In 1817, "prior to the passage of the Act to prevent the emancipation of slaves," Thomas Rivers "entered into a contract for a certain sum of money" to set free a slave named Henry; the sum in said contract was "the value of the said slave" and was paid by Henry's parents, "coloured persons." Rivers, “being advanced in life,” explains that on account of the slave's youth "it was deemed most expedient that the formal part of the regulations respecting emancipation, should not be pushed until the said slave should have attained a more mature age." Noting that the 1820 Act requires that he petition the legislature "for the regular Emancipation of Slaves," the petitioner declares that he is "desirous of doing justice to the parties who have contracted with him respecting the emancipation of the Said Slave." He therefore "applies himself to the liberality of your Honorable Body hoping under the peculiar circumstances above stated the contract being perfectly legal at the time it was entered into," that "he may be permitted to emancipate the said slave named Henry."
Result: Referred to special committee; rejected.
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Repository: South Carolina Department of Archives and History, Columbia, South Carolina