In 1777, Jay’s first attempt to abolish slavery in New York failed. In 1788, the state banned the importation of slaves. By 1799, the New York Manumission Society advocated for a bill, signed into law that year by then-Governor Jay, specifying that as of July 4, all children born to slave parents would be freed by a certain age. Less than a year after the Constitutional Convention, Jay addresses concerns from his British counterparts that anti-slavery progress in America is too slow.

June 1788


Our society has been favored with your letter of the 1st of May last, and are happy that efforts so honorable to the nation are making in your country to promote the cause of justice and humanity relative to the Africans. Read more