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Historical Document
The Selling of Joseph

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Click here for the text of this historical document.

Authored by Samuel Sewall and presented by a Boston publisher in 1700, the pamphlet entitled The Selling of Joseph is a strong testament against slavery. It begins with a general statement and is followed by a section in which Sewall refutes some of the common arguments for slavery, using the Bible to help make his case.

The Selling of Joseph was published during a time when Sewall, a Massachussetts judge, was battling his proslavery rival, John Saffin, over a slave named Adam, who was seeking his freedom. In 1701 Saffin published a reply to Sewall's document, entitled A True and Particular Narrative by Way of Vindication of the Author's Dealing with and Presecution of his Negro Man Servant.

The entire text of The Selling of Joseph. . .

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Samuel Sewall speaks out

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