Views of Slavery

Views of Slavery

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This abolitionist broadsides depicts six scenes revealing the cruelty and injustice of American slavery. These scenes include: enslaved women working in the field while their children are left alone; a freedwoman and her child watching as their free papers are destroyed by a man who has kidnapped them from the street; enslaved men being whipped and beaten; an enslaved woman watching as her child is taken away from her and sold; a slave auction; and a shipment of slaves being loading onto a ship at Baltimore bound for New Orleans. Above the images, the broadside challenges how slaveholders could see their slaves as people but not adhere to the rule of “Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, do ye even so to them.” Below the images, a quote from Unitarian preacher William Ellery Channing argues that keeping a man enslaved is just as much a crime as reducing him to slavery.
The print was produced and distributed by the Emancipator, a weekly newspaper published by the American Anti-Slavery Society. The Society was an abolitionist activist group founded by William Lloyd Garrison and Arthur Tappan in 1833, which had gained between 150,000 and 200,000 members by 1840. The Society held public meetings, printed vast quantities of anti-slavery propaganda (such as this piece), petitioned Congress, and sponsored lecturers to further the cause of the Abolition Movement in the North. Its membership was composed of white Northerners with religious and/or philanthropic convictions, but also free black citizens, including Frederick Douglass, who often delivered first-hand accounts of his life as a slave during the Society’s public meetings.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
ca 1835
date made
ca 1836
place made
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
ink (overall material)
image: 9 7/8 in x 8 3/4 in; 25.0825 cm x 22.225 cm
ID Number
catalog number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Reform Movements
Civil War
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Clothing & Accessories
Domestic Furnishings
American Civil War Prints
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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