On this day in 1688 Pennsylvania Quakers organzied the first protest against slavery, the “Germantown Protest.” It was the first of its kind in the English colonies. The protest took the form of a petition based on the Bible’s Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
The petition notably argued that according to the Golden Rule, the slaves should have the right to revolt. The petition was drafted by Daniel Francis Pastorius. It was the first assertion of universal human rights on American soil, a principle that later found its way into Lincoln’s Gettysburgh Addresss.