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New Jersey officially apologizes for slavery

  • Story Highlights
  • New Jersey is first state in the north to apologize for slavery in legislation
  • New Jersey had 12,000 slaves, one of the largest in the northern colonies
  • The state was the last to emancipate slaves, in 1846
  • The resolution will become official when filed with secretary of state
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(CNN) -- New Jersey officially said Monday that it has "profound regret" for practicing slavery, and became the first state north of the Mason-Dixon line to pass such apologetic legislation.


The legislation does not need the signature of New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine to become official.

A committee of the New Jersey Assembly last Thursday approved the resolution, just one of several steps lawmakers had to take by Monday, the last day of the current legislative session.

The Assembly and the Senate voted overwhelmingly -- 29-2 -- to approve the resolution. The resolution states that "the fundamental values of Africans were shattered; they were brutalized, humiliated and dehumanized."

New Jersey, it reads, had 12,000 slaves, one of the largest populations in the northern colonies.

The state was also the last to emancipate slaves, in 1846, it says.

If the resolution had not passed, the process would have had to begin again.

The resolution did not need Gov. Jon Corzine's signature and will become official when filed with the secretary of state.

The symbolic atonement follows apologies for slavery made in 2007 by legislators in Alabama, Maryland, North Carolina and Virginia. Read New Jersey's slavery apology resolution E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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