Kean University Historian Examines Early Quaker Ethics

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 23, 2018 

UNION, N.J. — Sue Kozel, an adjunct history professor at Kean University, examined the ways that Quaker abolitionists compromised their values as a result of their relationship with Thomas Jefferson, at a recent gathering of the oldest and largest organization of historians in the United States.

Kozel, of Cream Ridge in Monmouth County, presented her research on the panel, Thomas Jefferson's Complicated Quaker Friends, at the 2018 American Historical Association (AHA) Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.

“My research challenges the ideas of ethics and how sometimes people of good virtues and beliefs will compromise their ethics for personal or professional gain,” she said.

Kozel addressed the ethical implications of Quaker strategies to work with Jefferson in select employment, scientific or philosophical projects, including initiatives that sometimes crossed into supporting slavery.

Her presentation builds on earlier research of the complicated relationship between Quakers and Jefferson and is part of an upcoming book about Quaker business ethics.

“Whether we are discussing Thomas Jefferson and Quaker abolitionists who worked with him, or a modern-day business person looking at ethical choices, the lessons still are relevant today,” said Kozel.

Kozel has taught history classes as an adjunct professor at Kean University for 10 years. She has presented locally and internationally in Paris, France, and in Kingston, England. Her first book, Quakers and their Allies in the Abolitionist Cause, 1754-1808, co-edited with Maurice Jackson of Georgetown, was published in 2017. 


Sue Kozel, adjunct professor at Kean University, presented her research on Quaker abolitionists and Thomas Jefferson at the 2018 American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. 

Press Contact: 

Millie Gonzalez
University Relations 
Kean University | 908-737-0586

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