Antislavery and Abolitionist Materials


These resources include the digitized manuscript record books of the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society, as well as a listing of short-form print materials relating to abolitionist societies which are physically available at the Congregational Library & Archives. These include publications by local and national abolitionist organizations, society minutes and convention proceedings, and copies of lectures and sermons delivered by and for these associations. Some of these records contain references to the "colonization" movement, which sought to relocate both free and emancipated African Americans to West Africa, controversial even at the time for its segregationist ideology. The catalog records for these collections serve as a preliminary starting point for research, but more materials are available in the library collections and, in many cases, are also available online as works in the public domain. We hope to add more manuscript records of antislavery and abolitionist organizations to New England's Hidden Histories' digital offerings in the future.


Digitized Records

Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society

The Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society (SFASS) was formed in 1834 as an offshoot of the Anti-Slavery Society of Salem and Vicinity (ASSSV). The preamble to the SFASS's constitution stated its three principles: that slavery should be immediately abolished; that African Americans, enslaved or free, have a right to a home in the country without fear of intimidation, and that society should be ready to acknowledge people of color as friends and equals. These principles, in addition to the American Anti-Slavery Society's principles, were in direct opposition to the American Colonization Society, which had been founded in 1817 with the objective to transport emancipated slaves and other free Black people to a perceived "homeland" in West Africa.


Print Materials at the CLA

Society and Convention Records

Address of the committee appointed by a public meeting, held at Faneuil hall, September 24, 1846, for the purpose of considering the recent case of kidnapping from our soil, and of taking measures to prevent the recurrence of similar outrages : with an appendix. Boston: White & Potter, 1846.

Annual report of the Boston Female Anti-Slavery Society : with a sketch of the obstacles thrown in the way of emancipation by certain clerical abolitionists and advocates for the subjection of woman in 1837. Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1837.

Church Anti-slavery Society proceedings of the convention which met at Worcester, Mass., March 1, 1859.  New York: John F. Trow, 1859.

Constitution and officers of the Essex County Abolition Society, with an address to abolitionistsSalem: William Ives and Co., 1839.

Constitution of the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and Improving the Condition of the African Race. Adopted on the 11th day of December 1818, to take effect on the 5th day of October 1819Philadelphia: Hall & Atkinson, 1819.

Constitution of the Union Congregational Anti-Slavery Society, Providence : formed April 22, 1839. With an address to the beneficent, Richmond-Street and High-Street Congregational Churches. Providence: H.H. Brown, 1839.

Declaration of sentiments and constitution of the American Anti-Slavery Society. Philadelphia: Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society, 1861.

Declaration of the National anti-slavery convention / Signed in the Adelphia Hall, in the City of Philadelphia, on the sixth day of December, A.D. 1833. Philadelphia: 1833.

First annual report of the executive committee of the New-Hampshire Congregational and Presbyterian Society for the Abolition of Slavery with the doings of the society at the anniversary meeting held at Francestown, August 24th 1841.  Concord: Brown and Colby, 1841.

First annual report of the New-Hampshire Anti-Slavery Society : presented at a meeting of the Society, held at Concord, June 4, 1835. Concord, NH: Elbridge G. Chase, 1835.

Formation of the Massachusetts Abolition Society. Boston: Massachusetts Abolition Society, 1839.

Minutes and proceedings of the second annual Convention, for the Improvement of the Free People of Color in these United States : held by adjournments in the city of Philadelphia, from the 4th to the 13th of June inclusive, 1832. Philadelphia: Martin & Boden, 1832.

Proceedings of the American Anti-slavery Society at its second decade, held in the city of Philadelphia, Dec. 3d, 4th and 5th, 1853.  Westport, CT: Negro Universities Press, 1854.

Proceedings of the American Anti-slavery Society at its third decade, held in the city of Philadelphia, Dec. 3d, 4th, 1864New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1854.

Proceedings of the Anti-slavery Convention of American Women, held in Philadelphia. May 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th, 1838.  Philadelphia: Merrihew and Gunn, 1838.

Proceedings of the Anti-slavery convention of American women, held in Philadelphia. May 1st, 2d and 3d, 1839. Philadelphia: Merrihew and Thompson, 1839.

Proceedings of the Convention of Ministers of Worcester County, on the subject of slavery : held at Worcester, December 5 & 6, 1837, and January 16, 1838. Worcester: Massachusetts Spy Office, 1838.

Proceedings of the New England Anti-Slavery Convention, held in Boston on the 27th, 28th and 29th of May, 1834Boston: Garrison & Knapp, 1834.

Proceedings of the Norfolk County Anti-slavery Convention held at Dedham, January 26, 1838 Quincy, MA:  J.A. Green, 1838.

Proceedings of the Pennsylvania convention, assembled to organize a state anti-slavery society, at Harrisburg, on the 31st of January and 1st, 2d and 3d of February 1837. Philadelphia: Merrihew and Gunn, 1837.

Report of the Committee of the New-York General Association on the Relation of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions, the American Home Missionary Society, the American Tract Society, the American Missionary Association, and the American Sunday School Union to the Subject of Slavery : unanimously adopted August 26, 1855. New York: 1855.

The Boston mob of 'gentlemen of property and standing.' : Proceedings of the anti-slavery meeting held in Stacy Hall, Boston, on the twentieth anniversary of the mob of October 21, 1835. Phonographic report by J.M.W. Yerrinton. Boston:  R.F. Wallcut, 1855.

The declaration and pledge against slavery : adopted by the Religious Anti-Slavery Convention held at the Marlboro' Chapel, Boston, February 26, 1846. Boston: Devereux & Seaman, 1846.

The report and proceedings of the first annual meeting of the Providence Anti-slavery Society : with a brief exposition of the principles and purposes of the abolitionists. Providence: H.H. Brown, 1833.


Lectures and Sermons

Ballou, Adin. A discourse on the subject of American slavery : delivered in the First Congregational meeting house, in Mendon, Mass., July 4, 1837. Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1837.

Buchanan, George. An oration upon the moral and political evil of slavery. Delivered at a public meeting of the Maryland society, for promoting the abolition of slavery, and the relief of free negroes, and others unlawfully held in bondage. Baltimore, July 4th, 1791. Baltimore: Philip Edwards, 1793.

Burt, J. The law of Christian rebuke : a plea for slave-holders : a sermon, delivered at Middletown, Conn., before the Anti-slavery Convention of Ministers and Other Christians, October 18, 1843Hartford: N.W. Goodrich and Co., 1843.

Cheever, George B. The fire and hammer of God's word against the sin of slavery / Speech of George B. Cheever at the anniversary of the American Abolitionist Society, May 1858. New York: American Abolition Society, 1858.

Child, David Lee. The despotism of freedom, or, The tyranny and cruelty of American republican slave-masters : shown to be the worst in the world : in a speech, delivered at the first anniversary of the New England Anti-Slavery SocietyBoston: Boston Young Men's Anti-Slavery Association, 1833.

Claggett, William. An address, delivered before the Portsmouth anti-slavery society on the fourth of July, A.D. 1839, being the 63d anniversary of the independence of the United States of AmericaPortsmouth, NH: C. W. Brewster, 1839.

Clarke, Walter. The American Anti-Slavery Society at war with the church : a discourse, delivered before the First Congregational Church and Society, in Canterbury, Conn., June 30th, 1844Hartford: Elihu Geer, 1844.

Douglass, Frederick. The anti-slavery movement a lecture / by Frederick Douglass, before the Rochester Ladies' Anti-Slavery Society.  Rochester: Lee, Mann & Co., 1855.

Douglass, Frederick. Two speeches /  by Frederick Douglass ; one on West India Emancipation, delivered at Canandaigua, Aug. 4th, and the other on the Dred Scott Decision, delivered in New York, on the occasion of the anniversary of the American Abolition Society, May, 1857Rochester:  C.P. Dewey, 1857.

Garrison, William Lloyd. An address, delivered before the Old Colony Anti-slavery Society, at South Scituate, Mass., July 4, 1839. Boston: Dow & Jackson, 1839.

Garrison, William Lloyd. An address on the progress of the abolition cause delivered before the African Abolition Freehold Society of Boston, July 16, 1832. Boston: Garrison and Knapp, 1832.

Granger, Arthur. The Apostle Paul's Opinion Of Slavery And Emancipation. : A Sermon Preached To The Congregational Church And Society In Meriden, At the request of several respectable Anti-Abolitionists. Middletown: Charles H. Pelton, 1837.

Grosvenor, Cyrus Pitt. Address before the Anti-Slavery Society of Salem and the vicinity : in the South Meeting-House, in Salem, February 24, 1834. Salem: Ives Observer Press, 1834.

Harris, Thaddeus Mason. A discourse delivered before the African Society in Boston, 15th of July, 1822, on the anniversary celebration of the abolition of the slave trade. Boston: Phelps and Farnham, 1822.

Kellogg, Giles B. An oration delivered July 4, 1829, before the Anti-Slavery Society of Williams College. Williamstown, MA: Ridley Bannister, 1829.

Latrobe, John H. B. Colonization and abolition. An address delivered by John H.B. Latrobe, of Maryland, at the anniversary meeting of the New York state colonization society, held in Metropolitan hall, May 13th, 1852. Baltimore: John D. Toy, 1852.

Morse, Jedidiah. A discourse, delivered at the African meeting-house, in Boston, July 14, 1808, in grateful celebration of the abolition of the African slave-trade, by the governments of the United States, Great Britain and Denmark. Boston: Lincoln & Edmands, 1808.

Rogers, Nathaniel P. An address delivered before the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society : at its annual meeting, 25 Dec. 1837. /  by Nathaniel P. Rogers ; to which is added, the third annual report of said society. Concord, NH: W. White, 1838.

Root, David. The abolition cause eventually triumphant : a sermon, delivered before the Anti-slavery society of Haverhill, Mass., Aug. 1836. Andover: Gould and Newman, 1836.

Ruffner, William Henry. Africa's redemption. A discourse on African colonization in its missionary aspects, and in its relation to slavery and abolition. Preached on Sabbath morning, July 4th, 1852,in the Seventh Presbyterian church, Penn square, Philadelphia. Philadelphia: W.S. Martien, 1852

Sumner, Charles. The anti-slavery enterprise : its necessity, practicability, and dignity, with glimpses at the special duties of the North : an address before the people of New York at the Metropolitan Theatre, May 9, 1855. Boston: Ticknor and Fields, 1855.

Thome, James A. and Cox, Samuel H. Debate at the Lane Seminary, Cincinnati. Speech of James A. Thome, of Kentucky, delivered at the annual meeting of the American Anti-Slavery Society, May 6, 1834. Letter of the Rev. Dr. Samuel H. Cox, against the American Colonization Society. Boston: Garrison & Knapp, 1834.

Thompson, George and Breckinridge, Robert J. Discussion on American slavery, between George Thompson, agent of the British and Foreign Society for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the world, and Robert J. Breckinridge, delegate from the General assembly of the Presbyterian church in the United States to the Congregational union of England and Wales: holden in the Rev. Dr. Wardlaw's chapel, Glasgow, Scotland, on the evenings of the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, 17th of June, 1836. Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1836.

Williams, Peter. An oration on the abolition of the slave trade; delivered in the African church, in the city of New York, January 1, 1808. New York: S. Wood, 1808.


Pamphlets and Tracts

Address of the Free Soil Association of the District of Columbia to the people of the United States : together with a memorial to Congress, of 1060 inhabitants of the District of Columbia, praying for the gradual abolition of slavery. Washington: Buell & Blanchard, 1849.

An address to the free people of colour and descendants of the African race, in the United States / by the American Convention for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and Improving the Condition of the African Race. Philadelphia: Hall & Atkinson, 1819.

A vindication of female anti-slavery associations. London: Female Anti-Slavery Society, n.d.

An appeal to the women of the nominally free states, issued by Anti-slavery Convention of American Women, held by adjournments from the 9th to the 12th of May, 1837. Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1838.

Address of the Congregational Union in Scotland to their fellow Christians in the United States on the subject of American slavery. New York: American and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, 1840.

Address of the New York City Anti-Slavery Society to the people of the city of New York. New York: West & Trow, 1833.

Address to the churches of Jesus Christ, by the Evangelical Union Anti-slavery Society, of the city of New York, auxiliary to the Am. A.S. Society ; with the constitution, names of officers, board of managers, and executive committee. April, 1839. New York: S.W. Benedict, 1839.

Bacon, Leonard. Review of pamphlets on slavery and colonization. New-Haven: A.H. Maltby; 1833.

Bassett, William. Letter to a member of the Society of Friends, in reply to objections against joining anti-slavery societies. Boston: Isaac Knapp, 1837.

Boston Female Anti-slavery Society. Right and wrong in the anti-slavery societiesBoston: W.S. Dorr, 1840.

Colonization and abolition considered : or, some remarks on the sixteenth annual report of the American Colonization Society.  Springfield, Ill: Lincoln Bindery Co., ca. 1833.

Fee, John G. An anti-slavery manual : or, The wrongs of American slavery exposed by the light of the Bible and of facts, with a remedy for the evilNew York: W. Harned, 1851.

Follen, Eliza Lee Cabot. Anti-slavery hymns and songs. New York: 1855.

Garrison, William Lloyd. The 'infidelity' of abolitionism. New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1860.

Goodell, William. One more appeal : to professors of religion, ministers, and churches, who are not enlisted in the struggle against slavery. Boston: New England Anti-Slavery Tract Association, 1843.

Higginson, T.W. Does slavery Christianize the negro?  New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1855.

Hildreth, Richard. What can I do for the abolition of slavery?  Boston: New England Anti-Slavery Tract Association,  ca.1840.

Hugo, Victor et al. Letters on American slavery from Victor Hugo, de Tocqueville, Emile de Girardin, Carnot, Passy, Mazzini, Humboldt, O. Lafayette--etcBoston: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1860.

Kelley, William D. et al. The equality of all men before the law claimed and defended /  in speeches by Hon. William D. Kelley, Wendell Phillips, and Frederick Douglass, and letters from Elizur Wright and Wm. Heighton. Boston: Rand & Avery, 1865.

Stewart, Alvan. The creed of the Liberty Party abolitionists : or, their position defined, in the summer of 1844, as understoodUtica: Jackson & Chaplin, 1844.

The constitutional duty of the federal government to abolish American slavery : an exposé of the position of the Abolition society of New-York city and vicinity. New York: Abolition Society of New-York City, 1855.

Thurston, David. An Address to the anti-slavery Christians of the United States. New York: J.A. Gray, 1852.

Webster, J. C. and Cheever, Henry T. Circular [declaration of principles and constitution of the Church Anti-Slavery Society of the United States]. Worcester: 1858.

Whipple, Charles E. Relations of anti-slavery to religion. New York: American Anti-Slavery Society, 1856.