Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 189 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

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 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 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 11279301

State: North Carolina Year: 1793
Location: Chowan Location Type: County

Abstract: The "Standing Committee of the People of Quakers from the Eastern Quarter" react to the "Petition from a number of the Inhabitants of Pasquotank County, and a Presentiment from the Grand Jury of Edenton District" that purports "that we as People, by Emancipating our Negroes, have Rendered that Species of Property of Small Value, the Lives of the Citizens unsafe, that Risings of the Negroes have been frequently threatened." The petitioners counter that said assertions appear "Groundless, both by the Sale and hire of Slaves being higher than they were twenty years ago" and that the threatened "Risings of the Negroes" resulting in "the Lives of the Citizens thereby becoming Unsafe, we have no Reason to believe." Citing the Declaration of Independence, they therefore pray that "any person who from a Conscientious Scruple may be Induced to Emancipate their Slaves, that they enjoy their Liberty, and be protected by the Laws of the Land."

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 11280206

State: North Carolina Year: 1802
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: Members of the Mechanical Society of Wilmington join other inhabitants of the town to contest "the practice of many Owners of Slaves in Town, to hire to them their own time." The petitioners argue that said slaves as "mechanics" take on "work on their own account at, sometime less, than one half the rate that a regular bred white Mechanic could afford to do." They also point out that this practice affords slaves with "so much time to themselves" to consort "daily and nightly together" whereby "insurrections, and plans against the lives and property of the citizens may be formed, matured, and carried into execution with unanimity, secrecy and dispatch." They therefore pray that "one particular civil officer" be authorized "to adopt and pursue such vigorous measures for prevention of abuse" of the self-hiring of skilled slaves, whom they consider to be "the irreconcilable enemies of the Whites."

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 11280512

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

Abstract: Kinchen Massengale seeks compensation for his slave Plato, one of the ten or so slaves convicted and executed for their role in the Bertie County "rising or conspiracy of the negroes" in 1802; four or five slaves involved in the incident were convicted and "sent away" and not executed. Massengale submits that Plato was "of considerable value to him, being the only slave he possessed." Noting that the owners of said slaves not executed "have received compensation equal to their value," the petitioner "hopes your Honourable Body will take his hard case under your serious consideration (he being in indigent circumstances) and grant him such relief as you in your wisdom may think proper."

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 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 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 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."

PAR Number 11283101

State: North Carolina Year: 1831
Location: New Hanover Location Type: County

Abstract: One hundred fourteen Wilmington residents assert that an 1830 act imposing a quarantine on ships carrying free persons of color is "more injurious to the commercial and mercantile interests of our Town, than the polluting intercourse of the blacks possibly could be to its political safety." They also argue that a tax on goods not grown or manufactured in the state of North Carolina is "oppressive in its nature and partial in its operation." Petitioners further seek protection from peddlers "whose manners, habits and political notions are essentially different from ours," whereby "a thought has rolled across our minds whether the seeds of discord which has manifested itself throughout our state by feeble attempts at insurrection, may not have been partially disseminated by them."

PAR Number 11283102

State: North Carolina Year: 1831
Location: Anson Location Type: County

Abstract: Arthur Davis requests compensation for his horse which was pressed into service by Captain Thomas Waddill during a search for slaves suspected of plotting an insurrection. He maintains that his horse took sick and later died after being ridden five miles by a militia officer. Davis discloses that "he is a young man with a wife and two small children dependent on him for support, that this was the only horse which he owned and that from his limited circumstances, he is but illy ably to purchase another, and that he is the owner of no slaves."

PAR Number 11283103

State: North Carolina Year: 1831
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: Mary Christian, Thomas Christian, and Duncan McRae Jr. represent "that they Did intirely at their own Expences, Furnish the Militia of your county of Mongomery, With Three Hundred and Sixty nine meals of victuals, dureing their Service when called out about the 24th of September last to Suppress an Exspected Insurrection of The Negroes of Said County." They therefore pray that they receive "Such allowance on your public Treasurer, as will Remunerate their Expences, for the porformance of that duty."

PAR Number 11283105

State: North Carolina Year: 1831
Location: Lenoir Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighty-seven residents of Lenoir County seek "to exclude all coloured retailers of Cakes, spirits &c from its limits," except those licensed by the county court. They are convinced that the "free negroes & slaves hiring their time, from the adjoining Counties ... have not only produced serious loss & inconvenience by the temptations which are thus held out to their slaves, to steal lambs, pigs, & poultry to barter with them," but also they firmly aver that said persons "do a far more serious & incalculable injury by the facilities thus afforded for the dissemination of seditious writings & notions," noting that "these black pedlars have it in their power to distribute, without suspicion, in every nook ... in the County, the pamphlets ... as well as communicate verbally the murderous plans of a Nat Turner." The petitioners therefore pray that "your Honourable Body ... will further legislate on this matter."

PAR Number 11283106

State: North Carolina Year: 1831
Location: Halifax Location Type: County

Abstract: Jesse H. Simmons, commander of the Roanoke Blues a light infantry company, reports that "information reached Halifax Town Stating that the Slaves of Southampton VA were in a state of open rebellion" and that he soon thereafter mobilized his men to march "to the assistence of our distressed neighbours in Southampton." He reports that, in his absence, his house became a "retreat not only for the militia actually called out but for a great number of women and children of Halifax Town & County," whereby he incurred expense in feeding them "for several days" and in caring for their horses. Admitting that "he was disposed and did do all in his power to serve his Country in this unfortunate affair," Simmons nevertheless asserts that "he is unable and unwilling to sustain a loss as heavy as this." The petitioner therefore prays that he receive remuneration, even though "he is unable himself to make any estimate of what he actually did suffer." Related documents reveal that during Simmons's absence, "all the male servants were taken up and put in Jail" during the "alarm."

PAR Number 11283108

State: North Carolina Year: 1831
Location: Craven Location Type: County

Abstract: One hundred sixty-four residents of New Bern complain that "many of the free negroes residing in the Town of Newbern, claim the right of voting" and "that fifty or more actually exercise that right" to send a representative to the House of Commons. They point out that the state constitution permits those who possess a freehold, who have lived in the town twelve months, and who have paid taxes to cast their ballots as freemen. But, the petitions argue, free blacks are not freemen: they "are forbidden to contract marriage except with their own class"; they cannot sit on juries or testify in court except in certain cases; and they can be sentenced death on the testimony of a slave. "Can these disabilities," the petitioners ask, "belong to a Freeman?" They ask the legislature “to ascertain and determine the true construction of the Constitution upon the subject matter of this their Memorial."

Next 25 Results