Page:The Writings of Thomas Paine (1894), vol. 1.djvu/17

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1775]

Prefatory Note to Paine’s First Essay.

3

Street, April 14, 1775, under title of “The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes, unlawfully held in bondage.” There can be little doubt that Paine was among these founders, and it will be seen on a farther page that he partly drafted, and signed, the Act of Pennsylvania abolishing Slavery, March 1, 1780,—the first legislative measure of negro-emancipation in Christendom.