Petition #11385906


Forty residents of Horry District seek a law forcing free persons of color to leave the state within a given period of about "twelve months”; if they fail to leave within the given period, they should be "subject to Public Sale by the Sheriff of the District, the proceeds of such sale to be placed in the State Treasury.” The petitioners assert that such measures are justifiable since "the social and moral position of the free negroes within our State is fraught with much evil to society without any corresponding good, as a class they are generally, at least so far as our Knowledge extends -- indolent, insolent, and dishonest, occupying a position towards the slave calculated to prove ruinous to him and injurious to his masters interest." To bolster their argument, they cite that "there is now lodged in the Jail of this District and Shortly to suffer the Death penalty a Slave who we believe has been lead to the perpetration of the crime by which he has forfeited his life by a connection with a free Woman of colour, whose business has been the means of his destruction." The petitioners further aver that the free person of color's guardian "in many instances we fear, is the Joint partner with his Ward in Carrying on nefarious traffic with the Slaves who feel themselves protected in their depredations by the Guardian power of the white man over his free Ward."

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Citation information

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