Civil Disobedience, and Other Essays - Slavery in Massachusetts Summary & Analysis

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Slavery in Massachusetts Summary and Analysis

"Slavery in Massachusetts" is an Independence Day address given at an anti-slavery meeting in Framingham, Massachusetts. It comes just a month after a Boston judge, Edward Loring, has ruled that a former slave named Anthony Burns should be returned to his former owner in Virginia. While Burns is being held, a party attacks the Boston Courthouse in an attempt to free him. Their attack is unsuccessful and martial law is imposed to restore order. Thoreau's address is a condemnation of Loring and the state government of Massachusetts and a call for a more principled form of government, and praises the "heroic" attack on the courthouse.

Thoreau first refers to a previous anti-slavery meeting at which he was asked to speak. This meeting was mostly about the Kansas-Nebraska Act, which he found to be disappointing, he tells his...

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This section contains 540 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Civil Disobedience, and Other Essays Study Guide
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