Slavery was abolished in Massachusetts before the declaration of independence, officially made law on March 26, 1788. The law imposed a penalty of £50 upon every citizen or person residing in this Commonwealth for each slave bought or transported and £200 upon every vessel engaged in the Slave trade. Another objective was to prevent the State from being overrun with runaway slaves. The wording of the Act prohibited the permanent residence of any person “African or Negro” other than existing subjects of Moracco or citizens of the United States, and was added to an act for the punishment of “Rogues, Vagabonds, common Beggars, and other idle, disorderly and lewd persons.
Prince Hall led black Masons to petition to the court in 1788 to put an end to the slave trade, a petition prompted by the abduction of three free black men in Boston Harbor. As a result of this petition, the General Court passed an act on 26 March 1788 “to prevent the Slave Trade, and for granting Relief to the Families of such unhappy Persons as may be Kidnapped or decoyed away from this Commonwealth
Source: Primary Research
The Civil War Monument - By Harold Bowen: The monument was first erected by the town in 1871 as a memorial to those who died in the Civil War. It had an iron fence all around it and inside the enclosure was a stack of cannon balls in each corner where a flag was inserted.… Continue reading The Civil War Monument Names of the Ipswich slaves - In 1641 the Massachusetts Bay Colony adopted a code of laws that made slavery legal. In 1755, the slaves in this town above the age of sixteen numbered sixty-two, but within ten years, public opinion began turn against slavery. In 1780, the present Constitution of Massachusetts was adopted, its first article asserting that all men are born free and equal.… Continue reading Names of the Ipswich slaves Her name was Patience - "Know all men by these presents I, Thomas Burnam of Ipswich, do by these presents bargain, sell, sett over and confirm unto the said Robert Dodge, a negro girl known by the name of Patience...To have and to hold said negro girl Patience during her natural life."… Continue reading Her name was Patience Freedom for Jenny Slew - Jenny Slew was born about 1719 as the child of a free white woman and a black slave. She lived her life as a free woman until 1762 when she was kidnapped and enslaved by John Whipple. Jenny Slew is believed to be the first person held as a slave to be granted freedom through trial by jury. In November of 1766 the jury ruled in favor of the plaintiff and ordered Whipple to free Jenny Slew. She was awarded £4 in damages and £5 in costs.… Continue reading Freedom for Jenny Slew