CONCORD, N.H. — More than 200 years later, New Hampshire lawmakers may honor a petition filled by 20 African-American slaves asking for their freedom.

The petition was not acted upon by New Hampshire General Assembly in 1779, but Wednesday senators will hear from advocates that want them to posthumously grant the request. The petition cites the contribution of slaves to the Revolutionary War effort, but more importantly called on colonial-era legislators to recognize the inherent freedom of all humans. It would be another 85 years before the U.S. banned slavery following the Civil War.

New Hampshire is one of the least diverse states in the U.S., but recently the Legislature has increased efforts to celebrate the history and contributions of minorities in the state.

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