Elizabeth Freeman

American former slave and abolitionist

Elizabeth Freeman (c.1744—December 28, 1829), also known as Mum Bett, was the first enslaved African American to file and win a freedom suit in Massachusetts.


  • Any time while I was a slave, if one minute's freedom had been offered to me, and I had been told that I must die at the end of that minute, I would have taken it—just to stand one minute on God's earth a free woman—I would.
    • in Douglas R. Egerton, ed., Death or Liberty: African Americans in Revolutionary America (Oxford University Press: 2009), p. 171

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