Petition #11684903


One hundred nine residents from Rockingham and adjacent counties ask that the period of time allowed to emancipated slaves before they are required to emigrate be reduced from twelve months to one month. Free blacks have it in their "power to annoy us to an extent almost beyond expression," the petitioners complain; they become acquainted with the roads "leading in various directions through our mountainous country," and then "purloin off our slave and reach a free state before we even believe the slave has ran away." Often prompted by abolitionists, free people of color also try to free their slave wives, slave children, and slave relatives. "The laws of Virginia recognise in us the right to hold slaves as our private property," the petitioners argue, "& we contend that no body of men has the right to divest us of our property."

Result: Referred to committee for courts of justice.

10 people are documented within petition 11684903

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Citation information

Repository: Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia