“Colored Citizens’ Celebration of First of August”


July 26, 1844

The Liberator

Boston, Massachusetts


This article from William Lloyd Garrison’s The Liberator describes upcoming festivities celebrating the anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved people in the British West Indies. Slavery was abolished on August 1, 1834 in the British West Indies.

Questions to Consider

  1. What did Bostonians plan for the August 1st anniversary?
  2. Why might Boston’s Black community recognize the emancipation of the British West Indies?


The anniversary of British West India Emancipation will be celebrated by the Colored Citizens of Boston on the 1st of August, by public addresses, and a Soiree in the evening.

The colored citizens and friends of freedom will assemble at the Baptist meeting-house in Belknap-street at 1 o’clock. A procession will be formed, and pass through Cambridge, Charles, Beacon, and Park streets, to the Tremont Chapel, where addresses will be delivered by several gentlemen who are engaged for the occasion. Friends of the cause in the city and country are invited to be present.

A Soiree will be had in the evening, to commence at 8 o’clock. Tickets 50 cents each. It is expected that Mr. Garrison will address the audience on the occasion. Let all come who feel disposed to pass an agreeable evening. The Soiree will be held in the Infant School Room.

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The creators of Smith Court Stories acknowledge that Smith Court in Beacon Hill sits on the historical Massachusett tribe territories.