"Mumbett" (manuscript draft), by Catharine Maria Sedgwick, 1853
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- Witness to America's Past
This is a draft manuscript of Catharine Maria Sedgwick's article, "Mumbett", the life story of Elizabeth Freeman ("Mumbet"). The manuscript was published under the title "Slavery in New England," in Bentley's Miscellany in 1853. Freeman was born into slavery, but after hearing a reading of the Declaration of Independence, sued for her freedom from Colonel John Ashley. With the help of Theodore Sedgwick, she eventually won the lawsuit, and her freedom, in August 1781, setting the legal precedent for the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts. Mumbet became a paid servant for the Sedgwick family, and remained so until her death in 1829.