"Address to the Public"
|Resource Bank Contents|
Click here for the text of this historical document.
Even among the most stalwart abolitionists, support for ending the slave trade often co-existed with a belief in black inferiority -- either innate or as the inevitable result of slavery and oppression.
In 1789, the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, one of the earliest and best known American anti-slavery organizations, issued a broadside entitled "Address to the Public." Doubting that former slaves could overcome the irreparable intellectual and social damage of enslavement, the broadside ventured that "[u]nder such circumstances Freedom may often prove a misfortune to [the freed slave] and prejudicial to Society."
Founding of Pennsylvania Abolition Society
Part 3: Narrative | Resource Bank Contents | Teacher's Guide
Africans in America: Home | Resource Bank Index | Search | Shop
WGBH | PBS Online | ©