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The Having of Negroes Is Become a BurdenThe Quaker Struggle to Free Slaves in Revolutionary North Carolina$
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Michael Crawford

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780813034706

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813034706.001.0001

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An Act to Prevent Domestic Insurrections

(p.111) 1 1777
The Having of Negroes Is Become a Burden

Michael J. Crawford

University Press of Florida

Suspicious of the Quakers' Loyalist leanings and fearful of slave rebellion, the North Carolina government reacted in alarm when Friends began setting slaves free and introduced a law called the Act to Prevent Domestic Insurrections. The legislature, to counteract the manumission movement, authorized any freeholder to apprehend illegally freed slaves to be delivered to the county sheriff, who was to sell them at the next session of the county court. As an incentive, one-fifth of the sale price went to the freeholders who apprehended the freed slaves; the balance went into the state treasury.

Keywords:   North Carolina government, legislature, Act to Prevent Domestic Insurrections, manumission, freeholders

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