Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 127 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

PAR Number 10379102

State: Delaware Year: 1791
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: At least fifty-seven petitioners seek the strengthening and enforcement of acts regulating the transportation of slaves over state lines, the exportation of slaves to other parts of the South, and the enslavement of free blacks.

PAR Number 10382002

State: Delaware Year: 1820
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Forty-six-year-old Andrew Noel recounts that William Hammon brought him to the United States in 1793 from "the Island of St. Domingo" as a slave. He further states that Hammon "manumitted and set at liberty your petitioner" in 1799. Noel, now married with children, represents that he purchased a house and lot in Wilmington for which he "has paid the consideration money." Acknowledging that he "has never been naturalized under the laws of the United States," Noel realizes that "the said property in the event of his death, will not descend to his children, but go to the use of the State of Delaware." The petitioner therefore prays that a law be passed "confirming the title to the said House and lot in him, and authorizing him to sell or devise the same as effectually as he could do, if he were a citizen of the United States, and had been so at the time of the purchase aforesaid."

PAR Number 10382406

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Twenty-nine petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10382420

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Fifty-one petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10382422

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Eleven petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10382423

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Eight petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10384001

State: Delaware Year: 1840

Abstract: Thomas Clarkson, president of the Convention of the Friends of the Negro, declares that the Convention, "being solemnly impressed with a sense of the National Sin of Slavery and the Slave Trade, and under a settled conviction that the only effectual means to put an end to the Slave Trade is to abolish Slavery does most earnestly and respectfully appeal to the Governor of Delaware to employ all that influence and power with which Divine Providence has entrusted him, to secure immediate and unconditional liberty to the Slave."

PAR Number 10384501

State: Delaware Year: 1845
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Andrew Gray states that his twenty-one-year-old slave Charles was arrested and jailed for theft in 1809. He further reveals that said Charles "after he was arrested and committed did with other prisoners break gaol and escape, and has never since been heard of." The petitioner, thirty-six years later, now seeks compensation for the loss of the slave Charles, as he "has, as he thinks a claim on the state for indemnification." Gray offers certain "observations in support of my petition to allow me a compensation for the loss of my negro slave Charles," in which he states that he is "and always have been friendly to the gradual liberation of negro slaves, and the colonization of them after their liberation." He goes on to recount that he "inherited a family of slaves, all of whom have been long since liberated," estimating the value of the freed male slaves to be $400 at the time. This, he proclaims, "was a sacrifice which abolitionists, who never owned a negro, have not incurred, and consequently have not given the proof of their zeal in the cause of emancipation."

PAR Number 11277701

State: North Carolina Year: 1777
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Alexander Campbell states that he "came to This country in Jany 1775 with his family and a Few Servants" and that his principal fortune lay in St. Vincent, Grenada, and Jamaica. Knowing "that the Non Importation and Non Exportation Act was soon to take place," Campbell reveals that he "applied to his good friend Cornelius Harnett Esq to Procure him Liberty from The Comitee of Wilmington to get in some Negroes of his From St Vincent, and Grenada, and as far as he recollects Mr. Harnett was kind enough to Procure him that favor." He laments, however, that "the troubles Increasing here, soon after, put a stop to his getting them [the slaves] in, which Disappointment has made it Difficult for your Petitioner To Support his Family ever Since." Campbell fears that upon signing “the State Oath now offerd him, he would cut Himself out of every shilling of his Fortune” in the Caribbean. Pleading neutrality to Party politics, “he begs the favor and intreats the Honorable The Members of the Assembly … to allow him to stay here to take care of his weak family, untill there is peace Setled under the Sanction of their Laws, or untill he could get a ship for the Grenadoes, or Jamaica, when & where, he could go with propriety for his Negroes.”

PAR Number 11279001

State: North Carolina Year: 1790
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Edmund Blount recounts that his sister Elizabeth married Halifax County merchant Andrew Miller, who fled to Bermuda in 1776 "in a State of Distress." Blount further states that he purchased "five Negro men" held by Miller "for the Sum of Sixteen hundred Pounds the then Currency of this State." He states that he hired three of said slaves "to Gentlemen in Hallifax where they were employed in the Boating Business Being used to it & Prefered it to farming." Blount reveals that, despite his right to the three slaves, a commissioner of confiscated property "took them into his Possession and sold them." Blount "humbly prays that he may Receive such Relief in Regard of the Premises as to the wisdom & Justice of the Legislature shall seem meet."

PAR Number 11279105

State: North Carolina Year: 1791
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Edmund Blount recounts that his sister Elizabeth married Halifax County merchant Andrew Miller, who fled to Bermuda in 1776 "in a State of Distress." Blount further states that he purchased "five Negro men" held by Miller "for the sum of Sixteen hundred pounds." He asserts that he hired three of said slaves "to Gentlemen in Hallifax, where your Commissioner of Confiscated Property for the District of Hallifax took into his Possession" the said slaves "and sold them notwithstanding your Petitioner ... Claim to said Negroes." Blount "now Prays that he may Receive such Relief in Regard of the Premises as to the wisdom & Justice of the Legislature shall seem mete."

PAR Number 11279202

State: North Carolina Year: 1792

Abstract: Samuel Jasper seeks to emancipate Jack "for merritorious Services." In a letter to John Hamilton, Jasper recounts that Jack, "a Negro the Property of Henry White," was instrumental in retaking a schooner that had been seized by "a British Privateer." He further states that "after we returned home his master abused him somewhat" and "Jack applyd to us for redress." Jasper states that his brother bought Jack "and in his last Will Sold sd Jack his freedom by his Paying his Exct ₤100. The petitioner attests that "the said fellow behaves himself well. Honest and Industrious is Very Manerly to all and has Comanded a Schooner for me five years."

PAR Number 11280209

State: North Carolina Year: 1802
Location: Northampton Location Type: County

Abstract: Residents of Northampton County call the "serious attention of the Legislature" to the subject of slave insurrections. Noting that the only Act to address such a subject "was passed in the year 1741," they assert that more measures need to taken "for the suppression of this alarming mischief." They further point to the "circumstances which have taken place in the West Indies during the late war, with some internal causes, have concurred to change considerably the habits of subordination among the Slaves, and your Memorialists are convinced that a firm and steady police are indispensably necessary to keep them in their present condition, and avert those evils which must be the necessary consequences of constant efforts to effect their freedom by insurrection." They therefore "permit themselves to hope for considerable improvements in our police from a careful revision of the patrol Laws."

PAR Number 11280510

State: North Carolina Year: 1805
Location: Cumberland Location Type: County

Abstract: Laucklin McKeller seeks to bring about twenty slaves to North Carolina from Jamaica. He relates that he visited his uncle, Peter McDonald, in Kingston about 1803 and that, "about a year After Petitioners arrival in the Island of Jamaica," the said McDonald died. McKeller reveals that "on his death Petitioner amongst other property became entitled to" the said slaves. Desirous "to return and remain for ever in his native land," the petitioner prays that "He may (by an Act of the Legislature) be permitted to bring with him the said Negroe Slaves his Servants free from the impediments of the existing Laws of the State."

PAR Number 11280601

State: North Carolina Year: 1806
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: Francis Briols recalls that "he emigrated in this State in the year ... 1794" from Guadeloupe and that he settled in Chowan County, North Carolina; one year later, Briols married a woman in said county "possessed in fee of a tract of land and nine slaves." He submits that he continued to live in North Carolina until 1802 when "he was persuaded by his friends to return to Guadeloupe in order to recover some valuable property." Briols left Chowan County and took with him the said nine slaves. Having found that he "made an unfortunate change," the petitioner declares that "he has ever since he left the State been desirous of returning and is now more anxious to do so than ever." Briols, "understanding that the present laws of the State prohibit the importation of Slaves," prays that a law be passed enabling him "to return in this State with the same Nine Negroes & children he carried away, and no other."

PAR Number 11281601

State: North Carolina Year: 1816
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Harriet Laspeyre seeks a separation from her husband Bernard, "late of the Island Hispaniola." Laspeyre laments that she "discovered to her infinite mortification that her property trifling as it was had been the primary object of his warmest affection." She further confesses that she "was too soon made sensible of his fixed determination to compell her by every diabolical scheme & the brutality of his manners and the malignity of his heart could devise to a surrender of every thing she held in her own right." In addition, she confides that she "was at length stripped of the right that every woman claims" as she was "divested of her keys," thereby "deprived of the authority of a mistress, her negroes forbidden to obey her orders under penalty of the severest punishment." Laspeyre charges that "the profits arising from the labor of her Slaves, which ought to have been appropriated, to the support and education of her children, she had the extreme vexation to see wantonly lavished on his black and mulatto mistresses." Having left her house under a serious apprehension "of an attempt upon her life," the petitioner therefore prays "your Honourable body in tender consideration of her wretched and desolate condition, to pass an act to separate her from her said husband and to secure to her the residue of her little property and what she may hereafter acquire."

PAR Number 11282001

State: North Carolina Year: 1819
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: British citizen Mary Ann Sansum, traveling from the West Indies to Florida, was shocked when her two body servants--a black and "mulatto" couple--as well as their four children, were seized at the port of Wilmington; the family was taken up shortly after the boat arrived, as the importation of slaves was prohibited. Sansum asserts that the United States consul in Martinique assured her that she could travel with her slaves without interference. The petitioner therefore prays "such relief as the peculiar embarrassments of her situation require either by arresting the sale or refunding the proceeds" from said sale.

PAR Number 11282405

State: North Carolina Year: 1824
Location: Guilford Location Type: County

Abstract: Richard Mendenhall, president of the Manumission Society of North Carolina, decries the extreme injustice in forcing "men into perpetual servitude" and consigning "their posterity to unconditional & unlimited Slavery,” citing that the principle "of humanity, of Christianity, and all the tender ties of human Nature recoil at such a state of degradation." Mendenhall represents that "this state holds upwards of two hundred thousand Slaves" or "near one third of its population" in "the most abject state of Slavery." He therefore suggests "the propriety of softening" the hardship "of Slavery in our State, with a view to its final extinction." In particular, the petitioner asks "why cannot we fix a time, (it has been done in other States) when there shall be no more slaves born among us." He also reports that "it is ascertained that the Government of Hayti has offered to receive as many of our black population as we are willing to send."

PAR Number 11283408

State: North Carolina Year: 1834

Abstract: John Waddell recounts that he was transporting twenty-two of his slaves from North Carolina to a plantation along the Red River in Louisiana when his ship "was wrecked on the Coral reefs of Abaco." He discloses that "a small vessel" later "conveyed the passengers & crew, sixty-nine in number to the Town of Nassau," where they were denied any "intercourse with the shore, not even for the purpose of procuring food." Waddell reveals that," after great delay & many petty insults," he and the other passengers "were permitted to land at 8 oclock at night"; the next morning the forty-five slaves belonging to the ship's passengers "were taken on shore by the orders of the Lieutenant Governor of the island & carried before the Officer of the Customs, where they were asked if they desired their freedom," whereupon said slaves "were immediately liberated." He further notes that the Governor stated that if Waddell "presumed to interfere with the manumitted slaves, it would become his duty to hang him & all accessories." Having been "plundered of his property," the petitioner argues that "if it be known that the British Islands so near our coast ... need only be reached to establish the freedom of our slaves & that the power of Great Britain guarantees their safety, it will be holding out a premium to insurrection & the condition of the South would be rendered even more anxious than it has heretofore been." He asks North Carolina to "make common cause with her sisters of the South on this most delicate, but vital subject."

PAR Number 11379004

State: South Carolina Year: 1790
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Sarah Barker prays that permission be granted to her husband John, "now Residing in the Town of Kingston, in the Island of Jamaica, and by Profession a School Master," and who now desires to leave Jamaica, "to transport into this State, thirteen Negro Slaves his House Servants for the purpose of Settling with his family in the City of Charleston."

PAR Number 11379704

State: South Carolina Year: 1797
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Ninety-eight inhabitants of Charleston express concern about the "dangerous designs and machinations of certain french West India negroes." They propose several modifications to the laws prohibiting the importation of slaves and to the system of patrols. They are in favor of "the Captains or Mates of all Vessels coming from the West Indies, to report on Oath to some proper officer to be appointed, whether any negroes or other people of color, are imported in said Vessels, and also to make the said Vessels liable to be searched." In addition, they "recommend that all free french negroes and all free french people of Color who have come into this State since 1st January 1790 be required to depart therefrom within a limited time never to return." The petitioners also believe that "the establishing and stationing in the City a permanent and well regulated Guard consisting of fifty Infantry and twenty four Horsemen would be of great public utility."

PAR Number 11379706

State: South Carolina Year: 1797
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Ninety-seven inhabitants of Charleston express concern about the "dangerous designs and machinations of certain french West India negroes." They propose several modifications to the laws prohibiting the importation of slaves and to the system of patrols. They are in favor of "the Captains or Mates of all Vessells coming from the West Indies, to report on Oath to some proper Officer to be appointed, whether any negroes or other people of color, are imported in said Vessels, & also to make the said Vessels liable to be searched." In addition, they "recommend that all free french Negroes & all free french people of Color who have come into this State since 1st January 1790 be required to depart therefrom, within a limited time, never to return." The petitioners also believe that "the establishing and stationing in the City a permanent and well regulated Guard consisting of 50 Infantry and Twenty four horsemen, would be of great public utility."

PAR Number 11379801

State: South Carolina Year: 1798
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Desbeaux seeks compensation for his slave Figaro. Figaro, along with two other slaves, was convicted of treason. Figaro and John Louis were sentenced to be "hanged by the neck until their bodies be dead"; the third slave, Chappelle, was to be "confined in some proper secure place untill an opportunity offers to ship him out of the State to any place out of the United States."

PAR Number 11379903

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

PAR Number 11379905

State: South Carolina Year: 1799
Location: Charleston Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Henry Martin explains that he was "compelled by the disasters of St. Domingo to repair to the United States of America" in 1793. He further represents that "by his constant exertions to procure a Living for himself & family, he had so far succeeded in his undertakings as to enable him to purchase in the Month of March last a Negroe Man named Figaro," whom he hired "to work at the public works on Sullivan Island." Martin laments, however, that Figaro “was unfortunately hurt by the fall of one of the wheels [of a gun carriage] against his back” and that he died shortly thereafter. The petitioner declares that "by the Loss of the said Slave the only one he possessed, he remains destitute, at the age of 64 Years of the means to provide for the Subsistance of himself, his wife & three small Children." He therefore prays that he be granted "Suitable Compensation for his Loss of said Slave Figaro whose death was occasioned by a wound received whilst employed in the public work."

Next 25 Results