Early Abolition: Massachusetts General Colored Association

Several members of the Prince Hall Lodge  met in 1826 and established the Massachusetts General Colored Association “to promote the welfare of the race by working for the destruction of slavery.”[1][2] The elected officers were

  • Thomas Dalton, President
  • William G. Nell, Vice President
  • James G. Barbadoes, Secretary.[1][2]

One of their most influential founders was David Walker, who probably expressed many of their ideas in his 1829 “Appeal in Four Articles to the Colored Citizens of the World”. Walker had moved to Boston and in 1825 was the owner of a used clothing store. In March 1827, he began writing for and selling subscriptions to Freedom’s Journal, the first national newspaper in the country published by blacks.[1]

Other founding members included Walker Lewis, John Scarlett and John T. Hilton.[1] The organization was said to have had “among its leaders the most spirited and intelligent colored citizens of Boston.”[