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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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Petition of Freemen

(p.143) 1 1797
The Having of Negroes Is Become a Burden

Michael J. Crawford

University Press of Florida

In 1797, the confrontation between the Quakers of North Carolina and the state of North Carolina came to debate on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives as the result of two petitions. The first was the following memorial from four former North Carolina slaves who had been manumitted by their Quaker owners and had taken up residence in Philadelphia. Fearing re-enslavement and forcible return to North Carolina under the 1793 Fugitive Slave Act, they sought the help of the Rev. Absalom Jones, one of the founders of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, who helped them draft the memorial, “the earliest black petition to Congress.”

Keywords:   memorial, Quakers, North Carolina, U.S. House of Representatives, Fugitive Slave Act

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