American Anti-Slavery Society
About the American Anti-Slavery Society
    Established in 2007, the American Anti-Slavery Society (AA-SS) is a group of Civil War reenactors who strive to portray a f
irst-person impression of the Abolitionists who traveled from city to city opening local chapters and holding public lectures on the sin of slavery.   In its day, the AA-SS was a controversial group asking for total and immediate emancipation, encouraging women to publicly lecture and producing a tremendous amount of propaganda during its forty-some years in existence.  
Our goal today is to give the audience the chance to experience an 1860’s Abolitionist rally.  After a tremendous amount of research, we can say that all speeches, songs, declarations, etc. are taken directly from primary source documents and from minutes of the actual AA-SS meetings.  We give the public a chance to sign copies of the actual petitions the AA-SS regularly produced to send to Congress.  
    The ever expanding display of artifacts in our camp is a combination of original and reproduction pieces gathered by our members.  We encourage the public to feel the weight of a pair of shackles, use a dip pen to sign the petition and join in the Abolitionist rally.  This is living history and our goal in starting this group was to educate the public on this very serious and emotional topic and give people the opportunity to participate in history!
    In 2009 we expanded into multiple chapters, just as our forefathers did, with new AA-SS chapters in No. CA and CO. Our three chapters are currently the only groups of Abolitionists reenacting at Civil War events in the West. Our members come from all over California & Colorado and have been actively portraying Civil War civilian and military impressions for many years. The AA-SS is populated by reenactors who are serious about the hobby. We sew and wear clothes appropriate to the time and status of the original AA-SS members. We sleep and cook in camp and, just as our forefathers would have, we invite both northerner and southerner to the table to break bread. We all bring something unique to the three chapters and look to expand the mind as well as the assembly.
Photo by Jordan Fried
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Photo by Steven Demory
L to R: John Simons, Sherri Ortman, Mary Schuelke, Nancy Whittle,
Toni Van Beveren, Marie Sims, Dorothy Evans, Janet Whaley