1641The Massachusetts Bay Colony legalized slavery.People and Communities, Events & Anniversaries, State Events, African American History

Massachusetts Body of Liberties | Mass.Gov. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-body-of-liberties
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Although enslaved people had been arriving in the Massachusetts Bay Colony since the 1630s, slavery became legally sanctioned in 1641. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was the first British colony on the mainland to legalize slavery. This was established in the Body of Liberties, the legal code published in the same year. The first legal code adopted by the colonists, the Body of Liberties was intended to be used as guidance for the General Court, and is considered by many to be the basis for the Massachusetts Constitution. The liberties it encompasses were given only to men admitted as freemen or approved by the local Puritan church. Some liberties were taken from the Bible, including the justification for enslaving Africans and Indigenous people.

Massachusetts Constitution and the Abolition of Slavery | Mass.Gov. https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-constitution-and-the-abolition-of-slavery Massachusetts Body of Liberties | Mass.Gov. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/massachusetts-body-of-liberties
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