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The Rural Anti-Slavery celebration took place at Dedham on 4 July 1846. This broadside prints six hymns which were either specially written for the occasion or to the tune of other popular songs. The first two hymns were written by abolitionists Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Maria Weston Chapman, respectively.
Higginson was an agitator for social and political equality and in 1850 called for Massachusetts residents to ignore the Fugitive Slave Act. Chapman founded the antislavery annual The Liberty Bell and occasionally edited The Liberator when Garrison travelled on abolitionist business.