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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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The Trial of Several Negroes Manumitted by Friends

(p.113) 2 1777
The Having of Negroes Is Become a Burden

Michael J. Crawford

University Press of Florida

The North Carolina Yearly Meeting's Standing Committee believed that the new law should apply only to slaves set free after the Act to Prevent Domestic Insurrections was passed. The committee engaged three lawyers on behalf of blacks who had been apprehended and jailed. The lawyers for the blacks argued that because North Carolina's constitution prohibited ex post facto laws, slaves freed before the new act passed could not be seized. They also argued that according to the act of 1741 that had set the requirements for manumission, including meritorious service by the slave and approval by the county court, manumitted slaves should be allowed six months to leave the state before they could be re-enslaved.

Keywords:   North Carolina Yearly Meeting, Act to Prevent Domestic Insurrections, manumission, manumitted slaves, Negroes

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