EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 10, 2013

Senate voting on granting freedom to NH slaves

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire’s Senate is voting Thursday whether to honor a 233-year-old petition from slaves seeking their freedom.

New Hampshire — one of the nation’s whitest states — has decided the time is right to consider the request. A Senate committee is recommending the full body posthumously emancipate 14 of the 20 petitioners never granted their freedom.

Supporters say it is never too late to right a wrong.

Historian Valerie Cunningham came across the slaves’ petition in state archives nearly 30 years ago.

It was originally submitted to the New Hampshire General Assembly on Nov. 12, 1779, while the Revolutionary War was still being fought.

The slaves all served in the war effort and believed the freedom being sought by colonists should be extended to them as well.

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