Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society
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 New England Anti-Slavery Society, organized by William Lloyd Garrison, editor of The Liberator, in 1831.
New England Anti-Slavery Society
Based in Boston, Massachusetts, members of the New England Anti-slavery Society supported immediate abolition and viewed slavery as immoral and non-Christian. It was particularly opposed to the American Colonization Society which proposed sending African Americans to Africa.
The Society sponsored lecturers or "agents" who traveled throughout the New England area, speaking in local churches or halls, and also selling abolitionist tracts or The Liberator. Whenever possible, the Society's agents would also encourage the formation of local anti-slavery societies. By 1833 there were 47 local societies in ten northern states, 33 of them in New England. The Society also sponsored mass mobilizations such as yearly anti-slavery conventions and celebrations of July 4 or the Anniversary of the Abolition of Slavery in the West Indies, August 1.
Massachusetts General Colored Association
In January 1833, Thomas Dalton, president of the Massachusetts General Colored Association, led a successful petition to merge with the New England Anti-Slavery Society. Separate black anti-slavery societies had already existed in Massachusetts, New York, Ohio, Connecticut, and New Jersey, however, a strong feeling against the organization of separate anti-slavery societies had been emerging.
Together they organized Anti-Slavery conventions and speaking programs throughout New England.
Sometime after Joshua Easton was sent as a delegate to the New England society in 1833, African Americans were granted full membership in the organization.
American Anti-Slavery Society
In 1833, Garrison and Arthur Tappan expanded this society and formed the American Anti-Slavery Society. The American Anti-Slavery Society, however, attempted to create state-based organizations under the umbrella of its Executive Committee. At first the New England Anti-Slavery Society and the American Society worked together with the New England Society becoming an auxiliary in 1834.
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In 1835, however, the New England Society gave up its regional jurisdiction and reorganized into the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society. Annual meetings were held in Boston at Julien Hall, Melodeon, and Tremont Temple. Officers included James N. Buffum, Francis Jackson, Wendell Phillips, Parker Pillsbury, and Edmund Quincy. Lecturers affiliated with the society included William Wells Brown, Frederick Douglass, Samuel Joseph May, and Charles Lenox Remond.
The society held conventions in:
Following the Civil War the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society took up the cause of racial equality.
- Massachusetts General Colored Association, which joined the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1833
- World Anti-Slavery Convention of 1840
- Boston Directory. 1836.
- William Lloyd Garrison (1833). The Abolitionist. New England Anti-Slavery Society. p. 20. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Cromwell (1994). The Other Brahmins: Boston's Black Upper Class, 1750-1950. University of Arkansas Press. p. 39. ISBN 978-1-61075-293-0. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
- Zorn, Roman J.,The New England Anti-Slavery Society: Pioneer Abolition Organization, The Journal of Negro History, Vol. 42, No. 3 (Jul., 1957), pp. 157-176
- "William Wells Brown". New Bedford, Massachusetts: New Bedford Historical Society. Retrieved June 2014.
- "Frederick Douglass". Africans in America. USA: Public Broadcasting Service. Retrieved June 2014.
- The Liberator, 1840
- "Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society--Thirty-Sixth Anniversary." (pdf). New York Times. January 28, 1870. Retrieved 2009-08-12.
Issued by the society
- Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (1832-circa 1956), Annual Report
- Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society (1836), A Full Statement Respecting Abolitionists and Anti-Slavery Societies, Boston: Isaac Knapp
- Wendell Phillips (1852), Speeches before the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, January, 1852, Boston: R. F. Wallcut
- Proceedings of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society at the annual meetings held in 1854, 1855 & 1856, Boston, 1856
- J.M.W. Yerrinton, ed. (1858). Speech of Rev. Henry Bleby. Boston: R.F. Wallcut. "Missionary from Barbadoes, on the results of emancipation in the British W.I. colonies : delivered at the celebration of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, held at Island Grove, Abington, July 31st, 1858"
About the society
- Elaine Brooks (1945). "Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society". Journal of Negro History 30. JSTOR 2715115.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society.|
- "Records of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society". Boston Public Library.
- "Antislavery wafers". Massachusetts Historical Society. (Printed slogans "attributed to the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, circa 1850")