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.


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