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 11278803

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

Abstract: Thomas Lucas represents that his slave named Peter, "not liking the man your Petitioner placed him to work with, ran away." He further states that Peter was later apprehended for "having robbed an Hen house" and was "precipitately tried & executed, more your Petitioner believes from a supposed necessity of striking terror into a Gang of Runaways who infested the said Town & neighbourhood than from any particular act of villainy in the said Slave." Lucas "hopes that considering his misfortunes & low Estate ... will induce your Honors to indemnify him for the Execution of the said Negro which otherwise will increase his losses & at his private Expence have been made a Sacrifice to publick Policy."

PAR Number 11279101

State: North Carolina Year: 1791
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: “Sundry inhabitants of the County of New Hanover” complain about “the almost total distruction of your petitioners Stock.” They point out that “a number of gentlemen” own lands adjacent to theirs, on which the said owners “keep a number of Negroes cultivating the same but the said gentlemen will not fence their fields when cultivated by which means the Cattle & Hoggs of your petitioners range through them and destroy their Crops.” The petitioners charge that their “oppulent neighbours,” being “incensed at the depredations” by the livestock, “supply their negroes with amunition and fire arms with directions to distroy the Cattle & Hoggs of your petitioners.” They therefore pray that “owners of cultivated grounds” be compelled “to keep the same fenced” and that “the pains & penalties on Negroes committing such depredations with fire arms and other instruments of distruction to Cattle” be strengthened.

PAR Number 11280202

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

Abstract: One hundred and six "inhabitants of Chatham County" support the petition of Lard Sellars, who sought relief in connection with his killing of the slave Arthur, "the property of Edward Jones." The petitioners consider Sellars to be a "honest, industrious well meaning man." They further declare that he considered "it his duty as a military officer to endeavor to apprehend the Said Negro Arthur," who "was run away from his master and going at large reported to have been armed commiting depridations and denouncing threats and menacing the inhabitants to the great terror of Women & Children particularly." Conceiving said shooting "to be a meritorious" act, they pray that a law be passed "impowering the County Court of Chatham to levy a tax on the County sufficient to indemnify Captain Sellars."

PAR Number 11282801

State: North Carolina Year: 1828
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: Fifteen members of a Craven County grand jury join twenty other county residents in representing that a "great inconvenience and injury arise to them and others from the constant and growing practice of persons of colour hunting with dogs and guns." The petitioners argue that said free blacks, "under the pretext of seeking game," commit numerous "depredations upon the farms, by killing stock of every description." They therefore ask that the existing laws prohibiting slaves from hunting be amended to include "all persons of colour," not just slaves.

PAR Number 11284403

State: North Carolina Year: 1844
Location: Halifax Location Type: County

Abstract: Seventeen Halifax County residents complain that "it has become a common occurrence for runaway negroes to provide themselves with guns in this County, & to use them in providing themselves provisions, & by threats to intimidate and frighten the timid thereby rendering their apprehension extremely difficult." They cite one example of a farmer who "lost by them seventy five hogs" where the runaways alleged "as the reason they stole from him in particular that he hunted for them; they sent him word, that if he would not hunt for them again -- they would not kill any more of his hogs -- but if he did, they should kill him." Eager "to put a stop to such monstrous outrages of the well being and order of society," the petitioners "would respectfully suggest to your honorable body the passage of a law upon the subject, based on the following principles, to wit -- the negro to be hung, & the state pay the owner for him, & that no one to be held accountable for shooting him while in the woods." They understand that "your honorable body, may perhaps think that the above principles of a law, would be too strong, we dare say they are." They assert, however, "we think strong remedies ought to be used."

PAR Number 11285103

State: North Carolina Year: 1851
Location: Beaufort Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-nine Beaufort County residents "respectfully request of you the passage of a law prohibiting free persons of colour from owning or carrying fire arms." They believe that it should take more than "proving a good character" in order to receive a license; they argue that a man may "prove his character to be good altho he was the meanest vilian in the whole country." They cite "their owning guns also gives them the opportunity which they make use of to kill a good many of our cattle hogs and sheep And to corrupt the morals of our slave population by loaning them guns and hunting with them on the Sabbath." The petitioners "would also suggest that their owning guns has the tendency to encourage their natural slothfull and idle habits."

PAR Number 11300003

State: South Carolina
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Thomas Jones represents that he "was the owner of Negro Slave who was executed for the offence of shooting at the Mail Driver." He therefore request "such compensation as is usually allowed in such cases."

PAR Number 11379203

State: South Carolina Year: 1792
Location: Beaufort Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: John Lightwood seeks compensation for his slave, Bacchus, "who had absonded from his Service" and who "was killed by a Patrole about twelve months ago." Reporting that he is "advised that he is entitled to some compensation for him," the petitioner submits an appraisal for said slave that values Bacchus at sixty pounds sterling at "the time he was killed." The document also claims that Bacchus was killed "for Robbing Benj Davis of his Fire Arm & Arming himself therewith, havg Davis's Gun in his Hand." Bacchus had "been a Runaway for upwards of Eighteen Months."

PAR Number 11380003

State: South Carolina Year: 1800
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Major Brown, the widow of Joseph Chandler Brown, laments that her husband "was killed on the spot" by the gunfire of "a gang of runaway negroes, the property of divers persons not living in that neighbourhood; and who infested that part of the country, then very thinly inhabited by white inhabitants." Brown reveals that she, "together with four small children, the oldest not thirteen years of age, are reduced to the utmost distress as the labor of the deceased was their only support." The petitioner, "confiding in the legallity of her claim, as sanctioned by the eighth paragraph of the Act for the better ordering & Governing Negroes, but yet more in the justice and humanity of this Honourable House," prays for relief.

PAR Number 11380015

State: South Carolina Year: 1800
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Major Brown, the widow of Joseph Chandler Brown, laments that her husband "was killed on the spot" by the gunfire of "a gang of runaway negroes, the property of divers persons, not living in that neighbourhood; and who infested that part of the country, then very thinly inhabited by white inhabitants." Brown reveals that she, "together with four small children, the oldest not thirteen years of age, are now reduced to the utmost distress as the labor of the deceased was their only support." The petitioner, "confiding in the legallity of her claim, as sanctioned by the eighth paragraph of the Act for the better ordering & Governing Negroes, but yet more in the justice & humanity of this Honorable House," prays for relief.

PAR Number 11380901

State: South Carolina Year: 1809
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Charles C. Ashe seeks compensation for a twenty-two-year-old slave named Monday, who "hath been tried convicted and executed for Burglary in Sept 1804"; he was also convicted of "taking a gun and ammunition & swearing he would kill a Certain Negroe fellow" belonging to Mary Crofts. Avowing that Monday "was of great utility in aiding him in his planting interest," the petitioner hopes "that there will be some alleviation of his loss." He therefore prays that "such allowance be made unto your petitioner as to your honorable Body shall seem competent with propriety." The "Justices of the Quorum" assessed Monday's value to be $400.

PAR Number 11382014

State: South Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Kershaw Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Twenty-nine citizens of Kershaw District "represent as an evil the premission of Slaves, and free persons of colour, at Military reviews and muster grounds." They contend that "the true policy of the State is to prevent them from being present at such places, and on such occasions, as would enable them to witness and become acquainted, with the use of arms." The also argue that "martial music, and the warlike movement of troops are calculated to fire their bosoms with feelings, which, at an evil hour, may burst forth with distructive fury, and distroy the peace and lives of our fellow citizens." The petitioners "also present as an evil the practice ... of premitting slaves, and free persons of colour, to serve as musicians in military corps, and at military reviews." They therefore submit their concerns “to your honorable body, trusting that you will take them into serious consideration, and dispose of them for the best interests of the State.”

PAR Number 11386501

State: South Carolina Year: 1865
Location: Colleton Location Type: District/Parish

Abstract: Thirteen citizens of Colleton District represent "that the law respecting negroes and free persons of Colour carrying and using firearms is not punishable except by forfeiture of said arms.” They believe "said punishment too light, and think the law ought to be framed as to make them liable to indictment and punishment on proof that such persons have firearms in their possession whether said arms can be seized or not."

PAR Number 11583602

State: Texas Year: 1836
Location: Nacogdoches Location Type: County

Abstract: Eleven citizens "pray Your honorable Body to take into Consideration the Subject of Negroes Carrying Arms." They are of the opinion that blacks "should be prohibited from so doing, by all the rigours of the Law."

PAR Number 20881988

State: Louisiana Year: 1819
Location: Feliciana Location Type: Parish

Abstract: François Allain, a free man of color, claims that he was the "true and sole owner" of a thirty-year-old male slave, a "griffe" named Regis, who was "illegally & wrongfully" killed the previous year by Colonel Robert Young. Allain therefore prays that Young be made to pay him $2,000 in compensation for the loss.

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