New Hampshire legislators have finally decided the time was right, 233 years later, to posthumously emancipate 14 slaves who never were granted freedom.
Woullard Lett, a member of the Manchester NAACP, said it's never too late to do the right thing.
"It's symbolic and 200 years late, however then and now it's the right thing to do," Lett said before testifying at the hearing, the Associated Press reports.
Twenty slaves submitted the petition to the New Hampshire General Assembly on Nov. 12, 1779. All of the slaves had taken part in the Revolutionary War.
They wrote, "Freedom is an inherent right of the human species" and that "public tyranny and slavery are alike detestable to minds conscious of the equal dignity of human nature."
Of the original petitioners, six of the slaves were later freed and 14 died as slaves, the AP reports.
New Hampshire is one of the union's whitest states with only 1.1 percent of its population being black.
State Sen. Martha Fuller Clarke sponsored the bill, which was approved by the Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. The legislation will now go before the full Senate.
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