Due to a special event, on Wednesday, July 8, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol after 11 a.m. Emancipation Hall and Exhibition Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center will be unavailable all day. While reservations prior to 11 a.m. will be honored, same-day passes will not be available. The Capitol Visitor Center will close at noon except for individuals on official business and those going to the House and Senate Galleries.

Exhibit Theme

Appealing for Abolition

Next Image Next Image Previous Image Previous Image
Letter from Benjamin Franklin to...
Image Caption

Letter from Benjamin Franklin to Vice President John Adams, February 9, 1790

Benjamin Franklin was president of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery from 1787 until his death in April 1790. One of his last public acts was sending this letter and petition to Vice President John Adams, who presided over the Senate. Franklin, formerly a slaveholder, became an ardent abolitionist after ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

Click here to view an excerpt

At the Request of the Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of Slavery, I have the Honour of presenting to your Excellency the enclosed Petition…

Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives and Records Administration