Northern Abolition

By 1789, four of the Northern states had adopted policies to at least gradually abolish slavery: Pennsylvania (1780), New Hampshire and Massachusetts (1783), Connecticut and Rhode Island (1784). By 1804 all the other Northern states had abolished slavery: New York (1799), New Jersey (1804). Vermont abolished slavery in 1777, while it was still independent, and when it joined the United States as the 14th state in 1791 it was the first state to join untainted by slavery. All other states later joined the union as free states.


Maine:  The formation of the state of Maine as the 23rd state occurred on March 15, 1820 as a free state as part of the Missouri Compromise


New York: In 1799, New York passed a Gradual Emancipation act that freed slave children born after July 4, 1799, but indentured them until they were young adults. In 1817 a new law passed that would free slaves born before 1799 but not until 1827. By the 1830 census there were only 75 slaves in New York and the 1840 census listed no slaves in New York City.



NH:  Abolished Slavery in 1783 – A Negro Yearbook, Monroe Work pg 82


Vermont: Abolished slavery in 1777, before it even joined the union in 1791


Massachusetts: abolished slavery in 1780


Connecticut passed a gradual abolition act in 1784 and by 1848 it was abolished completely



the General Assembly of Rhode Island passed the Gradual Emancipation Act of March 1, 1784


Pennsylvania passed a law for gradual emancipation in 1780


New Jersey passed a law for gradual abolition in 1804


Ohio’s Constitution of 1802 abolished slavery


Indiana’s 1816 Constitution forbade Slavery (joined the union a free state)


Illinois 1818 Constitution outlawed slavery (joined the Union a free state)


Kansas was admitted into the Union as a free state under the “Wyandotte Constitution” on January 29, 1861 (It had abolished slavery in 1860 before joining the union, but still had 2 slaves at the time of the 1860 census)


In 1837, the State of Michigan entered the United States as a free state,2351,7-160-19270_28958-64261–,00.html



Oregon outlawed slavery in 1844, and joined the union a free state in 1859


Nevada joined the Union s a free state in 1864


In 1858, Minnesota joins the union as a free state


Iowa Constitution of 1844 outlaws slavery, Iowa joins Union as free state in 1846


California joined the union in 1850 as part of the Compromise of 1850 as a free state