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American Anti-Slavery Society Broadside, 1836

Context

This broadside is an 1836 publication by the American Anti-Slavery Society. The broadside highlights the group’s opposition to slavery through quotes from the Bible and some of America’s Founding Documents. In the 1830s, moves were made to silence abolitionists by banning their ability to publish in the South. Countering this, the Society asserted their right to publish this broadside under the Constitutional freedoms of speech and press. This broadside looks to encourage Congress to abolish slavery in Washington, D.C. by asserting that, legally, Congress has the power over all legislation in the district. To support their position, the writer mentions how free blacks, who are citizens, were being kidnapped, placed in jail, and sold into slavery, a clear violation of their rights.

Definition:Broadsides were posters, announcing events or proclamations, or simply advertisements.

Citation: American Anti-Slavery Society Broadside, 1836 Library of Virginia Manuscripts & Special Collections Broadside Collection 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA.

Standards

VS.7 USI.8 VUS.6

Suggested Questions

Analyze: What is the purpose of naming the congressmen?

In Their Shoes: Write a broadside to either support or counter the position held in this publication.

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