By 1837 there were 89 local anti-slavery societies in Vermont with over 5,000 members. Bennington’s anti-slavery society was founded in 1837 with 140 members. The Lincoln-Starksboro society had 485 members--among these members were many Quakers. One of the most famous Quaker abolitionists was Lucretia Mott. Lucretia Mott was born in Nantucket, Massachusetts, and spoke throughout the United States and England --her most well-known speech is "I Am No Advocate of Passivity" given in 1860 to the Pennsylvania Anti-Slavery Society.
African Americans also belonged to the anti-slavery societies. At the annual meeting of the Chittenden County Anti-Slavery Society in 1840 a Mr. Miller spoke to the “coloured persons present” encouraging them to live down the “prejudice existing in the community against them.”
While the Vermont Legislature routinely passed resolutions against slavery and while there were many local anti-slavery societies, that did not mean that Vermont was free from prejudice against blacks. Frederick Douglass tells of his African-American friend Daniel O'Connell's experiences while on a lecture tour in Vermont:
Once when O'Connell was "traveling to Vermont, and having arrived at a stage[coach], they took in five new passengers. It being dark at the time, they did not know the colour of his [O'Connell's] skin, and he was treated with all manner of respect. In fact he could not help thinking at the time that he would be a great man if perpetual darkness would only take the place of day. Scarcely however had the light gilded the green mountains of Vermont than he saw one of the chaps in the coach take a sly peep at him, and whisper to another "Egad after all 'tis a nigger." He had black looks for the remainder of the way, and disrespect."