Race and Slavery Petitions Project

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PAR Number 10182301

State: Alabama Year: 1823
Location: Madison Location Type: County

Abstract: Slave owner William Blake requests that Jacob, a slave he recently emancipated, be permitted to remain in the state. The law required that the Jacob leave Alabama within twelve months. Blake argues, however, that "in consequence of his family which he cannot remove, and in as much as he is an upright and honest man, and a useful machanick," Jacob should be permitted to stay. Blake had previously posted a $1,000 good-behavior bond.

PAR Number 10182605

State: Alabama Year: 1826
Location: Limestone Location Type: County

Abstract: Free person of color Francis Hamlin purchased his daughter, Susan Locklear, from James Sims of Limestone County. Hamlin seeks to emancipate his daughter, who is married to Thomas Locklear, a free man of color.

PAR Number 10183901

State: Alabama Year: 1839
Location: Tuscaloosa Location Type: County

Abstract: Free man of color William Lewis asks for permission to remain in Alabama. Lewis explains in his petition that after the death of her owner, his wife, a slave, was taken to Alabama. Lewis followed her there. He notes that they have been married ten years and that he is skilled in the "Carpenter's and House-joiner's business." He adds that he has "always demeaned himself humbly and respectfully toward all persons, having been taught that the only way to pass through life smoothly was to attend to his own business." Affidavits by several white residents of the county attest to William Lewis's impeccable moral character and industriousness.

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 10383501

State: Delaware Year: 1835
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Elijah Gordy states that he purchased Isaac Tyre, "an Excellent Black Smith," for $331 in 1832. He cites that the said Tyre had been convicted of kidnapping and had been sentenced "to be publickly whipped with sixty lashes on his bare back well laid on" after which he was then to be committed to three years solitary confinement in the public jail of Sussex County; "at the expiration of the time of his imprisonment he [was to] be disposed of as a Servant for the term of seven years." Gordy notes that the governor "remitted the imprisonment of three years." The petitioner charges the "said Isaac Tyre, made his escape from the Public Jail of this County of Sussex, within a few days after your petitioner purchased him and he has not been heard of since." Contending that "the weakness and insecurity of the Public Jail gave afforded the said Isaac the opportunity to escape,” Gordy prays "the passing a Law for his relief."

PAR Number 10384101

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Ninety citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384102

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-two citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384103

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Sussex Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-four citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384104

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384105

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-two citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384106

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Forty-four citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384107

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-one citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384108

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Eighteen citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384109

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Twenty-eight citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384110

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: New Castle Location Type: County

Abstract: Sixty-five citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

PAR Number 10384111

State: Delaware Year: 1841
Location: Kent Location Type: County

Abstract: Thirty-two citizens complain about the difficulty "of obtaining efficient and responsible hirelings and laborers, in the occupations of the field and household affairs." They attribute this condition to "the great number of lazy, irresponsible, lawless, and miserable free negroes and mulattoes, upon whom our citizens have mainly to depend for assistance in the cultivation of their fields, and their domestic concerns." They assert that free blacks "constitute a migratory tribe, without fixed abode; alternately roving from city to country, as whim or necessity may drive them in their erratic and wayward course," with the consequence being that "our farmers are deserted by the laborers they have employed in the cultivation of their crops, at the busiest season of the year." The petitioners ask the legislature to enact laws that "will be more efficient in correcting and restraining the idle and roving habits of the negroes and mulattoes, by putting it in the power of our farmers and housekeepers to compel such as would otherwise be idle and worthless, to enter into engagements for the month or year, at the customary wages."

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."

PAR Number 10385309

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

Abstract: Twenty-six "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 11082904

State: Mississippi Year: 1829
Location: Unknown Location Type: County

Abstract: Natchez barber William Hayden, a man of color, says that the Mississippi Act passed in 1822 concerning slaves and free people of color might well "produce absolute ruin to his prospects." He states that he has a good business, a good reputation, and owns property. In constant danger "of being driven from his home," he asks for "a special act exempting him from that part of the said act which requires his removal from the state."

PAR Number 11083304

State: Mississippi Year: 1833
Location: Simpson Location Type: County

Abstract: More than fifty Simpson County residents write in behalf of Enoch Perritt, "a yellow man or one of that Class of our Citizens whom the Laws of this State term Mulatto and that under those Laws the said Enoch is taxed to the amount of about Seven dollars per annum." Such an amount, they assert, is oppressive. Enoch is a blacksmith by trade, peaceable and temperate, one of the most useful "Citizens of the County." The petitioners ask that he be "placed on a footing with other free Citizens of the State" with regard to taxation. Also they ask that he may be protected by "the laws of this state in relation of proving open accounts extended to him as to other individuals." In a related petition, more than twenty other residents also petitioned for tax relief in favor of Enoch Perritt.

PAR Number 11083305

State: Mississippi Year: 1833
Location: Simpson Location Type: County

Abstract: More than twenty Simpson County residents write in behalf of Enoch Perritt, "a yellow man or one of that Class of our Citizens whom the Laws of this State term Mulatto and that under those Laws the said Enoch is taxed to the amount of about Seven dollars per annum." Such an amount, they assert, is oppressive. Enoch is a blacksmith by trade, peaceable and temperate, one of the most useful "Citizens of the County." The petitioners ask that he be "placed on a footing with other free Citizens of the State" with regard to taxation. Also they ask that he may be protected by "the laws of this state in relation of proving open accounts extended to him as to other individuals." In a related petition, more than fifty other residents also petitioned for tax relief in favor of Enoch Perritt.

PAR Number 11085904

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Hinds Location Type: County

Abstract: Forty-four citizens of Hinds County write in behalf of Joseph Nelson, a good house carpenter who is "sober & respectful in his deportment." They request that he be exempted from the pending bill designed to drive free persons of color from the state.

PAR Number 11085905

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Kemper Location Type: County

Abstract: Fifty-three citizens of Kemper County write in behalf of Gillam, a free person of color "of good character" and a carpenter by trade. They request that he be exempted from the pending bill designed to drive free people of color from the state.

PAR Number 11085906

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Hinds Location Type: County

Abstract: Forty-four citizens of Hinds County write in behalf of A. L. Chevis, who "has conducted himself with honesty, sobriety, & humbleness; never having, to our Knowledge, indulged in any Conduct Calculated to render his residence here objectionable." He had worked as a barber and bricklayer. His wife is a slave, and they have eight slave children. The petitioners request that he be exempted from the pending bill designed to drive free people of color from the state.

PAR Number 11085907

State: Mississippi Year: 1859
Location: Copiah Location Type: County

Abstract: Residents of Copiah County say that free person of color John Hunter "universally has always deported himself in an humble and praise worthy manner." He is a carpenter by trade. They request that he be exempted from the pending bill designed to drive free people of color from the state.color from the state.

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