Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10383201

State: Delaware Year: 1831
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-five citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383202

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Nine citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383203

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-three citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383204

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Ten citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383205

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Seventy citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383206

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Seven citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383207

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Twelve citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383208

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighteen citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383209

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-three citizens, "much disturbed by rumours of intended insurrectionary movements among the black portion of our population," ask that several measures be taken "to quiet the excitement." In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of religious worship" and the "black preachers, who come into this State, from other States," who are "regular and constant preachers of sedition, to our slaves and free blacks at their night meetings, where no whites are present." They also "believe, that the public safety and peace require, that it should be declared unlawful, for slaves, or free blacks, to own or possess fire arms and other military weapons." Acknowledging that they wish in no way "to abridge any privileges, which they think, can be granted, or continued to that unfortunate class of people," the petitioners nonetheless purport that "they cannot shut their eyes to the fact, that a deep and growing discontent, pervades the blacks, not only in this State, but throughout the Union, which they fear, is assuming a most dangerous aspect." They therefore believe "the time has fully arrived, when it has become the part of prudence, to take such precautionary measures, as may appear best calculated to avert the threatened danger."

PAR Number 10383210

State: Delaware Year: 1832
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-one citizens, "mutch Disturbed by Rumors of intended insurrectionary movements among the Black portion of ouer population," ask that several measures be taken. In particular they target "meetings, held under the pretence of Religious Worship" and the "Black preachers that Come in to this State from other States," who are "Regular and Constant preachers of Sedition to ouer Slaves & free Blacks at there Night meetings," at which no whites are in attendance. They also "Believe that the publick Safety & peace Require that it Should Be Declared unlawful for Slaves or free Blacks to own or Carry fire arms or other military Weapons." The petitioners state "Wheather in the present Exited State of publick feeling this Should Be permited is Submited to the Wisdom of the Legislature."

PAR Number 10383301

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Thirteen free people of color petition for the repeal of "An Act to prevent the use of fire Arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes" that was passed by the Delaware legislature on 10 February 1832. The law, they argue, "has a demoralizing effect upon the free People of Colour, for by placing them under suspicion -- making them to feel that the eyes of the white people are continually over them, whether for good or ill" and it "interferes with their religious privileges, violates their rights of conscience -- and exposes them to all the horrors of perpetual slavery for the act of worshipping their Creator, according to the dictates of their consciences." They proclaim that they have always conducted themselves in a peaceable and quiet manner and that many among them have acquired land and other property. Flattering "themselves, that they had gained the confidence of their superiors" and that they have never done anything that "would, or ought to have forfeited the good opinion of white people," the petitioners "humbly pray a repeal of that act."

PAR Number 10383302

State: Delaware Year: 1833
Location: Unknown Location Type: County

Abstract: Three free people of color petition for the repeal of "An Act to prevent the use of fire Arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes" that was passed by the Delaware legislature on 10 February 1832. The law, they argue, "has a demoralizing effect upon the free People of Colour, for by placing them under suspicion -- making them to feel that the eyes of the white people are continually over them, whether for good or ill" and it "interferes with their religious privileges, violates their rights of conscience -- and exposes them to all the horrors of perpetual slavery for the act of worshipping their Creator, according to the dictates of their consciences." They proclaim that they have always conducted themselves in a peaceable and quiet manner and that many among them have acquired land and other property. Flattering "themselves, that they had gained the confidence of their superiors" and that they have never done anything that "would, or ought to have forfeited the good opinion of white people," the petitioners "humbly pray a repeal of that act."

PAR Number 10383303

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Twenty-seven free people of color petition for the repeal of "An Act to prevent the use of fire Arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes" that was passed by the Delaware legislature on 10 February 1832. The law, they argue, "has a demoralizing effect upon the free People of Colour, for by placing them under suspicion -- making them to feel that the eyes of the white people are continually over them, whether for good or ill" and it "interferes with their religious privileges, violates their rights of conscience -- and exposes them to all the horrors of perpetual slavery for the act of worshipping their Creator, according to the dictates of their consciences." They proclaim that they have always conducted themselves in a peaceable and quiet manner and that many among them have acquired land and other property. Flattering "themselves, that they had gained the confidence of their superiors" and that they have never done anything that "would, or ought to have forfeited the good opinion of white people," the petitioners "humbly pray a repeal of that act."

PAR Number 10383304

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Twenty-eight free people of color petition for the repeal of "An Act to prevent the use of fire Arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes" that was passed by the Delaware legislature on 10 February 1832. The law, they argue, "has a demoralizing effect upon the free People of Colour, for by placing them under suspicion -- making them to feel that the eyes of the white people are continually over them, whether for good or ill" and it "interferes with their religious privileges, violates their rights of conscience -- and exposes them to all the horrors of perpetual slavery for the act of worshipping their Creator, according to the dictates of their consciences." They proclaim that they have always conducted themselves in a peaceable and quiet manner and that many among them have acquired land and other property. Flattering "themselves, that they had gained the confidence of their superiors" and that they have never done anything that "would, or ought to have forfeited the good opinion of white people," the petitioners "humbly pray a repeal of that act."

PAR Number 10383305

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Thirty-nine citizens of Delaware support the petition of the free people of color seeking "the repeal of the Act of the 10th February last [1832]" regarding the right to possess firearms and the right to assemble and hold worship services.

PAR Number 10383306

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Nine free people of color petition for the repeal of "An Act to prevent the use of fire Arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes" that was passed by the Delaware legislature on 10 February 1832. The law, they argue, "has a demoralizing effect upon the free People of Colour, for by placing them under suspicion -- making them to feel that the eyes of the white people are continually over them, whether for good or ill" and it "interferes with their religious privileges, violates their rights of conscience -- and exposes them to all the horrors of perpetual slavery for the act of worshipping their Creator, according to the dictates of their consciences." They proclaim that they have always conducted themselves in a peaceable and quiet manner and that many among them have acquired land and other property. Flattering "themselves, that they had gained the confidence of their superiors" and that they have never done anything that "would, or ought to have forfeited the good opinion of white people," the petitioners "humbly pray a repeal of that act."

PAR Number 10383307

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Nine free people of color petition for the repeal of "An Act to prevent the use of fire Arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes" that was passed by the Delaware legislature on 10 February 1832. The law, they argue, "has a demoralizing effect upon the free People of Colour, for by placing them under suspicion -- making them to feel that the eyes of the white people are continually over them, whether for good or ill" and it "interferes with their religious privileges, violates their rights of conscience -- and exposes them to all the horrors of perpetual slavery for the act of worshipping their Creator, according to the dictates of their consciences." They proclaim that they have always conducted themselves in a peaceable and quiet manner and that many among them have acquired land and other property. Flattering "themselves, that they had gained the confidence of their superiors" and that they have never done anything that "would, or ought to have forfeited the good opinion of white people," the petitioners "humbly pray a repeal of that act."

PAR Number 10383308

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Two citizens of Delaware support the petition of the free people of color seeking "the repeal of the Act of the 10th February last [1832]" regarding the right to possess firearms and the right to assemble and hold worship services.

PAR Number 10383309

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Ninety-eight whites "cordially disapprove" of the efforts of free people of color to repeal the 1832 statute concerning the right of free blacks to possess firearms and to assemble for worship services. They "pray that the Law refered to may not be meddled with."

PAR Number 10383312

State: Delaware Year: 1833

Abstract: Five free people of color petition for the repeal of "An Act to prevent the use of fire Arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes" that was passed by the Delaware legislature on 10 February 1832. The law, they argue, "has a demoralizing effect upon the free People of Colour, for by placing them under suspicion -- making them to feel that the eyes of the white people are continually over them, whether for good or ill" and it "interferes with their religious privileges, violates their rights of conscience -- and exposes them to all the horrors of perpetual slavery for the act of worshipping their Creator, according to the dictates of their consciences." They proclaim that they have always conducted themselves in a peaceable and quiet manner and that many among them have acquired land and other property. Flattering "themselves, that they had gained the confidence of their superiors" and that they have never done anything that "would, or ought to have forfeited the good opinion of white people," the petitioners "humbly pray a repeal of that act."

PAR Number 10384304

State: Delaware Year: 1843

Abstract: Fifty-one free persons of color seek the repeal of an act "entitled an Act to prevent the use of fire arms by free negroes and free mulattoes and for other purposes passed at Dover February 10 1832." They purport that "the third and fourth Section of that Act has operated very much against the free people of colour in worshipping their Creator according to the dictates of their consciences." Furthermore, some of the petitioners have been unjustly charged with violations of the law and forced to appear in court. They "humble pray a Repeal of the third and fourth Section of that Act or Such Relief as may appear equitable to your honorable bodies."

PAR Number 10384901

State: Delaware Year: 1849

Abstract: Twenty-nine free black inhabitants of Delaware seek to repeal the law requiring them to produce passes or freedom papers when traveling from one area to another. They affirm that they are civil citizens who have "no intent to hurt or Injure any of the human family but wish well to all yet we are liable to be arrested when Traveling on our lawful buisness to be put in prison pervided we do not exhibit a certificate or Pass signed by a white man which appears to be sufficient thogh his charecter be mutch blacker then our Skins." They also oppose other laws "equilly oppressive to us as freeman" that forbid them "to own or have a gunn in our possession Without a permit from a Justice of The peace" and prohibit them from assembling "togather for Religious worship in our own churches and remain There beyound the Hours of ten oclock at night with out having the presence of three white men amongst us." They therefore "pray you will take into consideration and expung these laws from your books so as to give us right to Travel as men and not as bruts."

PAR Number 10385301

State: Delaware Year: 1853
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-seven "free colored citizens of Kent County" petition the government to repeal two acts passed 5 March 1851 entitled "An act in relation to free negroes and slaves" and "An act to amend the Act entitled 'An act concerning apprentices and servants.’" Finding said laws to be "grievously oppressive," the petitioners point out that they "endeavor to perform the duties of good, orderly citizens, and it bears hard on us not to be allowed the privilege of seeking to do better elsewhere without losing our residence and being subject to arrest, fine, imprisonment and sale, provided we return temporarily to visit our families and friends." They, like their "white brethren," profess the "peace of the christian religion, and not to be permitted to assemble together, as we have been accustomed, to ask counsel of God for the salvation of our souls hereafter, and for making us more upright in this life, works against both our spiritual and temporal interest." They therefore "hope and pray" that the legislature will "deem it meet, to repeal the aforesaid acts."

PAR Number 10385303

State: Delaware Year: 1853
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-nine citizens of New Castle County believe that an "Act of Assembly passed at Dover, March 5, 1851, entitled 'An act in relation to Free Negroes and Slaves,' in our opinion, works great injury to the white inhabitants of the State, as well as injustice to an unfortunate and degraded class of our population, and ought to be repealed." They argue that said law is driving free people of color out of Delaware and into New Jersey and Pennsylvania, "where their just rights are better protected"; the effect of this exodus results "in a scarcity of laborers and increase of wages." In addition, the petitioners point out that steamboat and vessel owners have suffered a loss in their revenue, as free people of color "now go to our sister States" to attend "their religious meetings;" The citizens ask that an act amending "An act concerning apprentices and servants" also be repealed as they believe said law is "unnecessarily oppressive and uncalled for." They therefore "ask the repeal of the above mentioned laws because they are operating adverse to the interests of the State."

PAR Number 10385304

State: Delaware Year: 1853
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Two hundred twenty-one "free colored citizens of New Castle County" petition the government to repeal two acts passed 5 March 1851 entitled "An act in relation to free negroes and slaves" and "An act to amend the Act entitled 'An act concerning apprentices and servants.’" Finding said laws to be "grievously oppressive," the petitioners point out that they "endeavor to perform the duties of good, orderly citizens, and it bears hard on us not to be allowed the privilege of seeking to do better elsewhere without losing our residence and being subject to arrest, fine, imprisonment and sale, provided we return temporarily to visit our families and friends." They, like their "white brethren," profess the "peace of the christian religion, and not to be permitted to assemble together, as we have been accustomed, to ask counsel of God for the salvation of our souls hereafter, and for making us more upright in this life, works against both our spiritual and temporal interest." They therefore "hope and pray" that the legislature will "deem it meet, to repeal the aforesaid acts."

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