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Boston's Crusade against Slavery

Photograph

William Cooper Nell (1816-1874) "The colored patriots of the American Revolution" (Boston, ca. 1855).

Nell's history of black soldiers, Colored Patriots of the American Revolution (1855), emphasized blacks' right to citizenship and influenced Lincoln's final Emancipation Proclamation. In 1862 the Boston merchant and bibliophile George Livermore published a history of the founders' views of blacks as citizens and soldiers, partly inspired by Nell's book. Charles Sumner gave a copy of Livermore's history to Lincoln, who consulted it while preparing the final Emancipation Proclamation. It influenced his decision to include in the final Proclamation a clause calling for the recruitment of blacks into the army.

bMS Am 1953 (1613) – Gift of Crawford Blagden, 1978.