Remembering the past

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March 14, 2013, 8:52 pm
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(NECN: Lauren Collins) - The N.H. Senate has unanimously voted to emancipate a group of slaves 233 years after they first requested their freedom.

The bill to honor the request passed on a voice vote.

"The God of nature gives them life and freedom upon the terms of the perfect equality..."

The words sound an awful lot like that famous document of 1776, but the petition, dated three years later, sought freedom for a group of slaves.

"Th petition for emancipation was written by 20 enslaved Africans in Portsmouth, N.H.," Jerrianne Boggis of the Portsmouth Black Heritage Trail said.

Among the petitioners was Prince Whipple, who, ironically, was enslaved to one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

The 18th Century N.H. Legislature tabled it and forgot about it. For years it's been in storage at the state archives.

Lauren Collins has more on the story in the attached video.

Tags: new hampshire, Portsmouth, Lauren Collins, emanicpation, NH slaves, NH Senate
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