Massachusetts Body of Liberties (1641)

Sign up for free access to this entire collection
Gabriele Diwald Um50Z8LeY4 Unsplash

The 1641 Massachusetts Body of Liberties was the first British North American colonial statute guaranteeing the legality of enslaving Africans and Native Americans. Students should take note of how the enslaved were treated and referred to in this context. This text is for 6th-12th grade readers.

The Journal of a Slaver
Slaves’ Petition for Freedom to the Massachusetts Legislature (1777)

Reading Presentations Library