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Bates, Elisha (10 July 1781–05 October 1861), Quaker controversialist and publisher, was born near Scimino, York County, Virginia, the son of Benjamin Bates and Hannah (maiden name unknown), farmers. Largely self-educated, Bates studied medicine for a time, learned printing, worked as a surveyor, and operated a Quaker school. Marrying Sarah Jordan Harrison in 1803, Bates fathered six children. From 1813 to 1816 he served as clerk of the Virginia Yearly Meeting. Circumstances, even for a farmer, surveyor, and schoolmaster, proved trying for an antislavery Quaker in eastern Virginia, particularly after Bates attracted public attention with his pamphlet ...