Quakers in Pennsylvania
went on record as being the first to oppose slavery
with their Germantown Petition of 1688, just 6 years after William Penn founded the colony
In 1776, Quakers prohibited members from owning slaves.
Pennsylvania's Ben Franklin
was the first president of the first anti-slavery society
in the United States.
On February 11, 1790, Quakers
petitioned the U.S. Congress to abolish slavery
In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance outlawed slavery
in the territory which would become Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin
and Minnesota. Richard Bassett
, a Signer of the Constitution from Delaware, converted to Methodism, freed all his slaves and paid them as hired labor
. In 1807
, Congress passed the Slave Importation Act, prohibiting further importation of slaves
, with the U.S. Coast
patrolling to capture slave trading ships.
Former President John Quincy Adams
fought to end slavery by removing Congress' Gag Rule
, and defending the Africans in the Amistad
Prior to the Civil War, 19 of the 34 States outlawed slavery
New Hampshire 1788,
Rhode Island 1790,
New York 1799,
New Jersey 1804,
and Kansas 1861. Three Secular Reasons Why America Should be Under God
In 1856, U.S. Senator Charles Sumner
of Massachusetts helped found the Republican Party
to preserve natural marriage
and defend the value of human life, stating in its original platform:
"Resolved...it is both the right and the imperative duty of Congress to prohibit in the Territories those twin relics of barbarism - Polygamy and Slavery
." Senator Charles Sumner
took a vocal stand against slavery, accusing Democrats of having a "mistress...the harlot, Slavery."
On May 22, 1856, Democrat Congressman Preston Brooks
approached Charles Sumner
as he sat at his desk in the Senate chamber and struck him with a thick gutta-percha cane with a gold head. Preston Brooks beat Charles Sumner till his desk
, which had been bolted to the floor, was knocked over
Blinded by his own blood, Sumner got up, staggered down the aisle as Brooks continued striking him.
Finally, Brook's gutta-percha cane broke and Sumner lay motionless on the floor.
When other Senators tried to rescue Sumner, Democrat Congressman Laurence Keitt brandished a pistol
William Cullen Bryant, editor of the New York Evening Post
, wrote of the Democrat South:
"The South cannot tolerate free speech anywhere
, and would stifle it in Washington with the bludgeon
and the bowie-knife, as they are now trying to stifle it in Kansas by massacre, rapine, and murder...
Are we to be chastised as they chastise their slaves...a target for their brutal blows
?" Charles Sumner died MARCH 11, 1874, having never fully recovered from those injuries.
Charles Sumner stated:
"Familiarity with that great story of redemption, when God raised up the slave-born Moses
to deliver His chosen people from bondage,
and with that sublimer story where our Saviour died a cruel death that all men, without distinction of race, might be saved, makes slavery impossible
Charles Sumner continued:
"There is no reason for renouncing Christianity, or for surrendering to the false religions;
nor do I doubt that Christianity will yet prevail over the earth as the waters cover the sea."