The Sheffield Declaration, an early petition of grievances against British rule, was drafted at Colonel John Ashley's House in Sheffield in 1773. Eight years later, the Massachusetts State Constitution, the world's first written constitution, asserted that all men are created "free and equal." On that basis, Elizabeth "Mum Bett" Freeman, enslaved in Ashley's house, successfully sued for her freedom. Her case laid the basis for abolition of slavery in Massachusetts in 1783 and served as a national model for many subsequent cases. Today, interpreters at the Ashley House tell the stories of both Colonel Ashley and the rebellious Mum Bett.