Skip to comments.A Forgotten Black Founding Father
Posted on 02/12/2021 5:26:53 AM PST by ProgressingAmerica
Massachusetts abolished enslavement before the Treaty of Paris brought an end to the American Revolution, in 1783. The state constitution, adopted in 1780 and drafted by John Adams, follows the Declaration of Independence in proclaiming that all “men are born free and equal.” In this statement Adams followed not only the Declaration but also a 1764 pamphlet by the Boston lawyer James Otis, who theorized about and popularized the familiar idea of “no taxation without representation” and also unequivocally asserted human equality. “The Colonists,” he wrote, “are by the law of nature free born, as indeed all men are, white or black.” In 1783, on the basis of the “free and equal” clause in the 1780 Massachusetts Constitution, the state’s chief justice, William Cushing, ruled enslavement unconstitutional in a case that one Quock Walker had brought against his enslaver, Nathaniel Jennison.
Many of us who live in Massachusetts know the basic outlines of this story and the early role the state played in standing against enslavement. But told in this traditional way, the story leaves out another transformative figure: Prince Hall, a free African American and a contemporary of John Adams. From his formal acquisition of freedom, in 1770, until his death, in 1807, Hall helped forge an activist Black community in Boston while elevating the cause of abolition to new prominence. Hall was the first American to publicly use the language of the Declaration of Independence for a political purpose other than justifying war against Britain. In January 1777, just six months after the promulgation of the Declaration and nearly three years before Adams drafted the state constitution, Hall submitted a petition to the Massachusetts legislature (or General Court, as it is styled) requesting emancipation, invoking the resonant phrases and founding truths of the Declaration itself.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
A couple of Prince Hall's petitions are referenced in the work The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution.
The Colored Patriots of the American Revolution, free audio and text
Real history that deserved mention. Should have been a role model for thugs like Trayvon Martin.
That Cromwell did allow for the Irish to be
sold into slavery and the Irish brigade
in Boston did allow Prince Hall into the
masonic fellowship may be a connection I
hadn’t thought about before until now.
Lots of money to be made in the Grievance Industry.
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