Ben Franklin was the first president of the first anti-slavery society in the United States.
In 1787, the Northwest Ordinance outlawed slavery in the Midwest. Richard Bassett, a Signer of the Constitution, converted to Methodism, freed all his slaves and paid them as hired labor. John Quincy Adams fought to end slavery by removing Congress’ Gag Rule.
In 1807, Congress passed the Slave Importation Act, prohibiting further importation of slaves. 19 of the 34 States outlawed slavery before the Civil War: Pennsylvania 1787, New Hampshire 1788, Connecticut 1788, Massachusetts 1788, Rhode Island 1790, Vermont 1791, New York 1799, Ohio 1803, New Jersey 1804, Indiana 1816, Illinois 1818, Maine 1820, Michigan 1837, Iowa 1846, Wisconsin 1848, Minnesota 1858, Oregon 1859, California 1850 and Kansas 1861.
Senator Charles Sumner’s vehement stand against slavery resulted in Congressman Preston S. Brooks of South Carolina violently beating him on the head with a cane while he was seated at his desk on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Charles Sumner died MARCH 11, 1874, having never fully recovered from those injuries.
A founder of the Republican Party, Charles Sumner served as a Senator from Massachusetts for 23 years, 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.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here