By the early nineteenth century, the states north of the Mason-Dixon Line had taken steps to abolish slavery. Vermont included abolition as a provision of its 1777 state constitution. The Pennsylvania Emancipation Act of 1780 required released children to serve a twenty-eight-year prison sentence. Gradualism brought emancipation, but also defended the interests of slaves in the North and controlled another generation of black Americans. In 1804, New Jersey was the last of the northern states to adopt plans for gradual emancipation. There was no immediate moment of jubilee, as many northern states only promised to release future children born to slave mothers. These laws also provided that these children remained slaves to their mother`s slave in order to compensate for the loss of the slave.