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Abolitionists Primary Sources

Historical documents. What clues can you gather about the time, place, players, and culture?

Slavery Slowly Ends in the North

The Pennsylvania gradual abolition law, 1 March 1780

Hunting Runaways

A runaway slave broadside, 2 November 1853.

The Martyr

Summary on the life, trial, and execution of John Brown, 1859.

Rebellion and Redemption on the Amistad

Primary-source documents relating to the Amistad slave rebellion.

The Amistad Case

The full text of the Court opinions and the arguments in the Amistad case are available from University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law.

An Illiterate Yet Profoundly Eloquent Woman

Read primary-source reviews of Sojourner Truth's speeches, from the Sojourner Truth Institute in Battle Creek, Michigan.

One of the Most Articulate Abolitionists of His Day

My Bondage and Freedom, by Frederick Douglass, 1855.

Independence Day in the Land of Slavery

Frederick Douglass on what the fourth of July means to the slave.

A Voice for Freedom

The full text of Angelina Grimké Weld's antislavery speech at Pennsylvania Hall is available through PBS online:

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