PHILADELPHIA - Slavery was abolished in the United States once and for all when the 13th amendment was ratified on December 6, 1865. This was the result of a long and painful process, that might be said to have started all the way back in 1688, when a few Quakers made the first known recorded protest of slavery in America.
The Quakers, also known as “The Society of Friends” have a storied history of abolitionism. Four Quakers wrote a proclamation condemning slavery, citing their adherence to the golden rule: do unto others as we would have done unto ourselves.
“Pray, what thing in the world can be done worse towards us, then if men should rob or steal us away, and sell us for slaves to strange countries, separating husband from their wife and children,” the proclamation reads in part.
The group presented their protest at the monthly meeting of The Society of Friends in Philadelphia, but could not convince the group to publish their protest as an official position of the Quakers. It would take another 88 years for the Quakers to officially denounce slavery, but this was the very first step.