From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Earliest Anti-Slavery Efforts in Kentucky [David Rice]

David Rice, also referred to as the father of Presbyterianism in the West, is recognized as the first to take action toward abolition of slavery in Kentucky [source: The Anti-Slavery Movement in Kentucky; prior to 1850 by Asa Earl Martin, Chapter 1 The First Attack Upon Slavery, pp.11-17]. In early 1792, just prior to the convention that was called to frame the first constitution for Kentucky as a state in the Union, David Rice published a pamphlet under the name Philanthropos, titled "Slavery, Inconsistent with Justice and Good Policy." Rice was proposing that the convention should put an end to slavery in Kentucky. Recognition was given to his cause and David Rice was elected a delegate to the upcoming convention. The convention met in Danville, KY, during the month of April. After days of deliberation, the question as to whether Kentucky would be a slave state was put to vote on April 18, 1792.  The count was 26 for and 16 against. David Rice resigned his seat in the convention before the final vote was taken, and he was replaced by Harry Innes. Six of the seven ministers at the convention had voted in support of emancipation. See also the NKAA entry The Kentucky Union for the Moral and Religious Improvement of the Colored Race.

Kentucky County & Region

Read about Boyle County, Kentucky in Wikipedia.

Kentucky Place (Town or City)

Read about Danville, Kentucky in Wikipedia.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: The Kentucky Union for the Moral and Religious Improvement of the Colored Race
NKAA Source: The Anti-Slavery Movement in Kentucky prior to 1850
NKAA Source: Slavery, inconsistent with justice and good policy : proved by a speech delivered in the convention held at Danville, Kentucky

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Earliest Anti-Slavery Efforts in Kentucky [David Rice],” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed October 30, 2020,

Last modified: 2017-09-01 13:20:10