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William Ellery Channing a Unitarian minister became Tappan’s pastor. Lewis Tappan initially supported the American Colonization Society (ACS) which promoted sending freed blacks from the United States to Africa based on the assumption that this was their homeland regardless of where they were born. Unwilling to reduce his commitment to U.
He ensured the acquisition of high-quality lawyers for the captives which led to their being set free after the case went to the United States Supreme Court. In addition Tappan was among the founders of the American Missionary Association in 1846 which began more than 100 anti-slavery Congregational churches throughout the Midwest and after the American Civil War founded numerous schools and colleges to aid in the education of freedmen. Finally he organized the return trip home to Africa for surviving members of the group.