July 2, 1777: Vermont becomes the 1st American territory to abolish slavery.
In response to abolitionists’ calls across the colonies to end slavery, not only did Vermont’s legislature agree to abolish slavery entirely, it also moved to provide full voting rights for African American males.
Vermont’s July 2, action was undoubtedly a historic event. The proclamation underscored the growing discontent many had with slavery and the slave trade, particularly in the colonies of the North where Quaker-led abolitionist movements were taking root.
On November 25, 1858, Vermont would again underscore this commitment by ratifying a stronger anti-slavery law into its state constitution.
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