AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY

AMERICAN ANTI-SLAVERY SOCIETY

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The American Anti-Slavery Society was formed in 1833 by a group of American Christians who eventually ended slavery in America. The 62 people who signed the declaration forming the organization were leaders in the fight to end slavery. These leaders included Reverend Theodore S. Wright and Reverend John Rankin.

 

The organization was so rooted in Christian principles that the top third of its charter document included seven Bible references. This founding document included phrases like “relying solely upon those which are spiritual, and mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” and “Therefore we believe and affirm that...every American...who retains...[a slave]...is according to Scripture, a MAN-STEALER” (citing 1 Timothy 1:10 from the Bible). 

 

The founders were willing to be killed in their fight for the freedom and full equal treatment of African Americans, declaring in their charter document: “We shall spare no exertions nor means to bring the whole nation to a speedy repentance. Our trust for victory is solely in GOD. We may be personally defeated, but our principles never, TRUTH, JUSTICE, REASON, HUMANITY, must and will gloriously triumph. Already a host is coming up to the help of the Lord against the mighty...”

 

These Christian leaders faced the burning of their homes, attacks from angry pro-slavery mobs, and even the threat of death to themselves and their family members. Knowing that they might face death for publicly calling slavery a sin, they signed the founding document in the following way:

 

“[W]e hereby affix our signatures to it; pledging ourselves, under the guidance by the help of Almighty God, we will do all that in us lies, consistently with this Declaration of our principles, to overthrow the most execrable system of slavery....to deliver our land from its deadliest curse—to wipe out the foulest stain which rests upon our nation...and to secure to the colored population of the United States all the rights and privileges which belong to them as men, and as Americans...whether we live to witness the triumph...or perish ultimately as martyrs in this great, benevolent, and holy cause.”

 

The formation of the American Anti-Slavery Society caused 1,000 local chapters of the organization to spring up, which in turn caused a cultural revolution that eventually exploded into the Civil War and the ending of slavery in America. This revolution was led by Christian pastors and churches. 

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