he turned to it as an adult. He spoke on religious subjects as he travelled throughout the United States. As a result of his work, the New York legislature passed a law freeing every slave within its borders on July 4, 1827. He preached "obedience to the light within," as the foundation of authentic Quakerism. His followers, called "Hicksites," minimized the importance of the Bible. A schism occurred in Quakerism as a result of his teaching. Some Quakers rallied around the Bible; other perceived it as a hindrance to reaching the Spirit.