The Civil War in Massachusetts

In the years leading up to the Civil War, Massachusetts was a center of abolitionist activity. Two prominent abolitionists from the state were Wendell Phillips and William Lloyd Garrison who founded the New England Anti-Slavery Society in 1832. The movement increased antagonism over the issues of slavery resulting in anti-abolitionist riots in Massachusetts between 1835 and 1837.

Boston was the major slave trading port and most of the wealthy families of Massachusetts traced their wealth to the slave trade.
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