ABOLUTION: And your journey begins. Tall Blue Markers tell the stories.

Abolution Hall 1767
My Neighbors House in Plymouth Meeting Pennsylvania has this marker in her front yard, because they help meetings there. The neighbors decided to help run slaves to freedom. They all got together to decide the plan and that's how it became known as Abolution Hall 1767.

Abolution Hall 1767
Nancy Corson Lives Here Now. You can be an abolitionist too!

Underground Railroad House
This Underground Railroad House (hard to see in the shadow) is where the abolitionists met, had their secret meetings and hid the slaves who were going north.

This path went to the hide out.
Runaway slaves used this path to their hide out on the property.

Slavery Illegal in Britain

James Somerset, a negro slave of James Stewart, was taken from Virginia to England, where he refused to serve his master any longer. Stewart caused him to be arrested and put on board a vessel to be conveyed to Jamaica. Being brought before Chief-Justice Mansfield on a writ of habeas corpus (December, 1771), his case was referred to the full court, where it was argued for the slave by the great philanthropist, Granville Sharp. The decision would affect the estimated number of 14,000 slaves then with their masters in England, involving a loss to their owners of $3,500,000. After a careful judicial investigation of the subject in its legal aspects, Chief-Justice Mansfield gave the decision of the court that slavery was contrary to the laws of England—that slavery could not exist there. " Whatever inconveniences, therefore, may follow from the decision," he said, " I cannot say this case is allowed or approved by the law of England, and therefore the black must be discharged."

Sharp then devoted his time to forcing a definitive legal ruling on the question of whether a slave could be compelled to leave Britain. He was involved in securing the famous 1772 ruling by Lord Chief Justice William Mansfield, which reluctantly concluded that slave owners could not legally force slaves to return to the colonies once they were in Britain. This was regarded by many as effectively abolishing slavery within Britain. In 1787, Sharp and his friend Thomas Clarkson were instrumental in forming the Society for the Abolition of the Slave Trade.

Granville Sharp was one of the first English campaigners for the abolition of the slave trade. He also involved himself in trying to correct other social injustices. Sharp formulated the plan to settle blacks in Sierra Leone, and founded the St. George's Bay Company, a forerunner of the Sierra Leone Company. His efforts led to both the founding of the Province of Freedom, and later on Freetown, Sierra Leone, and so he is considered to be one of the founding fathers of Sierra Leone. He was also a biblical scholar and classicist, and a talented musician.

Author Reveals History Behind American Revolution - ‘’Lord Chief Justice Mansfield’

 

Dred Scott Decision

Taney was sworn in as chief justice in March 1836. Although he had inherited the conservative tradition of the Southern aristocracy and had supported states’ rights, the Taney court did not discard John Marshall’s ideas of federal supremacy. Taney believed firmly in divided sovereignty, but he also believed it was the Supreme Court’s role to decide which powers should be shared. Eventually, many of those who had opposed Taney’s appointment came to respect him.

The majority opinion that Taney delivered on March 6, 1857, in Dred Scott v. Sanford is the one for which he is best known. In essence, the decision argued that Scott was a slave and as such was not a citizen and could not sue in a federal court. Taney’s further opinion that Congress had no power to exclude slavery from the territories and that Negroes could not become citizens was bitterly attacked in the Northern press. The Dred Scott decision probably created more disagreement than any other legal opinion in U.S. history; it became a violently divisive issue in national politics and dangerously undermined the prestige of the Supreme Court.

ABOLUTION: And your journey begins. Tall Blue Markers tell the stories.

Abolution Hall 1767
This is only an example of how exciting it will be to actually participate in Black History Month All Year Long. There will be more information provided to you for the following topics:

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