Formed 1826 in Boston, the Massachusetts General Colored Association’s sole purpose was to fight against slavery and racism. It was established by members of the city’s Black Freemasons. Of those members, Thomas Dalton, William G. Nell, and James G. Barbadoes are elected to president, vice president and secretary respectively. Other founding members included Walker Lewis of Lowell.
Activity of the Massachusetts General Colored Association
In its first few years, the group was very active in achieving its main goals. In addition to abolishing slavery, the Massachusetts General Colored Association pushed for equality by trying to force the state to end its segregation laws. The Association also looked to educate Blacks and guide them towards Christian lives.
In addition to speeches and social works, the organization also had a number of powerful writers. One of these talents was the founder and Freedom’s Journal writer David Walker. He penned Walker’s Appeal, in Four Articles; Together with a Preamble, to the Coloured Citizens of the World, but in Particular, and Very Expressly, to Those of the United States of America in late 1829. Speaking of the Freedom’s Journal, the Massachusetts General Colored Association was a strong supporter of the publication.
As 1833 rolled around, Dalton pushed for the group to join the larger New England Anti-Slavery Society. He was successful in his campaign and the two organizations promoted a number of conventions speaking on the evils of slavery all over the New England region. Later that year, the Anti-Slavery Society opened its doors to Black membership.
At its peak of activity, the Massachusetts General Colored Association saw a number of prominent abolitionists in its ranks. As a result, a number of them would go on to positions of influence and into politics following the Civil War.