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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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PRINTED FROM FLORIDA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.florida.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University Press of Florida, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FLASO for personal use.date: 09 April 2020

1797

1797

Congress Debates the Freemen's Petition

Chapter:
(p.149) 2 1797
Source:
The Having of Negroes Is Become a Burden
Author(s):

Michael J. Crawford

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813034706.003.0026

On 30 January 1797, Pennsylvania congressman John Swanwick presented the freemen's petition to the House of Representatives. His introducing of this petition was in character with his patronage of Philadelphia humanitarian associations. Many southern political leaders objected to any discussion in Congress that touched on slavery because they thought that such debates implied federal authority to legislate regarding slavery. In response to the Society of Friends' 1783 petition to end slave importations, some southern members of Congress even voted against a resolution recommending that each state address the issue individually, because the very act of referring to the issue set an unacceptable precedent. Instead of discussing the merits of the freemen's petition, the members of the House disputed whether the petition should even be received.

Keywords:   John Swanwick, House of Representatives, slavery, Philadelphia humanitarian associations, freemen's petition

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