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date: 01 August 2021

Abstract and Keywords

After the Revolution, a number of northern states began to abolish slavery within their borders. State legislatures found themselves balancing carefully the rights of slave owners to their property with the Revolutionary promise of equality. While Massachusetts enacted general emancipation in 1783, most other northern states, including Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, New York, and New Jersey decided upon a “gradual” method that emancipated slaves on a certain future date, or only emancipated slaves born after a given day.

Source: “An Act For The Gradual Abolition of Slavery,” passed March 29,1799, in Laws of the State of New York, 22nd Session

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