Although there was recognition in some quarters in Rhode Island that the ideal of “liberty of conscience” was not compatible with the institution of slavery as early as the 17th century, slavery and participation in the slave trade was a fact of Rhode Island colonial life. In 1772 the Society of Friends (Quakers) in Rhode Island formally denounced slavery, jumpstarting the Abolitionist movement among their membership, the majority religion of the colony and based at the Great Friends Meeting House. This process spread to secular and political circles resulting in one of the first legislative acts to control the slave trade in America. At the June 1774 session of the General Assembly, held at the Newport Colony House, it was voted to pass an “Act prohibiting the importation of Negroes into this colony.” The legislature consisted of Governor Joseph Wanton, 10 Assistants and 68 Deputies from all of the towns of Rhode Island. It was a great start to a long journey toward complete abolition in the face of mounting taxation and war. It took another ten years of loopholes, compromises and repeals to arrive at the Emancipation Act of 1784, passed in Providence.