When reenacting or acting as a historical interpreter, its good to have a few historical dates and stories to share. This series will publish a few.
April 14, 1775
The Society for the Relief of the Free Negros Unlawfully Held in Bondage
first meets in Philadelphia.
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the first American abolition society. Seventeen of the 24 men who attended initial meetings of the Society were Quakers and the society had members and leaders of both races.
At some point after 1785, Benjamin Franklin was elected as the organization’s president. The society asked him to bring the matter of slavery to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He petitioned the U.S Congress in 1790 to ban slavery. Later renamed the Pennsylvania Abolitionist Society, this organization became a model for anti-slavery organizations in other states during the antebellum years.
The Pennsylvania Abolition Society still exists, dedicated to the cause of combating racism. The oldest abolitionist organization in the United States, since the late twentieth century, it has worked to improve issues of criminal justice and the over-representation of African Americans in prison, reduction in harsh sentencing laws, and improving economic and environmental justice.
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