On This Day
1775 – The first abolition society in North America is established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage is organized in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.
The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage was the first American abolition society. It was founded April 14, 1775, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and held four meetings. Seventeen of the 24 men who attended initial meetings of the Society were Quakers, that is, members of the Religious Society of Friends, a branch of Christianity notable in the early history of Pennsylvania.
It was reorganized in 1784 as the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery and for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage, (better known as the Pennsylvania Abolition Society) and was incorporated in 1789.
At some point after 1785, Benjamin Franklin was elected as the organization’s president. The society asked him to bring the matter of slavery to the Constitutional Convention of 1787. He petitioned the U.S Congress in 1790 to ban slavery.
The Pennsylvania Abolition (or Abolitionist) Society, which had members and leaders of both races, became a model for anti-slavery organizations in other states during the antebellum years. Prominent African-American members included Robert Purvis, who was admitted in 1842 as the Society’s first Black member. 
In 1984 when the Society was revived, a Pennsylvania State Historical Marker was placed on Philadelphia’s Front Street below Chestnut Street, at the site of its original offices.
The Pennsylvania Abolition Society still exists, dedicated to the cause of combating racism. The oldest abolitionist organization in the United States, since the late twentieth century, it has worked to improve issues of criminal justice and the over-representation of African Americans in prison, reduction in harsh sentencing laws, and improving economic and environmental justice.
1450 – Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years’ War, the French attack and nearly annihilate English forces, ending English domination in Northern France.
The Battle of Formigny, fought on 15 April 1450, was a major battle of the Hundred Years’ War between the kingdom of England and the kingdom of France. The destruction of England’s last army in Normandy in the battle and the decisive French victory paved the way for the capture of the remaining English strongholds in Normandy.
Born On This Day
1819 – Harriett Ellen Grannis Arey, American educator, author, editor, and publisher (d. 1901)
Harriett Ellen Grannis Arey (sometimes “Harriet” or “Hannah”; pen name, Mrs. H. E. G. Arey; April 14, 1819 – April 26, 1901) was a 19th-century American educator, author, editor, and publisher. Hailing from Vermont, she was one of the earliest young women who studied in a co-educational environment. In Cleveland, Ohio, she became a contributor to the Daily Herald and taught at a girls’ school. After marriage, she moved to Wisconsin, and served as “Preceptress and Teacher of English Literature, French, and Drawing” at State Normal School in Whitewater, Wisconsin. After returning to Cleveland, she edited a monthly publication devoted to charitable work, and served on the board of the Woman’s Christian Association. Arey was a cofounder and first president of the Ohio Woman’s State Press Association. Her principal writings were Household Songs and Other Poems and Home and School Training. Arey died in 1901.
1863 – Ida Freund, Austrian-born chemist and educator (d. 1914)
Ida Freund (15 April 1863 – 15 May 1914) was the first woman to be a university chemistry lecturer in the United Kingdom. She is known for her influence on science teaching, particularly the teaching of women and girls. She wrote two key chemistry textbooks and invented the idea of baking periodic table cupcakes, as well as inventing a gas measuring tube which was named after her.
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