With this document, Adam Woods sets in motion the gradual abolition of his slave Nell, and her newly born "mulatoe" daughter Hannah. Woods, a farmer in Lancaster County, might well have been the father of the child, who at the time of this signing was less than three weeks old. In 1780, Pennsylvania became the first state in America and the first government in the Western Hemisphere to begin the abolition slavery with the passage of the Gradual Abolition Act. The Gradual Abolition Act additionally prohibited any further importation of enslaved Africans into the state of Pennsylvania and guaranteed that the future children of enslaved Pennsylvania mothers would be born free.< M>
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