In a move some might call "too little, too late," New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan signed a bill Friday freeing 14 slaves who had petitioned for emancipation during the Revolutionary War.
"Their plea fell on deaf ears," the Associated Press reported her saying at a ceremony. "It is a source of deep shame that our predecessors didn't honor this request. But, today, more than 230 years too late for their petition, we say that freedom truly is an inherent right not to be surrendered." The emancipation, the AP reports, is apart of an effort to bring attention to a memorial park to be built on an African-American burial ground in Portsmouth.
New Hampshire joins Mississippi in a class of states that have recently rectified outstanding legal issues on emancipation. In February, Mississippi ratified the 13th Amendment — you know, the one making slavery illegal — 148 years after it was added to the Constitution. The state had actually ratified the amendment in 1995, but it was not made official and sent to the Office of the Federal Register. Kentucky was also a longtime 13th Amendment holdout, ratifying it in 1976.
This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.