Slavery in Massachusetts: Did Its Peculiar Nature Contribute to the Rise of Antislavery Advocates before 1776?

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Bound Away: The Liberty Journal of History, Vol: 1, Issue: 2, Page: 5

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Morgan, L. Claire
United States History
article description
The purpose of this paper was to discover whether slavery in Massachusetts was distinct from that institution in the South. Slavery in this colony was an admixture of servitude and bondage due to several factors. Massachusetts physical environment, climate, and township system precluded the implementation of plantation type slavery. Secondly, Puritan ideas about the family and education resulted in slaves living with and becoming a part of the families they served, as well as receiving a rudimentary education in religious, academic, and occupational fields. Lastly, slaves in Massachusetts, unlike those in the South, had access to the same courts as whites, a fact that eventually led to their freedom in 1780. Thus, slavery was a unique and “peculiar” institution in Massachusetts.