Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10378501

State: Delaware Year: 1785

Abstract: Two hundred and three Quaker petitioners espouse the evil of slaveholding and entreat the legislature "to take the afflicted Case of the oppressed Negroes in this State under your mature Consideration and grant them such Relief as Justice, Humanity, the common natural Rights of Mankind, and above all the precepts, and Injunctions of the christian Religion require desiring your Minds may be influenced by divine Wisdom for your Direction."

PAR Number 10378601

State: Delaware Year: 1786
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-one petitioners ask the legislature to more rigorously regulate the movements of people of color. They argue that "under the name and Character of Free Negroes many idle and evil-disposed Slaves througout this County stroll thro the same, some with, and some without passes or Certificates." There are also many black "Stragglers and Vagabonds From the Neighbouring Counties" who "come and go in similar Circumstances and under the same character, whereby their legal owners are for a long time deprived of their Service." They further assert that "numbers of Negroes who have been manumitted in other States and Countyes have come into ours, many of whom are likely to become Chargeable." They seek a law prohibiting "the Negroes aforesaid, from travelling Especially from one County into the other without a Written or printed pass or Certificate." The pass, "with the County Seal affixed thereto," should include the bearer's name and place of abode.

PAR Number 10378602

State: Delaware Year: 1786
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-nine petitioners ask the legislature to more rigorously regulate the movements of people of color. They argue that "under the name and Character of Free Negroes, many idle and evil-disposed Slaves througout this County, stroll thro' the same, some with, and some without passes or certificates." There are also many black "Stragglers and Vagabonds, from the neighbouring Counties" who "come and go, in similar Circumstances and under the same character, whereby their legal Owners are for a long time deprived of their Service." They further assert that "numbers of Negroes who have been manumitted in other States and Counties, have come into ours, many of whom are likely to become chargeable." They seek a law prohibiting "the negroes aforesaid, from travelling, especially from one County in to the other, without a written or printed pass or Certificate." The pass, "with the County's Seal affixed thereto," should include the bearer's name and place of abode.

PAR Number 10381201

State: Delaware Year: 1812

Abstract: Quakers in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and the eastern part of Maryland request that special attention be given to laws restricting the freedom of free people of color. They "apprehend on a view of them it may readily be perceived by the Legislature, that they are not only partial in their nature, but in their practical operation, calculated to produce in many instances grievous suffering; and in some cases too, where the Individuals whom they affect, have not been charged with the commission of any crime." They respectfully request "your renewed serious consideration on the subject."

PAR Number 10381501

State: Delaware Year: 1815

Abstract: Twenty-nine members of the African School Society ask the state to pass an act for the Society's incorporation. The petitioners state that the Society has privately educated "the descendants of Africans" for several years and has established a seminary. Noting that "there are now upwards of thirty pupils," the petitioners point out that voluntary contributions have, up to now, been the source of their support. The members represent that the Society's purpose is to lessen the "deplorable ignorance, which characterises So great a portion of their colour, and disqualifies them from the more useful employments of life." As they believe said purpose can better be served "by their being invested with the powers and privileges of a corporate body," the petitioners pray that the Legislature may pass an act to "duly incorporate the members of the said African School Society."

PAR Number 10381507

State: Delaware Year: 1815
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-five "Inhabitants of the village of Cantwells Bridge, in the County of Newcastle" aver that "they have for a long time past experienced great inconvenience for want of a Justice of the peace to prevent the disorderly conduct of people of colour and others who are in the habit of disturbing the peace of the inhabitants." They ask for a bill to authorize the governor to establish "a commission for a justice of the Peace."

PAR Number 10381601

State: Delaware Year: 1816
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Seven "freemen" protest "An act respecting free Negroes and free Mullatoes" passed in 1811 that they "humbly conceive oppressive and Contrary to the spirit of The free Constitution and power of Government of This State." The Act permitted free people of color convicted of theft to be "disposed of by the sheriff of the County as a servant" for a term of two to seven years. The petitioners argue that this could easily result in free persons of color being sold "to a Southern Negro Trader or his agent for a theft by them committed to the amount of even one cent where the miserable culprits will be carried perhaps from five hundred to one thousand miles, separated from all their connections, and sold by the Trader no doubt for life." Once sold, the petitioners assert, it would be impossible for free blacks "to procure or obtain any evidence that will free them," rendering them slaves for life and their children subject to "the most Cruel Slavery for Many Generations." Citing this as cruel and unusual punishment and thus in contradiction to the state constitution, the petitioners ask that said law be repealed.

PAR Number 10381604

State: Delaware Year: 1816
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Sixty citizens of Delaware seek the repeal of an 1811 law titled "An Act to prohibit the emigration of free negroes or free mulattoes into this State." The law, the petitioners argue, is "not only unjust, oppressive and rigorous, but likewise highly impolitic." The law subjects a "portion of the Community equally entitled by nature and our free Constitution to the rights and privileges of their Fellow Citizens ... to grievous penalties and imprisonment, without the perpetration of any Crime, or the breach of any moral Law." The petitioners, "with a view to the honour of the State, and earnestly solicitous that our Code of Laws may not retain a Statute so incompatible with the just Rights of Freemen, ... ask for the repeal of this Act."

PAR Number 10381612

State: Delaware Year: 1816

Abstract: Twenty citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381701

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Nine citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381705

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: One hundred and five citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381706

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Twenty-four citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381707

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Ninety-one citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381708

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Seventy-three citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381709

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Seventeen citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381710

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Thirty-six citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381711

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Twenty-six citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381712

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Forty citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381713

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Two citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381714

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Six citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381715

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Eleven citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381716

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Seventeen citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381717

State: Delaware Year: 1817

Abstract: Four citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381802

State: Delaware Year: 1818

Abstract: Three hundred and forty-nine citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

PAR Number 10381809

State: Delaware Year: 1818

Abstract: Thirty citizens of Delaware express concern about the increasing number of kidnappings of free people of color, who are "wrested from their families and carried into perpetual bondage." They assert that this "iniquitous traffic" is "both known and deplored by many of the members of the Legislature themselves; but bounds can never be set to its progress, till some Law be granted whose penalty shall exceed the hope of advantage from this commerce." They further note that the grand jury of Baltimore County "are among others, petitioners to the Legislature of Maryland, for a Law of similar effect with that for which we petition." The petitioners "therefore submit our Memorial and Petition to the Legislature, expecting its success from their justice, and hoping it from their humanity."

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