Petition #11283408


John Waddell recounts that he was transporting twenty-two of his slaves from North Carolina to a plantation along the Red River in Louisiana when his ship "was wrecked on the Coral reefs of Abaco." He discloses that "a small vessel" later "conveyed the passengers & crew, sixty-nine in number to the Town of Nassau," where they were denied any "intercourse with the shore, not even for the purpose of procuring food." Waddell reveals that," after great delay & many petty insults," he and the other passengers "were permitted to land at 8 oclock at night"; the next morning the forty-five slaves belonging to the ship's passengers "were taken on shore by the orders of the Lieutenant Governor of the island & carried before the Officer of the Customs, where they were asked if they desired their freedom," whereupon said slaves "were immediately liberated." He further notes that the Governor stated that if Waddell "presumed to interfere with the manumitted slaves, it would become his duty to hang him & all accessories." Having been "plundered of his property," the petitioner argues that "if it be known that the British Islands so near our coast ... need only be reached to establish the freedom of our slaves & that the power of Great Britain guarantees their safety, it will be holding out a premium to insurrection & the condition of the South would be rendered even more anxious than it has heretofore been." He asks North Carolina to "make common cause with her sisters of the South on this most delicate, but vital subject."

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Citation information

Repository: North Carolina Department of Archives and History, Raleigh, North Carolina