No Slavery! Fourth of July!
In 1854, the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society held a Fourth of July rally, advertised on this broadside, in Framingham, Mass. At the end of May, Congress had passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act, permitting western settlers to legally establish slavery. The nation was already divided over enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, and that same month, authorities in Boston had seized escapee Anthony Burns and forcibly returned him to his owner in Virginia despite public outcry and resistance. The Fourth of July rally was meant to respond to these events, and noted abolitionists Sojourner Truth, Henry David Thoreau, and William Lloyd Garrison addressed the crowd. In a dramatic climax, Garrison burned copies of the Fugitive Slave Law and the U.S. Constitution, crying, "So perish all compromises with tyranny!"See this object in detail permalink