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Document signed by John Saffin regarding the emancipation of Adam (a slave), 26 June 1694

Document signed by John Saffin regarding the emancipation of Adam (a slave), 26 June 1694

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  • In this document, the Boston merchant John Saffin agrees to free his slave Adam after seven years from 25 March 1694. At the bottom of the page is an acknowledgement by Saffin, dated 25 June 1701, that the agreement is a valid one, although Saffin refuses to free Adam after the seven-year term, on the grounds that he has not fulfilled his end of the bargain. Adam turns to the courts for relief, and after a protracted series of trials and a three-month imprisonment on attempted-murder charges, Adam is set free (Lorenzo Johnston Greene, The Negro in Colonial New England, NY: Atheneum, 1968, pp. 296-297).  (See the online presentation of The Selling of Joseph, an early anti-slavery pamphlet that refers to the case of Adam.)

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