Race and Slavery Petitions Project

Search Results

Your subject search returned 318 total results.

Displaying 25 results per page.

PAR Number 10379102

State: Delaware Year: 1791
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: At least fifty-seven petitioners seek the strengthening and enforcement of acts regulating the transportation of slaves over state lines, the exportation of slaves to other parts of the South, and the enslavement of free blacks.

PAR Number 10379604

State: Delaware Year: 1796
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: George Waller “is a resident near the line which divides the State of Delaware and the State of Maryland," and he is "compelled to have business indiscriminately with the Inhabitants of both States." Waller reports that a business dealing resulted in an indebtedness which was discharged by his "taking a Negro woman named Phillis and her Child named Stephen." He further states that he has had "frequent applications" to buy said slaves, but he fears that "the purchasers wanted to send them to the Southern States." Waller therefore asks that "a Bill be passed into a Law to enable your Petitioner to remove said Negroes from the State of Maryland into this State."

PAR Number 10379703

State: Delaware Year: 1797
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: George Waller is a resident near the line which divides the state of Delaware and the state of Maryland, and he does business indiscriminately with the inhabitants of both states. Waller reports that, two years ago, a business dealing resulted in an indebtedness was discharged by his taking "two Negro Slaves a woman named Phillis and her son named Stephen." Because of "existing laws," Waller is prevented from bringing the slaves to Delaware, which he believes will "render the situation of said Slaves more agreeable than to hire them out in the State of Maryland or sell them to be moved to a more distant farm." He therefore asks that a bill "be passed into a Law to enable him to bring the above mentioned Negros woman Phillis and her son Stephen into this State."

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 10381602

State: Delaware Year: 1816

Abstract: Twenty-six "free citizens of the State of Delaware" ask that an 1811 "Act respecting free Negroes and free Mulattoes" be repealed. Finding said Act "incompatable with the Spirit of our free Constitution," the petitioners believe that said law consigns free people of color to "cruel servitude under hard, avaricious task masters; whose tenderest feelings towards them are but cruelty" and that it permits those "active in entraping the Coloured part of our free Citizens" to "carry on a legalised traffick in human beings." They therefore pray that the Legislature "may be pleased to repeal this Act."

PAR Number 10381603

State: Delaware Year: 1816

Abstract: Twenty-three "free Citizens of the State of Delaware" ask that an 1811 "Act respecting free Negroes and free Mulattoes" be repealed. Finding said Act "incompatable with the Spirit of our free Constitution," the petitioners believe that said law consigns free people of color to "Cruel Servitude under hard avaricious task masters, whose tenderest feelings towards them are but cruelty" and that it permits those "active in entraping the Coloured part of our free Citizens" to "carry on a legalised traffick in human beings." They therefore pray that the Legislature "may be pleased to repeal this Act."

PAR Number 10381808

State: Delaware Year: 1818

Abstract: Caleb Davis of Caroline County, Maryland, states that he bought the slave Rachel from Esther Cannon of Sussex County, Delaware. Davis explains that "at the time he Purchased the Said Negro she was Contracted to a Negro Trader to be sent to the westward, from her Husband and Child." "Pitying her above Situation" and "in need of" an "Industrious and a good hand about a House," Davis was induced to purchase Rachel. He, "knowing he could not remove her without a Law from your Honourable Body for that Purpose," now asks that a law be passed enabling "him to move her into the State of Maryland out of the State of Delaware."

PAR Number 10381904

State: Delaware Year: 1819

Abstract: Jesse Wright of Dorchester County, Maryland, married the daughter of the late Thomas W. Dawson of Sussex County, Delaware. He notes that "at a late Division of the negroes of the said Deceased a boy named Washington in the eighteenth year of his age, a slave for life," fell "to the lot of the wife of your Petitioner." Wright therefore "humbly craves of your honourable Body the liberty of transporting and removing the said negro Boy from this state to the state of Maryland and there retain him as a slave." The petitioner assures "the honourable Body" that "neither he nor any member of his Family were ever concerned, even in the most remote degree, in the Traffic of their Species."

PAR Number 10381905

State: Delaware Year: 1819
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: In 1815, John Gibbons of Delaware married the daughter of Major Francis Turpin of Dorchester County, Maryland. Gibbons states that, "in consequence of her increasing family and Paternal Benevolence," Turpin "lately presented his Daughter ... with one of his negro women a slave and her child to serve as a cook and house servant." Gibbons "most humbly solicits the Privilege of your Honourable Body to remove" the two slaves from Maryland to the state of Delaware. He further declares "that he never has directly or indirectly, even in the remotest degree ever aided, assisted abetted or been in any manner" a party "in the Traffic of this Species, a traffic to your Petitioner odious and abominable."

PAR Number 10382006

State: Delaware Year: 1820

Abstract: Noah Ross of Caroline County, Maryland, inherited four slaves "in right of his wife," the daughter of Hester Cannon, who died in Sussex County, Delaware. The petitioner therefore asks that an act be passed "authorizing him, the said Noah Ross, to remove the said Slaves, from Sussex County State of Delaware, to his place of residence, in Caroline County State of Maryland."

PAR Number 10382101

State: Delaware Year: 1821
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: James Brindley of New Castle County, Delaware, purchased several slaves from the estate of Samuel C. Hall of Cecil County, Maryland. Brindley represents that he "was induced to purchase the said negroes, from their earnest wish and desire to have him for their master." As he is prevented by law from bringing said slaves into Delaware, the petitioner reveals he has maintained them in Maryland; Brindley has preferred to incur such expenses "rather than violate his feeling and principles, by selling the said slaves to those who have made it their trade and occupation to buy and sell persons of colour." He therefore prays that an act be passed in his favor allowing him to bring Jim, Hannah, and Hannah’s children, Betty, Sam, Ann, and an unnamed infant, from Maryland into Delaware.

PAR Number 10382403

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Ninety-two white men "most ardently desire" that a bill "now pending before the General Assembly” that would make “transportation, and consequently perpetual slavery, the punishment for all Larcenys, of which the black or colored part of our population, are convicted the second time." They represent that "as the law now stands, the courts have full power to apply this most barbarous of all punishments to aggravated cases of felony committed by any of this people," which would introduce "into our State, under the authority of our Laws, a traffick in men" and would create "so much uneasiness to the christian part of the community." Asking that the legislature "hear from their constituents, before they give their consent to the reenactment of a law which the people but a short period since repealed," the petitioners "respectfully demonstrate against the passage of said bill into a law."

PAR Number 10382406

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Twenty-nine petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10382412

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: John Price bought three slaves at his mother-in-law's estate sale in Maryland. He seeks exemption from the Delaware law designed to prevent the importation and exportation of slaves and asks permission to bring the slaves from Maryland into Delaware. Price states that the slaves belonged to his wife's family for many years and, if he had "consulted his own interest, he would never have purchased negros of their age and in the state of Maryland too where it is well Known the price of slav[e]s is much greater than it is in Delaware." He further notes that his purchase was prompted by a desire "to prevent them being Transported to a southern Market."

PAR Number 10382420

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Fifty-one petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10382422

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Eleven petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10382423

State: Delaware Year: 1824

Abstract: Eight petitioners "conceive it to be our duty to call the attention of our Representatives once more to the situation of the People of Colour among us." They argue that the "recent calamities in the West-Indies" and "the alarms which have disquieted the minds of our brethren in the Southern States and rendered property less secure, are motives we believe sufficiently strong to induce such steps as may lead to a gradual Abolition of Slavery." They further "desire that a review of those Laws may take place, as from recent and melancholy experience we are constrained to declare, that they have not been found sufficient to prevent unprincipled men from the practice of a traffic disgraceful to a land where liberty which should be a common blessing is denied to only one class of unhappy and degraded men."

PAR Number 10382602

State: Delaware Year: 1826
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: The Wilmington Society of Friends, at their monthly meeting, urge the legislature to immediately abolish slavery. Arguing that slavery is evil, unjust, and oppressive, the petitioners put forth that "we believe it to be a truth, that in oppression, cruel suffering, and degradation, negro Slavery remains without a parallel in the known world."

PAR Number 10383702

State: Delaware Year: 1837

Abstract: In 1809, Delaware resident John Cooper manumitted several slaves, including a woman named Lydia. By 1826, Lydia had married John Hawkins, a free man of color, and the couple had three children (Charity, Sally, and John) and were living in Caroline County, Maryland. However, John Cooper's son-in-law, John Willoughby, convinced Cooper that the Delaware manumissions were not valid in Maryland and that Cooper faced prosecution for allowing his former slaves to move there. Willoughby thus "seduced" Cooper to sign a deed conveying Lydia and her children to Willoughby, to Cooper's son, Richard, and to other relatives. Soon after, Willoughby and Richard Cooper took Lydia and her children to the Sussex County jail with "the intention to selling them to southern traders." John Cooper and another of his sons learned of this and demanded the former slaves be released, which they were. The freed slaves were never bothered again during John Cooper's life, the petitioner states. In April 1836, however, Willoughby and a gang of armed men kidnapped Hawkins' three children and the children of others freed by John Cooper and carried them to the jail in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Willoughby's objective was to sell them to "foreign traders, or carry them to the south himself." The case of their freedom is still pending in Queen Anne's County, Maryland. Hawkins seeks an act that would affirm the legality of the manumission of his wife and children.

PAR Number 10384001

State: Delaware Year: 1840

Abstract: Thomas Clarkson, president of the Convention of the Friends of the Negro, declares that the Convention, "being solemnly impressed with a sense of the National Sin of Slavery and the Slave Trade, and under a settled conviction that the only effectual means to put an end to the Slave Trade is to abolish Slavery does most earnestly and respectfully appeal to the Governor of Delaware to employ all that influence and power with which Divine Providence has entrusted him, to secure immediate and unconditional liberty to the Slave."

PAR Number 11282006

State: North Carolina Year: 1820
Location: Rowan Location Type: County

Abstract: John Beard, sheriff of Rowan County, petitions the General Assembly for more than $370 to repay two out-of-state slaveholders who successfully argued in the Superior Court of Rowan County that Beard improperly collected taxes on their slaves as they passed through the county. Beard reports that, on 22 January 1819, he collected a tax of $190 from William H. Hanford on nineteen slaves that Hanford was transporting to Tennessee; on 19 January 1819 he taxed John Morton $180 on eighteen slaves that Morton was carrying to Georgia. He further recounts that he then forwarded the money collected to the state treasurer. Citing that Hanford and Morton sued him for unfair taxation, the petitioner states that the Rowan County Superior Court found in favor of the complainants, "the Court being of opinion that Negro slaves purchased in this State & taken to another state for Sale were not liable to the Tax imposed by the Laws of 1817 and 1818"; Hanford and Morton ordered Beard to repay them the collected tax plus interest. He therefore prays the General Assembly to "pass a law directing the Treasurer to pay to him the amount of the said Judgements rendered against him in Rowan Superior Court in favor of said William H. Hanford and John Morton for money collected from them as a Tax on Negro Slaves passing through this state."

PAR Number 11282405

State: North Carolina Year: 1824
Location: Guilford Location Type: County

Abstract: Richard Mendenhall, president of the Manumission Society of North Carolina, decries the extreme injustice in forcing "men into perpetual servitude" and consigning "their posterity to unconditional & unlimited Slavery,” citing that the principle "of humanity, of Christianity, and all the tender ties of human Nature recoil at such a state of degradation." Mendenhall represents that "this state holds upwards of two hundred thousand Slaves" or "near one third of its population" in "the most abject state of Slavery." He therefore suggests "the propriety of softening" the hardship "of Slavery in our State, with a view to its final extinction." In particular, the petitioner asks "why cannot we fix a time, (it has been done in other States) when there shall be no more slaves born among us." He also reports that "it is ascertained that the Government of Hayti has offered to receive as many of our black population as we are willing to send."

PAR Number 11282503

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

Abstract: Members of the Manumission Society seek a law prohibiting the importation of slaves "from any other State or Country, Either to Sell, or retain & use as Slaves." They propose that, before the sale of any slave, the seller should be required to produce a deposition, sworn before a magistrate, stating that the slave had resided in North Carolina for a given number of years. The petitioners also ask that the state make it easier for owners to emancipate their slaves through their wills, noting that "the Slave laws of the State and adjudications made thereon, do operate with serious restraint on the consciences of men by making it Unlawful, for a man to do that in his last moment, which he knows to be his duty." By adopting such "cautious and wise" policies, the petitioners purport that we "may avert from our beloved Country the impending dangers consequent on a State of Slavery" and that "the Children of injured Africa may be restored, to civilize, & Christianize, the land of their Fathers."

PAR Number 11282701

State: North Carolina Year: 1827
Location: Montgomery Location Type: County

Abstract: Fifty-five Montgomery County citizens, "convinced of the pernicious consequences of slave-dealers and others bringing into this State, slaves, many of whom are the most vicious characters that can be selected from farms, and from the gaols of the country," ask that a law be passed "to prevent the further introduction of slaves into this State, under any pretence whatsoever." The residents insist that the continued importation of slaves leads to the "great demoralization and corruption of other slaves, and to the detriment of the citizens."

PAR Number 11282702

State: North Carolina Year: 1827
Location: Stokes Location Type: County

Abstract: Fifty-two Stokes County citizens, "convinced of the pernicious consequences of slave-dealers and others bringing into this State, slaves, many of whom are the most vicious characters that can be selected from farms, and from the gaols of the country," ask that a law be passed "to prevent the further introduction of slaves into this State, under any pretence whatsoever." The residents insist that the continued importation of slaves leads to the "great demoralization and corruption of other slaves, and to the detriment of the citizens."

Next 25 Results