Massachusetts Anti-Discrimination Campaign

December 1, 1838 | Nantucket
Scan of petition against descrimmintation initated by Absalom F. Boston

Members of the Black and Indigenous community on Nantucket took part in a statewide campaign to end legal discrimination in the state of Massachusetts. The printed petition was likely distributed via anti-slavery newspapers, with hundreds of signatures arriving in Boston from all over the state. Many of the signees from Nantucket appear on similar petition campaigns of the era, demonstrating the consistent and organized activism of the island's Anti-Slavery Society. Addressing the state legislature, the petition calls for the immediate repeal of all racially discriminatory laws.

Petition Language:
To the Honorable, the Legislature of the State of Massachusetts The undersigned, Inhabitants of Nantucket in the County of Nantucket Respectfully pray your honorable body, immediately to repeal all laws in this State, which make any distinction among its inhabitants, on account of color. (1)


1. Passed Resolves; Resolves 1838, c.34, SC1/series 228, Petition of A.F. Boston [Absalom F. Boston]. Digital Archive of Massachusetts Anti-Slavery and Anti-Segregation Petitions, Massachusetts Archives, Boston MA (http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL:10670525)

Image: 1838 Petition of Absalom F. Boston (Massachusetts Archives; http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:FHCL:10670525)


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