On this day in 1773, a slave, only known by the name of Felix, petitioned the General Court of Massachusetts for the freedom of slaves being bound in the "Town of Boston" and other provinces in Massachusetts.
Felix did not outline any specific conditions for the court to consider when manumitting the entire slave population of Massachusetts, saying in his petition that to do so "would be impudent, if not presumptuous" of the petitioner and those he was petitioning on behalf of. His reasoned that to try to dictate to court how it should bring slavery in Massachusetts to an end would abridge the "Wisdom, Justice, and Goodness" of the Massachusetts legislature.
History bears out the fact that Felix's petition was unsuccessful, since slavery was not abolished in Massachusetts until ten years later when the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court judged slavery to be illegal based on language in the state's constitution of 1780.
Also on this day in African-American history...
1820 - The American Colonization Society launches its first ship that took 86 freed blacks back to Africa, helping them settle in what is now modern-day Liberia.
1867 - In order to provide money for construction, endowments, scholarships, teachers and industrial education to newly-freed blacks, the Peabody Fund was established.
1966 - The first Black Roman Catholic Bishop in the U.S., Harold Robert Perry, was consecrated in Africa.
2004 - Amadou Diallo's family won a $3 million, wrongful death settlement from the city of New York. Diallo was unarmed when police fatally wounded him after mistaking his wallet for a gun.
These are but five black facts out of many. Purchase the eBook, "This day in African-American History, January" to have access to over 530 facts covering the entire month of January.