Preamble and Constitution of the First Antislavery Society of Kensington
We the undersigned fully believing that reducing human beings to; or retaining them in the situation of slaves, is a most flagrant sin against the character of a just, and Holy God; and repugnant to every principle of righteousness, and honour, amongst men; and an atrocious and despicable outrage on the rights of man, who are made in the image of God: that slavery is dangerous to the rights, property, and happiness, of our common country; and threatens the overthrow of our free institutions; that it is a national evil; the free states are therefore implicated more or less in the guilt, and consequently are involved in part in the responsibility of removing it; and finally, believing the only appropriate, and effectual remedy for it, is immediately entire, and universal emancipation; we therefore deem it expedient to form ourselves into a Society, and agree to adopt the following Constitution.
Art. 1st This Society shall be called, the first antislavery Society in Kensington, auxiliary to the New Hampshire antislavery Society.
Art. 2d. The object of this Society, shall be the complete, though peaceful abolition of slavery in the United States of America, in the territories belonging thereto, and in the District of Columbia.
Art. 3d. This Society shall aim to convince our fellow citizens by the use of all proper and equitable means, that the system of American slavery, the buying and selling of men, women and children, like cattle in the market, the holding them as property, like goods and chattels, is a heinous crime in the sight of God, highhanded wickedness for which no palliation ought to be made; and that the interests, of this great, and growing republic, require its immediate emancipation, without any expatriation.
Art. 4th This Society shall act in conjunction with the State Society, and other auxiliaries, in a constitutional manner, to influence Congress to put an end to the domestic slave trade, and to abolish slavery, in all those portions of our beloved country, over which it holds jurisdiction; also to prevent the extension of it, to any State that may hereafter be admitted into the union.
Art.5th This Society shall aim to elevate the character, and condition, of the people of colour, by encouraging their intellectual, moral, and religious improvement; by removing public prejudice; that thus they may according to their intellectual and moral worth, share an equality with the whites of civil and religious privileges; but this Society will never in any way countenance the oppressed, in vindicating their rights by resorting to physical force.
Art. 6th This Society shall expend annually what they raise by contribution, subscription ,or otherwise, for the purpose of procuring lectures, purchasing books, pamphlets, papers and defraying other incidental expenses.
Art. 7th This Society shall meet once a quarter, for the transaction of business, mutual consultation, discussion, prayer etc. (?)
Art. 8th The officers of this Society shall be a President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer, and a Committee of ??????? shall initiate a board to transact business; the officers shall be chosen annually, or at every fourth quarterly meeting.
Art. 9th Any person who is not a slaveholder, and sustains a responsible character, may become a member of this Society by subscribing this Constitution, and contributing what they please, to the fund of the Society.
Art. 10th This constitution may be altered or amended at any regular quarterly meeting of this Society, by a vote of two thirds of the members present; provided however, they do not annul the principles of immediate emancipation, as set forth in the second, and third articles of this constitution.
Names of Males
Julius C. Blodgett
James G. Smith
John Brown Jr.
John Brown 3rd
Thomas F. Barry
Michel M. Sibley
Names of Females
Abigail C. Blodgett
Mary E. Prescott
Frances R. Prescott
Ann R. Gale