Petition #11379309


"In behalf of the whole," eight members of "The Society of Master Coopers of Charleston" express frustration at the "inattention" given by authorities to the law passed 10 May 1740 and revived 12 March 1783 regarding the management of slaves within the state. "[A]t present as well as for considerable Time past," they observe, "the Slaves of Charleston have been privileged (although illegally) to sell traffick and barter, as well as to carry on different Trades and Occupations (free from the Direction or Superintendance of any white Person whatever." They further declare that the black mechanics and tradesmen work "to their own Emolument, and the great and manifest Injury of the mechanical Part of the Community, selling their commodities and working at their Trades much lower, and at much cheaper Rates, than those Persons who are privileged by their Citizenship." The petitioners believe such "privileges encourage Negroes in Stealing as well as destroy that Subordination which the Situation of this State requires from the Slave towards his master and all other Citizens." The white coopers ask for an act of incorporation, with "privileges and Rights as are usually granted in such Cases."

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Citation information

Repository: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina