Pennsylvania: An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery

(1780)

About the Author

The 1780 act was proposed by George Bryan, a member of the Pennsylvania legislature. Like most pieces of legislation, it has no single author. Legislators altered and amended the act as it went through committees and was read on the floor of the legislature. Bryan is considered the father of the law. Born in Dublin, Ireland, Bryan came to Philadelphia when he was about twenty years old. He practiced law, became a Patriot leader, and was a devout Presbyterian whose religious values influenced his opposition to slavery. Before the Revolution, Bryan was a delegate to...

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The Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act (Pennsylvania State Archives)

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