Virginia and Abolitionism

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The Library of Virginia, in their Out of the Box archives, has a series of articles about the anti-slavery and abolitionist societies which spread into southern states from northern origins.

A short history of the Virginia Abolitionist Society can be found here.

We know from public writing – one example is the letter below – that Yardley Taylor and brothers Benjamin and Henry were involved in the Manumission and Emigration Society.

Leesburg Washingtonian  September 1825

Eventually it became apparent that emigrating newly freed blacks to Liberia was both financially impractical and unpopular. Most freed blacks rightly felt there was no reason they should have to leave the United States. Many anti-slavery activists, including the Taylors, moved away from emigration/colonization goals. They continued to focus on manumission efforts, however, as well as ending slavery across all states and territories.

Genius of Universal Emancipation April 26, 1828 (Yardley Taylor’s name highlighted here for reference.) Yardley organized and attended this convention only a few months after his arrest for helping enslaved man, Harry, attempt to escape Virginia.

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