NY State Anti-Slavery Society

Portion of attendee list of the first-annual New York State Anti-Slavery Society meeting

Portion of attendee list of the first-annual New York State Anti-Slavery Society meeting

The New York State Anti-Slavery Society was formed in 1835 in Peterboro with the help of Gerrit Smith. The unanimous decision to create this society occurred at the New York State Anti-Slavery Convention held on October 21, 1935 in Utica, NY. The convention was broken up by a mob likely protesting in opposition to the convention’s aims, so there is not a precise record of who attended, but the meeting notes suggest that the number of attendees at the Anti-Slavery Convention was close to 900 or 1,000.  The first Society meeting took place the following day, on October 22, in Peterboro, with close to 600 people in attendance.  At this meeting, the Constitution of the new Society was created which included articles stating that “The object of this society is the entire Abolition of Slavery in the United States” and that “This society shall aim to elevate the character and condition of the people of color”.  The full convention and meeting notes can be found here.

Sources:
Library of Congress Digital Archives
Dann, Norman K. Practical Dreamer: Gerrit Smith and the Crusade for Social Reform. Hamilton, NY: Log Cabin Books, 2009.

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