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FORUM LIST   »   JURY DECIDES IN FAVOR OF ELIZABETH "MUM BETT" FREEMAN   »   end of slavery
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Author end of slavery

PPeterson
Joined: Aug 2014
Aug 22, 2014 04:08

It is incorrect to state that Massachusetts was the first state to abolish slavery. Vermont's constitution banned slavery in 1777, although in both states, de facto slavery continued to exist for many years after it was no longer legal.

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Polly Peterson


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Ann-Elizabeth Barnes
Joined: Aug 2014
Aug 22, 2014 08:56

I think one says Massachusetts was the first state to ban slavery because it was the first to legalize it. Vermont was formed as a slave free state in 1777 so there was no need to ban it. I realize it is semantics but it does make that statement true.

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Ann-Elizabeth Barnes


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Ann-Elizabeth Barnes
Joined: Aug 2014
Aug 22, 2014 08:57

Quote:

Originally posted by: PPeterson
It is incorrect to state that Massachusetts was the first state to abolish slavery. Vermont's constitution banned slavery in 1777, although in both states, de facto slavery continued to exist for many years after it was no longer legal.

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Polly Peterson

In the 1790 census, although there was a column on the form for "slaves" it was empty. Really the onus on a slave becoming free after the court ruling was on the slave. It did take years for the news to get around but eventually it did. The slave laws (Fugitive Slave Acts I&II) and the comity between the states laws made life still very dangerous in both MA and VT. And of course MA included Maine and I believe, NH at the time.

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Ann-Elizabeth Barnes


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Ann-Elizabeth Barnes
Joined: Aug 2014
Aug 22, 2014 09:09

On Mumbet's grave her name is spelled "Mumbet". The other spelling seems arbitrary. I can understand wanting to confer a title of respect to her but the spelling "Mum Bett" seems artificial. Why do we need to spell her name differently than it was spelled historically?

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Ann-Elizabeth Barnes


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