Whereas the house is credibly informed that two negro men lately brought into this State as prisoners taken on the high seas are advertised to be sold at Salem the 17th inst. by public auction.
Resolved, that the selling and enslaving the human species is a direct violation of the natural rights alike vested in all men by their Creator, and utterly inconsistent with the avowed principles, on which this and the other United States have carried their struggle for liberty even to the last appeal, and therefore that all persons concerned with the said negroes he & they hereby are forbidden to sell them or in any manner to treat them otherways than is already ordered for the treatment of prisoners of war taken in the same vessel or others in the like employ; & if any sale of the said negroes shall be made it is declared null and void.
September 16, 1776
(Liberator, April 28, 1832, pg2)