Petition #10382001


Fifteen Delaware residents view the proposed expansion of slavery into Missouri and the territory of Arkansas "with anxious foreboding." The petitioners thus urge the legislature to instruct the state's senators and representatives "to give their voice and influence to restrict slavery in the territory of Arkansaw, and proposed new State of Missouri." The petitioners cite the federal law of 1787 prohibiting slavery from "all territory then appertaining to the United States" and the Delaware declaration of rights of 1776. Furthermore, they argue, the Constitution authorizes the Congress to administer the territories and to review applications for statehood and approve or reject them as it may deem "most conducive to the interests of the Union." Finally, the Constitution outlawed the importation of slaves after 1808. Thus, they argue, the Constitution permits Congress, which has proved itself willing, to regulate slavery in the territories.

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Citation information

Repository: Delaware State Archives, Dover, Delaware