Slavery, Abolition, and the Founding


dunmore proclamation to free slaves

Lord Dunmore’s 1775 Declaration to Free Slaves and Indentured Servants in Exchange for Their Willingness to Fight Against the Colonies

Brief Statements by the Founders about Slavery and Abolition

I wish to see all unjust and all unnecessary discriminations everywhere abolished


Documents Available Regarding Slavery and Abolition on

Franklin’s Address to the Public Promoting the Abolition of Slavery

Franklin’s Plan for Improving the Condition of the Free Blacks

Franklin’s Petition to the Congress Petition from the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery

Senator Sumner’s Speech to Repeal Fugitive Slave Bill (1852) which mentions the opinions of many Founding Fathers.

Cooper Union Address by Abraham Lincoln

Anti Slavery Themed Sugar Bowl in DAR Museum

Anti Slavery Themed Sugar Bowl in DAR Museum

telegram regarding passage of13th amendment

Telegram regarding passage of 13th amendment

On January 31, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln received a telegram from John George Nicolay, his secretary, reporting that the House passed what would become the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution. The vote count for the amendment was 119 for and 56 against. With ratification of this amendment, it became the law that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”