Images: Black Abolitionists in France

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Be Free and Citizens

Frossard, Benjamin-Sigismond, La cause des esclaves negres et des habitans de la Guinee, portee au tribunal de la justice, de la religion, de la politique; ou, Histoire de la traite & de l'esclavage des negres, preuves de leur illegitimite, moyens de les abolir sans nuire ni aux colon, Lyon, Impr. d'A. de la Roche, 1789.

Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture / Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division

ID# 1245599

Be Free and Citizens

Revolutionary France was the first country to abolish the slave trade and slavery in 1794 after abolition had been proclaimed in Saint-Domingue in 1793 following the general uprising in 1791. This image was published in an abolitionist book just before the Revolution, which it could not foresee. It shows France with the symbols of monarchy (crown and white lilies on the dress) giving freedom and citizenship to enslaved Africans.

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