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  • The Hamilton of 1837 was a staid, Presbyterian institution. Yet that year, a decade after the liberation of the last slaves in New York State, 58 Hamilton students — more than 60 percent of the student body — signed and sent to Congress a strongly worded petition to ban slavery in the United States. Their action would anger state legislators, jeopardize College funding, and trigger a crackdown on student abolitionists. The signers were members of the Hamilton Anti-Slavery Society, an affiliate of William Lloyd Garrison’s American Anti-Slavery Society.

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