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April 30, 2022

Vintage Photos of Anti-Slavery Broadsides of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, headquartered in Boston, was organized as an auxiliary of the American Anti-Slavery Society in 1835. Its roots were in the New England Anti-Slavery Society, organized by William Lloyd Garrison, editor of The Liberator, in 1831, after the defeat of a proposal for a college for blacks in New Haven.

In 1838, the New England Society gave up its regional jurisdiction and reorganized into the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. The society took a proactive role in advocating for legislation against new slave codes and laws, particularly within Massachusetts, including publishing treatises related to proposals to outlaw or penalize those participating in the activities and formation of societies relating to abolition and anti-slavery activities.

Annual meetings were held in Boston at Julien Hall, Melodeon, and Tremont Temple. Joel W. Lewis was the Chairman in 1840. These vintage photos from Boston Public Library that show anti-slavery broadsides of Massachusetts in the 19th century.

Shall freedom or slavery triumph. Let Massachusetts speak!

A man kidnapped!

All men are by nature equally free! And independent! And have certain inherent rights of which, when then enter into a state of society! They cannot by any compact deprive or divest their posterity! Namely the enjoyment of life and liberty!

Anti-slavery celebration!!

Citizens of Boston! A free citizen of Massachusetts--free by Massachusetts laws until his liberty is declared to be forfeited by a Massachusetts jury, is now imprisoned

Eight hundred thousand slaves set free!!

Execute judgment in the morning, and deliver him that is spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor

Fellow citizens of Massachusetts! Read and consider

First anniversary of the kidnapping of Thomas Sims by the City of Boston!

Grand celebration!

I don't know as I can better serve the cause I love so well, than to die for it!

I don't know what weakness may come over me! But I don't believe I shall ever deny my lord and master, Jesus Christ and I should deny him if I denied my principles against slavery.

I tremble for my country when I remember that God is just and that his justice cannot sleep forever!

I would never have drawn my sword in the cause of America! If I could have conceived that thereby I was founding a land of slavery!

It is a debt we owe the purity of religion to show that it is at variance with that law which warrants slavery! Give me liberty or give me death.

Kidnapping again!! A man was stolen last night by the Fugitive Slave Bill Commissioner!

One hour of American slavery is fraught with more misery than ages of that which we rose in rebellion to oppose.

Presentation and farewell meeting!!

Proclamation!! To all the good people of Massachusetts!

Public meeting: Kidnappers in Boston

Regulations for the government of Freedman's Village, Greene Heights, Arlington, Va. and the government farms, mechanical shops, hospitals, homes, schools, &c., connected therewith.

Remember them that are in bonds! As bound with them!

The man is not bought! He is still in the slave pen in the courthouse!

The man is not bought!

The plot exploded!

The plot exploded!

Thus saith the lord: Ye have not hearken'd unto me in proclaiming liberty

To-day Massachusetts erects the statue of Daniel Webster

West India emancipation! Celebration at Framingham!

What is life or rest to me! So long as I have a commission direct from God Almighty to act against slavery!

Yes! Whether on the scaffold high! Or in the battle's van, the fittest place for man to die is where he dies for man

Your late purchase of an estate with a view of emancipating the slaves! On it, is a generous and noble proof of your humanity! Would to God a like spirit might diffuse itself generally into the minds of the people of this country!


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