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E. A. Phelps British Anti-Slavery Society Papers

 Collection — Container: MS ACC 1044-1055
Call Number: MS Acc 1044-1055

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the eleven resolutions written in 1845 in response to the imprisonment of any abolitionist who assisted a runaway slave in the southern United States. Composed by various committees of the British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society, they were meant as encouragement for abolitionists in the United States to continue despite the hardship. The resolutions reject slavery as an institution and refer to both the Declaration of Independence as well as Christian beliefs. Also included is a draft of a letter from Amos Augustus Phelps to Francis Wayland in which Phelps discusses duty and responsibility as it pertains to God, men, and slavery.


  • 1845


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Items in this collection may be subject to copyright restrictions. In most cases, the Boston Public Library does not hold the copyright to the items in our collections. It is the sole responsibility of the user to make their own determination about what types of usage might be permissible under U.S. and international copyright law.

Biographical / Historical


1796 - Francis Wayland is born in New York City.

1805 - Amos Augustus Phelps is born in Farmington, Connecticut.

1807 - Britain bans importation of African slaves.

1808 - United States bans importation of African slaves.

1817-1821 - Francis Wayland tutors at Union College.

1821-1826 - Wayland is pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston.

1823 - British Antislavery Society is established.

1826 - Amos Phelps graduates from Yale.

1827 - Francis Wayland is named President of Brown University.

1830 - Phelps graduates from Yale Divinity School.

1831-1834 - Phelps is pastor of Congregational churches in Boston area and editor of the “Emancipation.”

1833 - Parliament abolishes slavery with the Slavery Abolition Act.

1834 - Anti-slavery societies begin to mail petitions Congress.

1836 - U.S. Congress passes resolution postponing action on all petitions relating to slavery.

1844 - U.S. Congress rescinds the gag rule on antislavery petitions.

1845 - British Antislavery Societies sign and send petitions in support of abolitionists in the United States.

1850 - Fugitive Slave Act passed.


11.00 Items

Language of Materials



Arranged alphabetically.

Method of Acquisition

Donated to the Boston Public Library by E. A. Phelps.

Related Materials

American Anti-Slavery Society Collection, MS 1038

Anti-Slavery League (Great Britain), MS.A1.1

Boston Female Anti-Slavery League, MS.A.9.2 Vol 5

Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society Collection, MS.fA.31

New England Anti-Slavery Society Collection, MS.A.1.2 Vol 4

Processing Information

Finding aid written by Katharine Zore, October 2010.

Processing Information

This electronic finding aid is transcribed from legacy data. In many cases, transcriptions were not verified against collection materials at the time of transcription. As a result, this finding aid could be incomplete and might only reflect a partial understanding of the material.

Statement on harmful description

Archival description reflects the biases of time periods and cultures in which it was created and may include direct quotations or descriptions that use inappropriate or harmful language. Creator provided descriptions may be maintained in order to preserve the context in which the collection was created and/or used. Legacy description and potentially offensive content may be made available online until a collection can be reprocessed because the access that they provide to primary source materials is uniquely valuable to the research community at large. Our efforts to repair outdated descriptions and to describe our collections more equitably are iterative and ongoing.

E. A. Phelps British Anti-Slavery Society Papers
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