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From Petitions of Slaves to the Massachusetts Legislature (1773 and 1777)

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The efforts made by the legislative of this province in their last sessions to free themselves from slavery, gave us, who are in that deplorable state, high degree of satisfaction. We expect great things from men who have made such a noble stand against the designs of their fellow-men to enslave them. We cannot but wish and hope Sir, that you will have the same grand object, we mean civil and religious liberty, in view in your next session. The divine spirit of freedom, seems to fire every breast on this continent....* * *Your petitioners apprehend that they have in common with all other men a natural and unalienable right to that freedom which the great parent of the universe hath bestowed equally on all mankind and which they have never forfeited by any compact or agreement whatever but [they]were unjustly dragged by the hand of cruel power from their dearest friends and...from a populous, pleasant, and plentiful country and in violation of laws of nature and of nations and in defiance of all the tender feelings of humanity brought here...to be sold like beast[s] of burden...among a people professing the mild religion of Jesus....Every principle from which America has acted in the course of their unhappy difficulties with Great Britain pleads stronger than a thousand arguments in favor of your petitioners [and their desire] to be restored to the enjoyment of that which is the natural right of all men.

Liberty Song (1780)

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This popular song from the revolutionary period urged Americans to stand up and fight for their liberty. Songs such as this helped to transform the colonists' traditional pride in being "freeborn Englishmen" into a new, unique pride in their birth and lives in America. To preserve this liberty, the movement for independence from England had to succeed or slavery would be their fate.