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Primary Sources in African-American History

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Correspondence on Abolition

Freedom Suits

Published Pro- and Anti-Slavery Writings

Papers of Antislavery Organizations

Records Relating to the Birmingham Ladies Society for the Relief of British Negro Slaves

In the early nineteenth century, Birmingham was an important center of anti-slavery activity. Birmingham itself was a prosperous manufacturing town engaged in some cotton trading. Joseph Sturge, one of the leaders in the British anti-slavery movement, was secretary of the Birmingham anti-slavery society and active in several national anti-slavery organizations. On April 8, 1825, Lucy Townsend and Mary Lloyd founded the Birmingham Ladies Society, which published several pamphlets, compiled annual reports, and recorded minutes relating to their activities. Members wrote letters and petitions urging others to support their cause. They supported education as a means of solving the problem of freed slaves, focusing on aid to blacks in British territories. They were reluctant to deal with the problem of American slavery for fear of inflaming the issue.

A description of the contents and their arrangement is on the first reel.

Special Collections FILM 22:3 - Library Use Only


Writings Relating to Quaker Abolitionism

  • An address to the inhabitants of Europe on the iniquity of the slave trade, 1822. MU Special Collections, HT991 .F7 1822, Library Use Only.
  • The case of our fellow-creatures, the oppressed Africans : respectfully recommended to the serious consideration of the legislature of Great-Britain by the people called Quakers. MU Special Collections,  HT1033.S63 C3 1784, Library Use Only.