Mum Bett

Nurse, Deceased Person

1742 – 1829

83

Who was Mum Bett?

Elizabeth Freeman, in early life known as Bett and later Mum Bett, was among the first black slaves in Massachusetts to file a "freedom suit" and win in court under the 1780 constitution, with a ruling that slavery was illegal. Her county court case, Brom and Bett v. Ashley, decided in August 1781, was cited as a precedent in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court appeal review of Quock Walker's "freedom suit". When the state Supreme Court upheld Walker's freedom under the constitution, the ruling was considered to have informally ended slavery in the state.

Any time, any time while I was a slave, if one minute's freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it—just to stand one minute on God's airth [sic] a free woman— I would.

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Born
1742
Claverack
Also known as
  • Elizabeth Mumbet Freeman
Nationality
  • United States of America
Profession
Died
Dec 28, 1829
Stockbridge

Submitted
on July 23, 2013

Citation

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"Mum Bett." Biographies.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Sep. 2022. <https://www.biographies.net/people/en/mum_bett>.

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