Even though the Walker court decision was interpreted by many as ending legal slavery in Massachusetts, it did not guarantee any resources such as back wages, pensions, or housing to newly freed people.
Marriage and/or children would definitely influence the choices a formerly enslaved man or woman might make. But with less family responsibilities, a single man or woman may have been more likely to make a dramatic change after the 1783 court decisions.
Depending on one's resources and connections, a person in Salem, for example, may have chosen to start a new life nearby, or to travel to a new city in search of better job opportunities and a larger African American community.
Scroll down to choose your path.
"An address of the convention for the framing of a new constitution of government, for the state of Massachusetts-Bay, to their constituents," 1780.
Within this "address" you will find the Massachusetts Constitution, which contains three parts: a Preamble, Part the First: A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Part the Second: The Frame of Government.
View the full "address" PDF here.
Courtesy of the Westborough Public Library and Boston Public Library.