ANTI-SLAVERY
SOCIETY

FIGHTING SLAVERY TODAY

Abolition of Slavery in Massachusetts

Flag of Massachusetts

2005 is the 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Rights, which is regarded as abolishing slavery in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

In 1780 the legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts — the General Court — enacted the Declaration of Rights to the Constitution of the Commonwealth.  The Declaration refers to everyone being born free and equal.  It did not expressly refer to slavery.


Beginning in 1781 there were a series of cases concerning Jennison.  In one of those cases Commonwealth v Jennison Chief Justice Cushing, in his charge to the jury, stated:

 

slavery is in my judgment as effectively abolished as it can be by the granting of rights and privileges wholly incompatible and repugnant to its existence.

The case was never reported and appears only in the Chief Justice's notebooks

 

 

 

 

A copy of the early constitution of Vermont can be found at: The Avalon Project of the Yale Law School.


Links to pages dealing with the abolition of slavery in the USA:

Harriet Beecher Stowe

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Abraham Lincoln

American Civil War

13th Amendment to the Bill of Rights

Massachusetts

Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society

Vermont

Virgin Islands


Links to pages dealing with the abolition of slavery in other countries:

British campaign against slavery

Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton (1786-1846)

Thomas Clarkson  (1760-1845)

Denmark

Peter Van Scholten

Granville Sharp (1735-1813)

Slave Trade Act 1807

Slave Trade Act 1824

Slave Trade Act 1843

Slavery Abolition Act 1833

Joseph Sturge (1793-1859)

William Wilberforce  (1759-1833)


Links to other pages dealing with slavery:

Does slavery still exist?

SLAVERY SLAVE
TRADE
HUMAN
SACRIFICE

BONDED
LABOR

HIERODULIC
SERVITUDE

TRAFFICKING

CHILD
LABOR

  2003 by the Anti-Slavery Society. The text on any page may be reproduced provided that the source is acknowledged.  This does not apply to photos.