First Abolition Societies

The first American society dedicated to the cause of abolition, is founded in Philadelphia in 1775. This society decided to change their name to The Pennsylvania Society for promoting the abolition of Slavery and the relief and free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage in 1784. leading Quaker and abolitionist Anthony Benezet called the society together two years after he persuaded the Quakers to create the negro school at Philadelphia. In 1750, Benezet began teaching slave children in his home after regular school hours, and in 1754, established the first girls' school in America. With the help of fellow Quaker John Woolman, Benezet persuaded the Philadelphia Quaker Yearly Meeting to take an official stance against slavery in 1758. Benezet counted Benjamin Franklin and John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, among his sympathetic correspondents.


Religious Movement

when the Mennonites of Germantown, Pennsylvania held their monthly meeting on 18 February 1688, they drafted a set of resolutions in opposition to slavery, or what they called "the traffic of men-body." The Mennonites, German Baptists whose beliefs resembled those of the English and Welsh Quakers, had founded Germantown half a century earlier. They argued that it was hypothetical for whites, especially Christians, to participate in the enslavement that they had themselves so feared for generations at the hands of the Turks on the high seas. they wrote that, "there is a saying, that we should do to all men like as we will be done ourselves; making no difference of what generation, decent, or colour they are."


Northwest Ordinance of 1787

The Northwest Ordinance was important for two major reasons. one of them is that it banned slavery in the territories of the Northwest. This ensured that these would be free states when they entered the Union. But that is not the most important thing about this law. The most important thing is that it created a system whereby territories could become states. This meant that there would be no situation in which (for example) the Ohio region could be a colony of Virgina. This meant that the US would not have to worry about fights between states over land or about colonists in the new territories feeling abused by whichever state was their "mother country." This allowed the US to expand in an orderly and stable way.


The Rise of the Underground Railroad & Its Leaders

The underground railroad was the term used to describe a network of meeting places, secret routes, passageways and safe houses used by slaves in the U.S. to escape slave holding states to northern states and Canada. Established in the early 1800's and aided by people involved in the Abolition Movement, the underground railroad helped thousands of slaves escape bondage. By one estimate, 100,000 slaves escaped from bondage in the south between 1810 and 1850. Aiding them in their fight was a system of safe houses and abolitionists determined to free as many slaves as possible, even though such actions violated state law and the United States Constitution.
A conductor of the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman, escaped from slavery but returned to slave-holding states many times to help other slaves escape. She lead them safely to free northern states or to Canada. When ever Tubman led a group of slaves to freedom, she placed herself in great danger. There was a bounty offered for her capture because she was a fugitive slave herself, and she was breaking the law in slave states by helping other slaves escape.
Harriet Beecher Stowe's anti-slavery novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, is published. The novel sold 300,000 copies within three months and was so widely read that when President Abraham Lincoln met Stowe in 1862, he reportedly said, "So this is the little lady who made this big war."