Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History

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Religion

VII. CONSTITUTION OF THE PENNSYLVANIA SOCIETY FOR PROMOTING THE ABOLITION OF SLAVERY, ETC. 1787

Selected Clauses

"It having pleased the Creator of the world, to make of one flesh all the children of men—it becomes them to consult and promote each other’s happiness, as members of the same family, however diversified they may be, by colour, situation, religion or different states of society. It is more especially the duty of those persons, who profess to maintain for themselves the rights of human nature, and who acknowledge the obligations of Christianity, to use such means as are in their power, to extend the blessings of freedom to every part of the human race, and in a more particular manner, to such of their fellow creatures, as are entitled to freedom by the laws and constitutions of any of the United States, and who, notwithstanding, are detained in bondage, by fraud or violence. From a full conviction of the truth and obligation of these principles—from a desire to diffuse them, wherever the miseries and vices of slavery exist, and in humble confidence of the favour and support of the Father of Mankind, the subscribers have associated themselves, under the title of the ’Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery, and the Relief of free Negroes unlawfully held in Bondage.’

For effecting these purposes, they have adopted the following constitution:

I. The officers of the society shall consist of a president, two vice-presidents, two secretaries, a treasurer, twelve counsellors, (viz.: six from the city and county of Philadelphia, and one from each of the following counties, viz.: Bucks, Montgomery, Lancaster, York, Northampton and Delaware) an electing committee of twelve, and a board of education of thirteen, and an acting committee of six members; all of whom, except the last named committee, shall be chosen annually by ballot, on the last Fifthday called Thursday, in the month called December.

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V. The business of the counsellors shall be to explain the laws and constitutions of the states, which relate to the emancipation of slaves, and to urge their claims to freedom, when legal, before such persons or courts as are authorised to decide upon them.

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VII. The board of education shall superintend the schools established by the society, and manage the funds appropriated to their support. .

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XI. No person holding a slave shall be admitted a member of this Society.

XII. No law or regulation shall contradict any part of the constitution of the Society, nor shall any law or alteration in the constitution be made, without being proposed at a previous meeting. All questions shall be decided, where there is a division, by a majority of votes. In those cases where the Society is equally divided, the presiding officer shall have a casting vote."

Text—Needles: An Historical Memoir of the Pennsylvania Society, for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, pp. 113–115.

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Chicago: "Selected Clauses," Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History 557–558. Original Sources, accessed October 4, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L7KEM18FGWB9B36.

MLA: . "Selected Clauses." Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp. 557–558. Original Sources. 4 Oct. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L7KEM18FGWB9B36.

Harvard: , 'Selected Clauses' in Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History. cited in , Source Book and Bibliographical Guide for American Church History, pp.557–558. Original Sources, retrieved 4 October 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=L7KEM18FGWB9B36.