Petition #11385404


Five members of a committee of the Agricultural Society of St. Paul's Parish seek the modification of a law regarding hiring slaves and harboring runaways. They list three separate instances in which owners discovered that their runaway slaves had been hired in Charleston by free people of color. The owners filed suits against the employers, but the courts refused to grant redress because it could not be proved the employers knew the slaves were runaways. The petitioners believe that these acts are "antagonistic to the Agricultural Interests of the State and if so continued, will impair all confidence in a Title to this property so valuable, at least for Taxable purposes." They also report that masters of vessels along the Pon Pon River are also in the habit of hiring "our slaves without our knowledge and against our wishes, at night to load their vessels, thus imposing upon them a laborious task at the time, which ought to be directed to rest, and also encouraging habits of Intemperance and disorganization." The petitioners therefore pray "your Honble Bodies to afford them that protection which their Interests require and the policy of the State demands."

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Citation information

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