Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10381801

State: Delaware Year: 1818
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Noting the "many acts of felony of pilfering & Stealing commited by the people of Colour both bound & free," residents of Dagsborough and Baltimore Hundred's, Sussex County, request the establishment of a patrol. Lamenting that "the Inhabitants are much distressed in their property such as Poltry of every kind Sheep, Smoke houses & Corn Stacks," the petitioners pray "your honourable Body to take the premises into your Serious consideration and Enact a Paterole Law to the extent that such vile practices may be done away if Posible."

PAR Number 10381822

State: Delaware Year: 1818
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Noting the "many acts of felony of pilfering & Stealing commited by the people of Colour both bound & free," forty residents of Dagsborough and Baltimore Hundred's, Sussex County, request the establishment of a patrol. Lamenting that "the Inhabitants are much distressed in their property such as Poltry of Every Kind Sheep, Smoke houses & Corn Stacks," the petitioners pray "your Honourable Body to take the premises into your Serious Consideration and Enact a Paterole Law to the Extent that Such vile practices may be Done away if Possible."

PAR Number 10381823

State: Delaware Year: 1818
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Noting the "many acts of felony of pilfering & stealing Commited by the people of Colour both Bound & free," forty-one residents of Dagsborough and Baltimore Hundred's, Sussex County, request the establishment of a patrol. Lamenting that "the Inhabitants are much Distressed in their property Such as Poltry of Every Kind Sheep, Smoke houses & Corn Stacks," the petitioners pray "your Honourable Body to take the premises into your Serious Considerations and Enact a Paterole Law to the extent that such vile practices may be done away if Possible."

PAR Number 10381824

State: Delaware Year: 1818
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Noting the "many acts of fellony of pilfering & Stealing committed by the people of Colour both bound & free," one hundred and five residents of Dagsborough and Baltimore Hundred's, Sussex County, request the establishment of a patrol. Lamenting that "the Inhabitants are much distressed in their property such as Poltry of every kind sheep, smoke houses & Corn Stacks," the petitioners pray "your honourable Body to take the premises into your serious considerations and Enact a Paterole Law to the extent that such vile practices may be done away if posible."

PAR Number 10383211

State: Delaware Year: 1832

Abstract: One hundred thirty-four citizens believe that "the Legislature ought to pass a law against the Coulored people Carrying arms or keeping them in their houses in the State of Delaware." Noting that "at such a time as this when there are so many ... treasonable Conspiracies among them in many States of the Union the state of Delaware not Excepted," the petitioners "think it the indispensible duty of the Legislature, to disarm them in Order that We may be able to prevent such a Catastrophe as has transpired in a Sister State." They therefore pray that free people of color be barred from carrying or possessing firearms. They also "suggest to the Legislature the propriety of Organizing a Military force Either of Militia or Volunteers ... to Organize an Efficient Effective force to preserve Power and protect the Civil authority in Case of Emmergincies."

PAR Number 11085201

State: Mississippi Year: 1852
Location: Wilkinson Location Type: County

Abstract: Wilkinson County residents request additional patrols and better enforcement of the laws. They argue that such measures are needed because of "a certain class of lawless and unprincipled persons, whose chief occupation is illegal traffic with negroes, bartering whiskey for pigs, poultry, meal, corn &c., &c., thus corrupting the morals and injuring the health of the negroes, to the great detriment of their owners, and the imminent danger of the community." They also note that "it is a common practice with shop-keepers, particularly during the Christmas Holidays, to have, in and about their shops, crowds of negroes, drinking, fiddling, dancing, singing, cursing, swearing, whooping, and yelling, to the great annoyance and scandal of all respectable and order loving persons." The petitioners ask the legislature to make it illegal to "encourage or allow any noisy or clamorous assembly of negroes, about his or her store or shop."

PAR Number 11278102

State: North Carolina Year: 1781
Location: Franklin Location Type: County

Abstract: On behalf of a committee representing Franklin County, John Robinson tells of the tax burdens of local residents. He laments that "Black Slave Children" are taxed high while still a charge to their owners and that "young grown Men of ₤100 value able to work for their Living at a less rate than a Black Suckling." Robinson seeks relief.

PAR Number 11278704

State: North Carolina Year: 1787

Abstract: Samuel Ashe, executor of the last will and testament of Major General John Ashe, seeks relief for Ashe's heirs, who are charged ₤6,385 "depreciated Money" for an unpaid debt. He states that General Ashe during the Revolution had been forced to flee the British troops invading Wilmington; shortly before leaving, he "buried with the privity of a Negroe only, in airtight caches, all his papers." Ashe recounts, however, that the General unfortunately died a short time later and that the papers, when dug up, were "discovered to be totally defaced or destroy." Charging that said papers would have proved that the claims being made against his estate were false, the petitioner prays for relief.

PAR Number 11278802

State: North Carolina Year: 1788
Location: Washington Location Type: County

Abstract: William Delaney declares that he was "ordered on duty by his officer to assist in quelling an Insurrection Ex[c]ited by John Seveir & Others in the District of Washington." He further laments that during a confrontation on the plantation of Col. John Tipton he "received a wound in his Right arm, that so disabled your memorialist that he was incapable of doing any kind of business" for five months and that he "was under the necessity of Employing persons of Skill to dress his wounds & take care of him during the above period of time." The petitioner therefore hopes that "Your Honourable Body ... will Reimburse him" for the medical expenses incurred for treating the wound he received while "in the Service of the State."

PAR Number 11279513

State: North Carolina Year: 1795
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Taylor requests compensation for being shot in the shoulder while hunting runaway slaves. Taylor recounts that he endeavored "to put a stop" to the depredations committed by "a number of outlying runaway [that] had collected themselves together" to rob and to kill and destroy the stock of "the Inhabitants of the counties of Brunswick and New Hanover." While on such duty, he explains, a fellow patroller, being suddenly awakened by him, "shot your memorialist through the Shoulder." Unable to pay the surgeon's fee of £60, Taylor asks "your Honorable body to take his case into consideration and grant him such releif as you shall think meet and proper."

PAR Number 11279606

State: North Carolina Year: 1796
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Henry Taylor requests compensation for being shot in the shoulder while hunting runaway slaves. He recounts that he "thought it his duty to aid and assist" in putting a stop to the "outrages committed by a number of runaway negroes, in the County of New Hanover" as "the safety of the people made it necessary that vigorous and speedy measures should be taken to suppress the various depredations committed by” said outlyers. Taylor explains that, while on such duty, "he was unfortunately shot through the shoulder & has been a cripple ever since." He further asserts that he is unable to pay the surgeon's fee of "one hundred Spanish milled Dollars" and that he is no longer able to continue his trade of blacksmith. Noting that said wound was received "in rendering service to his Country," he prays that "your Honorable body will grant him such releif as in your justice and wisdom may be thought proper."

PAR Number 11280204

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

Abstract: Martin R. Byrd, "Colonel of the Militia of the County of Washington," asks to be compensated for expenses incurred during his efforts to suppress a "threatened Conspiracy of the Negroes." As commanding officer, Byrd called "out the Militia for the purpose of apprehending the Conspirators, protecting the defenceless inhabitants, & keeping Guards over the accused until they could be tried & Condemned or discharged in a due course of law." Noting that he "was under the necessity of furnishing the said Militia with provisions Liquors &c," the petitioner reports that he has submitted "a true statement" of said expenses "to your honorable body, and humbly prays that you will take the same under your consideration" and render him relief "as to you in your Wisdom shall seem meet."

PAR Number 11280208

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

Abstract: Francis Bell seeks to be compensated for the death of his horse "of considerable value." He recalls that, when in the past summer "a plot of a most alarming nature was discovered, which threatened to involve the whole country in the deepest calamity," he responded to the "order of the commanding officer stationed at the Town of Winslow," to give up his horse to said officer, which resulted in the horse's death due to "excessive riding." Bell notes that his "loss happened on a service which it was not his particular duty to perform" and that "it was incurred in obedience to the command of a public officer." Of the opinion that said "danger affected not merely himself, but every Citizen of the State," he prays that "his case may be taken into consideration, and that such relief may be granted as shall be deemed meet and equitable."

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 11280406

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

Abstract: Widow Charlotte Foorte seeks compensation for her "negro man named Sam, implicated in a charge of the late conspiracy of the negroes." Foorte reports that Sam "was convicted on the testimony of less weight than that" given against others "who escaped the rigor of the Law." Adhering to the "prevailing maxim that in many instances it is right to make an individual sacrifice, for the great & general good of the community at large," she nonetheless "feels the loss of property" along with the "great expense of 20, or 30 Arm'd men, order'd out by the authority of the Maj. General" to capture said Sam. The petitioner therefore prays "for such relief in the premises" as in "wisdom & good conscience may be right."

PAR Number 11280502

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

Abstract: Capt. Isaac Hanley seeks compensation for his troops who were called out "on immediate Service for one day at the Execution of some slaves (Criminals).” He reports that "four of his most active troopers" were ordered "to continue in Constant service until discharge ... for the purpose of suppressing a conspiracy of the slaves" in Wayne County; the said men served continually for several days. Noting that "we have not received any pay for the said Service," the petitioner prays "your Honours to allow them such sums as they are in Justice intitled to."

PAR Number 11280708

State: North Carolina Year: 1807
Location: Currituck Location Type: County

Abstract: George Howard declares that he was indicted in 1802 "for acting agreeable to orders given him by John Williams Lt. Col." to search "in the time of the Insurrection of the Negroes"; for his actions, Howard incurred steep fines. Admitting that the said indictment and suit "has ruined and broke him up," Howard puts forth "that the Legislator of this State never contemplated that any Individual should suffer for doing his duty as all true Subjects ought to do." The petitioner therefore prays that his case be taken into consideration, that his fine be remitted, and that the "monies he has unjustly been compelled to pay" be returned to him. Lt. Col. Williams's order to Howard stated: "You are hereby commanded to take proper assistance with you and pattroll the Narrows Shore district and search all negro houses and all persons that you Suspect and take all kind of arms ammunition and Every other utensil that you think necessary for the Purpose of Such Depreditions also to take the negroes that such Property should be found on."

PAR Number 11281305

State: North Carolina Year: 1813
Location: Lenoir Location Type: County

Abstract: Even though "the Country has been more than a year in a state of actual warfare," fifty-six citizens of Lenoir County propose that cavalry units be organized on the county level "to keep in check any attempt at invasion ... or to suppress Insurrection." They therefore pray that the legislature enact such measures that would provide "an ample or appropriate provision for the protection of this our beloved State & Country."

PAR Number 11281804

State: North Carolina Year: 1818
Location: Nash Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-two citizens of Nash County find the "progress of vice and immorality, the daring thefts and Roberies daily commited, the increasing insolence of the slaves; the growing numbers and influence of free negroes and molatoes" quite alarming. They therefore "most earnestly pray that your honorable body would take the premises into consideration and so amend the present patroling laws." They "do farther pray that a law may pass forbiding female free negroes or molatoes from intermarrying with Slaves (either with or without the consent of the owner of such Slave or Slaves)" unless the said owner/s "give bonds with sufficient security to keep their progeny free of the parish."

PAR Number 11282206

State: North Carolina Year: 1822
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: Captain John Rhem, on behalf of himself and fellow members of the Craven County militia, "appeals to the Justice and Gratitude of this Country, for Indemnity against the pecuniary portion of their sufferings" stemming from wounds received while on patrol. During the summer of 1821 "a number of negroes were collected together in arms, and were going about the counties of Craven, Carteret, Onslow, and Jones Counties committing thefts, and alarming the inhabitants of said Counties. The outrages of these villains became so frequent and daring that ... it was thought necessary to adopt measures either to arrest or to disperse them." On 10 August, Craven county officials ordered the militia regiment to patrol the county and to "arrest all negroes whom he should meet armed or traveling under suspicious circumstances." After midnight on 21 August 1821 Rhem and eight of his men encountered five armed men on the Street's Bridge across the Neuse River. Rhem called out to the men to identify themselves. The men responded with gunshots. Rhem was shot through the right lung, and his arm was shattered. Alexander Taylor was shot through the head and his other officers received various wounds. The two armed parties then retreated, waiting for daylight to learn the size of the opposing force. The next morning Rhem discovered that it was not armed blacks whom he had engaged the night before but rather a group of nervous whites who lived in the area and "had turned out to patrol from the same alarm which had brought your petitioners party into service, and who ignorant of your petitioners station had mistaken his party for blacks and had fired under that mistake." Considering they "were on a duty which put at hazard their own lives, to preserve the peace and dignity of the State," the petitioners, "probably disabled for life," seek restitution for medical expenses and financial assistance.

PAR Number 11282207

State: North Carolina Year: 1822
Location: Carteret Location Type: County

Abstract: Terence Pelletier, James Noe, and George Piner seek compensation for their service in the militia. They report that Colonel John H. Hill of Carteret County ordered them to help "suppress the depredations, which a number of negroes who had collected themselves together under arms, were going about the country committing." They assert that the act "which compelled them to serve, declared that they should be paid." The petitioners therefore pray that they be granted compensation. The report of the Committee of Claims supports the order of calling out the militia as it was necessary “to apprehend & suppress a number of Runaway negroes who were collected together in said County under arms and were committing many depredations on the property of good people ... and by their increasing numbers and threatening attitude much more mischief was apprehended and great alarm spread among the Citizens.”

PAR Number 11282301

State: North Carolina Year: 1823

Abstract: Jarrad Weaver seeks compensation for his slave David who "without any known ill usage or justifiable cause ran away from the services of your petitioner." Weaver reports that David was armed and "remained lurking about in the neighbourhood, doing & committing divers mischief, and depredations" until "a party of young men" discovered his whereabouts and attempted to apprehend him. He states that David resisted their efforts to seize him and that said men "were compelled to use violence and in so doing, the said David was shot dead." Citing the 1741 law wherein compensation is afforded to the owners "of such runaway slaves as may happen to be killed in the attempt to apprehend them," Weaver asks that he be granted such "suitable allowance" as he may be deemed "fairly entitled to."

PAR Number 11282303

State: North Carolina Year: 1823
Location: Onslow Location Type: County

Abstract: William L. Hill, Colonel of the Onslow Militia, seeks compensation for his men who "were in regular Service for the space of Twenty six days in the months of August and September, a busy and unhealthy season of the year." Hill explains that "During the Summer of 1821 an insurrection broke out among a number of outlawed and runaway slaves and free negroes in said County." He exclaims that "an universal panic pervaded the county" as the band had "ravaged farms, burnt houses and ravished a number of females." In response, Hill took measures to restore "public safety" by activating the militia to pursue the well armed "daring, cunning and desperate slaves," who "had long defied the Civil authority." Hill further relates that his men's efforts to suppress the said insurrection exposed them "to every privation and inclemency of the weather, in exploring woods, swamps, & marshes." Noting that the men "have never received their pay agreeably to said act of Assembly," the petitioner prays "your Honorable body to direct the same by resolution."

PAR Number 11282501

State: North Carolina Year: 1825
Location: Lincoln Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighty-three residents of Lincoln County feel aggrieved "that any person should be compelled to Ride or Serve as Patroler to guard Slaves who does not own any, nor wish to have any thing to do as respects the government or Discipline of the Negroes." They therefore pray that "no person Who does not own a slave or slaves shall be compelled to serve as Patroler against his own will at least within our county." The legislative committee to which the petition was referred responded "that the relief prayed for should be granted; not because ... the law is oppressive ... on persons who are not owners of slaves but because they are well satisfied that the owners of slaves being interested in that species of property will in general in the discharge of patrol duties, mete out the measure of the law with due discretion and humanity; and that they are consequently the only proper persons to discharge those duties."

PAR Number 11282505

State: North Carolina Year: 1825
Location: Carteret Location Type: County

Abstract: Colonel John H. Hill of the Carteret County seeks compensation for his militia regiment called out in August 1821 to "suppress a number of slaves and free persons of colour who had collected with arms and were going about the County aforesaid, committing thefts and alarming the inhabitants." The regiment was successful in its twenty-five-day mission, and Hill asserts that according to a 1795 law his men should receive the same pay and rations "as the troops of the United States when in actual service."

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