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Jacob Green Morris County, NJ

Jacob Green and the Slavery Debate in Revolutionary Morris County, New Jersey

AND THE SLAVERY DEBATE (MORRIS COUNTY, NJ)

JACOB GREEN WAS BORN IN MALDEN, MASSACHUSETTS, ON JANUARY 22, 1722, THE SON OF JACOB AND DOROTHY LlYNDE GREEN.  AT AGE 16 JACOB ENROLLED IN THE STONEHAM GRAMMAR SCHOOL.  IN JULY OF 1740, TWO YEARS LATER, HE ENTERED HARVAD COLLEGE.  GREEN RECEIVED HIS B.A. DEGREE FROM HARVARD UNIVERSITY IN JULY OF 1744.

LATER HE BECAME PASTOR OF THE EAST HANOVER PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH FROM 1746 TO 1790.  SLAVERY, ACCORDING TO GREEN, WAS A SIN OF CRUELTY AGAINST FELLOW CREATURES.  HE CITED EXAMPLES FROM THE BOOK OF AMOS IN THE OLD TESTAMENT WHERE GOD PUNISHED ENTIRE CITIES FOR ACTS OF INJUSTICE AGAINST HUMANITY.  HE ALSO REFERRED TO PASSAGES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT RANK MAN-STEALING (THE SLAVE TRADE) WITH PATRICIDE, MATRICIDE, WHORE-MONGERING AND PERJURY.

HE NOTED THAT THE COMMON ACCEPTANCE OF SLAVERY IN THE AMERICAN COLONIES MADE PEOPLE OBLIVIOUS TO ITS EVIL.  BEING IGNORANT OF SLAVERYS EVIL MAY, IN THE EYES OF GOD, EXTENUATE THE SIN OF OWNING SLAVES BUT, ACCORDING TO GREEN, IT DID NOT FREE THE SLAVEOWNER FROM GUILT.  GREEN HOPED THAT THE AMERICAN WAR FOR INDEPENDENCE WOULD PRESENT AN OPPORTUNITY TO END SLAVERY AND THUS CREATE A TRULY FREE NATION “ A LAND OF TRUE RELIGION.  A LAND OF LIBERTY, OF PEACE, AND PLENTY WHERE EVERYONE WOULD LIVE TOGETHER IN THE SPIRIT OF BROTHERLY LOVE.

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