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Title: Slavery in Pennsylvania - A Dissertation Submitted to the Board of University Studies - of the Johns Hopkins University in Conformity with the - Requirements
Author: Turner, Edward Raymond
Language: English
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Transcriber's Notes

Footnotes were numbered consecutively (with the exception of note 37a,
likely an interpolation during printing), beginning anew with each
chapter. They have been renumbered here in a single sequence to
facilitate searches.

In this version, for smoother reading and more convenient reference,
notes have been moved to the end of the chapter where their reference

There are typographical features that could not be reproduced here.
Italics are delimited by underscore characters as _italic_. Any mixed
case 'small capital' phrases have been shifted to their uppercase form.
There are quotations, especially in the notes, from original sources
which make use of superscripted abbreviations. These are noted using
the carat (^) character. If consecutive letters appear as superscript,
they are bracketed with {}, e.g. the abbreviation for 'accounts' is
given as 'acc^{tts}'. The tilde (~) also appears as a diacritical for
certain manuscript abbreviations, on one occasion encompassing two
letters. These are noted as [~c] or [~er]. Finally, the 'oe' ligature
appears here as two separate characters.

Please consult the Transcriber's note at the end of this text for any
other textual issues, and their resolution.

                        SLAVERY IN PENNSYLVANIA

                             A DISSERTATION

                  DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY, 1910


                         EDWARD RAYMOND TURNER

       _Professor of History in the University of Michigan_

                        THE LORD BALTIMORE PRESS

                        BALTIMORE, MD., U. S. A.




There were negroes in the region around the Delaware river before
Pennsylvania was founded, in the days of the Dutch and the Swedes.
As early as 1639 mention is made of a convict sentenced to be taken
to South River to serve among the blacks there.[1] In 1644 Anthony,
a negro, is spoken of in the service of Governor Printz at Tinicum,
making hay for the cattle, and accompanying the governor on his
pleasure yacht.[2] In 1657 Vice-director Alricks was accused of using
the Company's oxen and negroes. Five years later Vice-director Beekman
desired Governor Stuyvesant to send him a company of blacks. In 1664
negroes were wanted to work on the lowlands along the Delaware. A
contract was to be made for fifty, which the West India Company would
furnish.[3] In the same year, when the English captured New Amstel,
afterward New Castle, the place was plundered, and a number of negroes
were confiscated and sold. From Peter Alricks several were taken; of
these eleven were restored to him.[4] At least a few were living on the
shores of the Delaware River in 1677.[5] A year later an emissary was
sent by the justices of New Castle to request most urgently permission
to import negroes from Maryland.[6]

Thus negroes had been brought into the country before Pennsylvania
was founded. Immediately after Penn's coming there is record of them
in his first counties. They were certainly present in Philadelphia
County in 1684, and in Chester in 1687.[7] Penn himself noticed them
in his charter to the Free Society of Traders. In 1702 they were
spoken of as numerous.[8] By that time merchants of Philadelphia made
the importation of negroes a regular part of their business.[9]
Thenceforth they are a noticeable factor in the life of the colony.

While there was an active demand for negroes, there was, nevertheless,
almost from the first, strong opposition to importing them. This is
evident from the fact that during the colonial period the Assembly of
Pennsylvania passed a long series of acts imposing restrictions upon
the traffic. In 1700 a maximum duty of twenty shillings was imposed
on each negro imported. Five years later this duty was doubled.[10]
By that time there had arisen a strong adverse sentiment, due partly
to economic causes, since the white workmen complained that their
wages were lowered by negro competition, and partly to fear aroused
by an insurrection of slaves in New York.[11] Accordingly in 1712 the
Assembly very boldly passed an act to prevent importation, seeking to
accomplish this purpose by making the duty twenty pounds a head. The
law was immediately repealed in England, the Crown not being disposed
to tolerate such independent action, nor willing to allow interference
with the African Company's trade.[12] Either the local feeling was too
strong, or the requirements were less, since in spite of this failure
there was for a while a falling off in the number imported.[13] A
more moderate duty of five pounds was imposed in 1715, but again the
English authorities interposed, repealing it in 1719. Meanwhile an act
to continue this duty had been passed in 1717-1718, but apparently it
was not submitted to the Crown. In 1720-1721 the five pound duty was
again imposed, this act also not being submitted. In 1722 the duty was
repeated, and once more the law expired by limitation before it was
sent up for approval.[14]

Up to this time restrictive legislation had been largely frustrated.
It had encountered not only the disapproval of certain classes in
Pennsylvania, but the powerful opposition of the African Company,
which could count on the decisive interposition of the Lords of
Trade.[15] The Assembly accordingly submitted the acts long after
they had been passed, and made new laws before the old ones had been
disallowed.[16] Nevertheless the number of blacks in the colony had
steadily increased, and in 1721 was estimated to be somewhere between
twenty-five hundred and five thousand.[17] The wrath of the white
laborers was correspondingly increased, and in this year they presented
to the Assembly a petition asking for a law to prevent the hiring of
blacks. The Assembly resolved that such a law would be injurious to the
public and unjust to those who owned negroes and hired them out, but
the restrictions on importing them were maintained.[18] In 1725-1726
the five pound duty was imposed again, and in the same year five pounds
extra was placed upon every convict negro brought into the colony. This
became law by lapse of time.[19]

In 1729 the duty was reduced to two pounds. This duty continued in
force for a generation, satisfactory partly because the opposition
to importing negroes seems to have been less strong, partly because
white servants proved to be cheaper and more adapted to industrial
demands.[20] The newspaper advertisements announce the arrival of many
more cargoes of servants than of negroes; this notwithstanding the fact
that white servants frequently ran away, often to enlist in the wars.
Referring to this fact a message from the Assembly to the governor says
that while the King has seemed to desire the importation of servants
rather than of negroes, yet the enlistment acts make such property so
precarious, that it seems to depend on the will of the servant and the
pleasure of the officer.[21] Nevertheless the number of negroes brought
in steadily dwindled. By 1750 importation had nearly ceased.[22]

A few years later the great efforts made in the last French and
Indian War caused loud complaints again about enlisting servants. It
was feared that people would be driven to the necessity of providing
themselves with negro slaves, as property in them seemed more secure.
This is probably just what occurred, for the increase of negroes is
said to have been alarming.[23] As a result restrictive legislation
was tried again in 1761, when the duty was made ten pounds. The law
was carried only after considerable effort. While the bill was in the
hands of the governor a petition was sent to him, signed by twenty-four
merchants of Philadelphia, who set forth the scarcity and high price of
labor, and their need of slaves. After two months' contest the bill was
passed. One provision of the act was that a new settler need not pay
the duty if he did not sell his slave within eighteen months.[24] In
1768 this act was renewed. In 1773 it was made perpetual, the former
law having been found to be of great public utility; but the duty was
raised to twenty pounds. Once more the act became law by lapse of

The act of 1773 was the last one which the Assembly passed to limit
the importation of negroes. Not only was the duty sufficiently high,
now, but its presence was hardly needed.[26] A silent but powerful
movement was overthrowing slavery in Pennsylvania; and in a short time
the outbreak of the Revolutionary War brought the traffic to an end.
Shortly thereafter, in 1780, the state did what England had never
permitted while she held authority: forbade the importation of slaves

The real reason for the passage of these laws is not always clear.
They may have been passed either to keep negroes out,[28] or to raise
revenue for the government.[29] An analysis of the laws themselves
seems to show that both of these purposes were constantly in mind.[30]
When, however, they are taken in connection with matters which they
themselves do not mention, namely, the predominance of the Quakers in
the colonial Assembly together with the abhorrence which they felt for
the slave-trade and later for slavery itself,[31] it becomes probable
that the predominant motive was restriction.[32] It is also probable
that while the obtaining of revenue was the obvious motive in many of
these acts, yet revenue was so raised precisely because Pennsylvania
desired to keep negroes out; that imported slaves were taxed largely
for reasons similar to those which caused the Stuarts to tax colonial
tobacco, and which lead modern governments to tax spirituous liquors
and opium. It may be added that Pennsylvania always held, both in
colonial times and afterwards, that England forced slavery upon her.
That there was much justice in this complaint the failure of the
earlier legislation goes far to sustain.[33]

The negroes imported were brought sometimes in cargoes, more often
a few at a time. They came mostly from the West Indies, many being
purchased in Barbadoes, Jamaica, Antigua, and St. Christophers.[34] As
a rule they were imported by the merchants of Philadelphia, and, being
received in exchange for grain, flour, lumber, and staves, helped to
make up the balance of trade between Philadelphia and the islands.[35]
A few seem to have been obtained directly from Africa. When so brought,
however, they were found to be unable to endure the winter cold in
Pennsylvania, so that it was considered preferable to buy the second
generation in the West Indies, after they had become acclimated.[36]
Some were brought from other colonies on the mainland, particularly
those to the south. At times Pennsylvania herself exported a few to
other places.[37] The prices paid in the colony naturally fluctuated
from time to time in accordance with supply and demand, and varied
within certain limits according to the age and personal qualities of
each negro. The usual price for an adult seems to have been somewhere
near forty pounds.[38]

As to the number of negroes in Pennsylvania at different times during
the colonial period almost any estimate is at best conjecture. Not only
are there few official reports, but these reports, in the absence of
any definite census, are of little value.[39] Apparently one of the
best estimates was that made in 1721, which stated the number of blacks
at anywhere between 2,500 and 5,000.[40] In 1751 it was at least widely
believed that there were in Philadelphia 6,000, and it is asserted
that the total number in Pennsylvania including the Lower Counties was
11,000.[41] It is probable that the same number was not much exceeded
in Pennsylvania proper at any time before 1790. In these estimates no
attempt was made to distinguish the free from the slaves. The number
of slaves, it is true, was very near the total at both these periods,
but after the middle of the century it began dwindling as the number
of negro servants and free men increased. In 1780 a careful estimate
placed the slaves at 6,000.[42] According to the Federal census of 1790
the number of negroes in Pennsylvania was 10,274.[43]

Of these negroes the great majority throughout the slavery period
were located in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania, in and around
Philadelphia. There were many in Bucks, Chester, Lancaster, Montgomery,
and York counties. There were negroes near the site of Columbia by
1726. John Harris had slaves by the Susquehanna as early as 1733.
In 1759 Hugh Mercer wrote from the vicinity of Pittsburg asking for
two negro girls and a boy. The tax-lists and local accounts reveal
their presence in many other places.[44] Doubtless a few might be
traced wherever white people settled permanently. In general it may
be said that they were owned in the English, Welsh, and Scotch-Irish
communities. The Germans as a rule held no slaves.

Where negroes were owned they were for the most part evenly
distributed, there being few large holdings. In rare instances a
considerable number is recorded as belonging to one man, and the
iron-masters generally had several. The tax-lists, however, indicate
that the average holding was one or two, except in Philadelphia among
the wealthier classes where it was double that number.[45]

The character of slavery in Pennsylvania was in many respects unique,
but in no way was this so true as in connection with the number of
negroes held. Generally speaking, the farther south a section lay the
more slaves did it possess. Thus there were fewer in New England than
in the middle colonies; there were fewer there than in the South. But
to this rule Pennsylvania was an exception, for it had fewer negroes
than New Jersey, and not half so many as New York.[46] This was due
to two sets of causes: the first, ethical; the second, economic. The
first of these are easily understood. They resulted from the character
of many of the people who settled Pennsylvania, their dislike for
slavery, and their refusal to hold slaves. The second are not so easily
traceable, but were doubtless more powerful in their influence, for
they were owing to the character of Pennsylvania's industrial growth.

The plantation system, which is most favorable to the increase of
slavery, never appeared in Pennsylvania. During the whole of the
eighteenth century the activities of the colony developed along two
lines not favorable to negro labor: small farming, and manufacturing
and commerce.[47] The small farms were almost always held by people
who were too poor to purchase slaves, at least for a long while, and
the kind of farming was not such as to make slavery particularly
profitable. In commerce no large number of negroes was ever employed,
while manufacturing demanded a higher grade of labor than slaves could
give. It is true that in some cases where there was an approach to
the factory system, and where the work was rough and needed little
skill, slaves could answer every purpose. For this reason at the old
ironworks negroes were in demand.[48] As a rule, however, this was not
the case. It was because of its industrial character that Pennsylvania
was peculiarly the colony of indentured white servants.

Furthermore, ethical and economic influences interacted with subtle
and powerful force. Barring all other considerations, the cost of a
slave was a considerable item, not to be afforded by a struggling
settler; hence slavery never attained magnitude on the frontier. Before
1700 Pennsylvania was all frontier; hence it had very few negroes. In
the period from 1700 to about 1750 the country between the Delaware
and the Susquehanna was filled up, and the early conditions largely
disappeared. It was then that the greatest number of negroes was
introduced. In the period between the middle of the century and the
Revolution this older country became well developed and prosperous;
farms became larger and better cultivated; there were numerous
respectable manufacturers and wealthy merchants. These men could
easily afford to have slaves, and large importations might have been
expected; but there was no great influx of negroes. Economic conditions
were favorable, but ethical influences worked strongly against it. In
this eastern half of Pennsylvania two racial elements predominated:
the Germans and the English Quakers. The Germans had abstained from
slave-holding from the first;[49] the Quakers were now coming to abhor
it.[50] The same play of causes was seen again in the "old West."
After 1750 in the mountains and valleys beyond the Susquehanna the
earlier frontier conditions were lived over again. Here the settlers
were largely Scotch-Irish, and had no dislike for slavery, but as yet
the conditions of their life did not favor it. When finally western
Pennsylvania passed out of the frontier stage, and its inhabitants
could purchase negroes, the days of slavery in Pennsylvania were nearly
over.[51] For all of these reasons from first to last Pennsylvania's
slave population remained small.


   [1] Breviate. Dutch Records, no. 2, fol. 5. In _2 Pennsylvania
       Archives_, XVI, 234. _Cf._ Hazard, _Annals of Pennsylvania_,
       49. The "Proposed Freedoms and Exemptions for New Netherland,"
       1640, say, "The Company shall exert itself to provide the
       Patroons and Colonists, on their order with as many Blacks as
       possible".... _2 Pa. Arch._, V, 74.

   [2] C. T. Odhner. "The Founding of New Sweden, 1637-1642",
       translated by G. B. Keen in _Pennsylvania Magazine of History
       and Biography_, III, 277.

   [3] Hazard, _Annals of Pennsylvania_, 331; O'Callaghan, _Documents
       relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York_,
       II, 213, 214. The Report of the Board of Accounts on New
       Netherland, Dec. 15, 1644, had spoken of the need of
       negroes, the economy of their labor, and had recommended the
       importation of large numbers. _2 Pa. Arch._, V, 88. See also
       Davis, _History of Bucks County_, 793.

   [4] _2 Pa. Arch._, XVI, 255, 256; Hazard, _Annals of
       Pennsylvania_, 372. Sir Robert Carr, writing to Colonel
       Nicholls, Oct. 13, 1664, says, "I have already sent into
       Merryland some Neegars w^{c}h did belong to the late Governor
       att his plantation above".... _2 Pa. Arch._, V, 578.

   [5] The Records of the Court of New Castle give a list of the
       "Names of the Tijdable prsons Living in this Courts
       Jurisdiction" in which occur "three negros": "1 negro woman of
       Mr. Moll", "1 neger of Mr. Alrichs", "Sam Hedge and neger".
       Book A, 197-201. Quoted in _Pa. Mag._, III, 352-354. For the
       active trade in negroes at this time _cf._ MS. Board of Trade
       Journals, II, 307.

   [6] "Wth out wch wee cannot subsist".... MS. New Castle Court
       Records, Liber A, 406. Hazard, _Annals_, 456.

   [7] "Ik hebbe geen vaste Dienstbode, als een Neger die ik gekocht
       heb." _Missive van Cornelis Bom, Geschreven uit de Stadt
       Philadelphia_, etc., 3. (Oct. 12, 1684). "Man hat hier auch
       Zwartzen oder Mohren zu Schlaven in der Arbeit." Letter,
       probably of Hermans Op den Graeff, Germantown, Feb. 12, 1684,
       in Sachse, _Letters relating to the Settlement of Germantown_,
       25. _Cf._ also MS. in American Philosophical Society's
       collection, quoted in _Pa. Mag._, VII, 106: "Lacey Cocke hath
       A negroe" ..., "Pattrick Robbinson--Robert neverbeegood his
       negor sarvant".... "The Defendts negros" are mentioned in a
       suit for damages in 1687. See MS. Court Records of Penna. and
       Chester Co., 1681-1688, p. 72.

   [8] MS. Ancient Records of Philadelphia, 28 7th mo., 1702.

   [9] MS. William Trent's Ledger, 156. For numerous references to
       negroes brought from Barbadoes, see MS. Booke of acc^{tts}
       Relating to the Barquentine _Constant Ailse_ And^w: Dykes
       mast^r: from March 25th 1700 (-1702). (Pa. State Lib.)

  [10] _Statutes at Large of Pennsylvania_ (edited by J. T. Mitchell
       and Henry Flanders), II, 107. _Ibid._, II, 285. The act of
       1705-1706 was repeated in 1710-1711. _Ibid._, II, 383. _Cf._
       _Colonial Records of Pennsylvania_, II, 529, 530.

  [11] _Votes and Proceedings of the House of Representatives of the
       Province of Pennsylvania_, I, pt. II, 132. _Stat. at L._, II,

  [12] MS. Board of Trade Papers, Proprieties, IX, Q, 39, 42. _Stat.
       at L._, II, 543, 544.

  [13] Jonathan Dickinson, a merchant of Philadelphia, writing to
       a correspondent in Jamaica, 4th month, 1715, says, "I must
       entreat you to send me no more negroes for sale, for our
       people don't care to buy. They are generally against any
       coming into the country." I have been unable to find this
       letter. Watson, who quotes it (_Annals of Philadelphia_, II,
       264), says, "Vide the Logan MSS." _Cf._ also a letter of
       George Tiller of Kingston, Jamaica, to Dickinson, 1712. MS.
       Logan Papers, VIII, 47.

  [14] _Stat. at L._, III, 117, 118; MS. Board of Trade Papers,
       Prop., X, 2, Q, 159; _Stat. at L._, III, 465; _Col. Rec._,
       III, 38, 144, 171. During this period negroes were being
       imported through the custom-house at the rate of about one
       hundred and fifty a year. _Cf._ _Votes and Proceedings_, II,

  [15] In 1727 the iron-masters of Pennsylvania petitioned for the
       entire removal of the duty, labor being so scarce. _Votes and
       Proceedings_, 1726-1742, p. 31. The attitude of the English
       authorities is explained in a report of Richard Jackson, March
       2, 1774, on one of the Pennsylvania impost acts. "The Increase
       of Duty on Negroes in this Law is Manifestly inconsistent with
       the Policy adopted by your Lordships and your Predecessors for
       the sake of encouraging the African Trade" ... Board of Trade
       Papers, Prop., XXIII, Z, 54.

  [16] _Votes and Proceedings_, II, 152; _Col. Rec._, II, 572, 573;
       _1 Pa. Arch._, I, 160-162; _Votes and Proceedings_, 1766, pp.
       45, 46. For a complaint against this practice _cf._ "Copy of
       a Representat^n of the Board of Trade upon some pennsylvania
       Laws" (1713-1714). MS. Board of Trade Papers, Plantations
       General, IX, K, 35.

  [17] O'Callaghan, _N. Y. Col. Docs._, V, 604.

  [18] _Votes and Proceedings_, II, 347.

  [19] _Stat. at L._, IV, 52-56, 60; _Col. Rec._, III, 247, 248, 250.

  [20] _Stat. at L._, IV, 123-128; _Col. Rec._, III, 359; Smith,
       _History of Delaware County_, 261. For a while, no doubt,
       there was a considerable influx. Ralph Sandiford says (1730),
       "We have _negroes_ flocking in upon us since the duty on them
       is reduced to 40 shillings per head." _Mystery of Iniquity_,
       (2d ed.), 5. Many of these were smuggled in from New Jersey,
       where there was no duty from 1721 to 1767. Cooley, _A Study of
       Slavery in New Jersey_, 15, 16.

  [21] Cargoes of servants are advertised in the _American Weekly
       Mercury_, the _Pennsylvania Packet_, and the _Pennsylvania
       Gazette_, _passim_. As to enlistment of servants _cf._
       _Mercury_, _Gazette_, Aug. 7, 1740; _Col. Rec._, IV, 437.
       Complaint about this had been made as early as 1711. _Votes
       and Proceedings_, II, 101, 103.

  [22] Smith, _History of Delaware County_, 261; Peter Kalm, _Travels
       into North America_, etc., (1748), I, 391.

  [23] _Col. Rec._, VII, 37, 38.

  [24] _Stat. at L._, VI, 104-110; _Votes and Proceedings_, 1761,
       pp. 25, 29, 33, 38, 39, 40, 41, 52, 55, 63; _Col. Rec._,
       VIII, 575, 576. "The Petition of Divers Merchants of the City
       of Philadelphia, To The Honble James Hamilton Esqr. Lieut.
       Governor of the Province of Pennsylvania, Humbly Sheweth, That
       We the Subscribers ... have seen for some time past, the many
       inconveniencys the Inhabitants have suffer'd, for want of
       Labourers, and Artificers, by Numbers being Inlisted for His
       Majestys Service and near a total stop to the importation of
       German and other white Servants, have for some time encouraged
       the importation of Negros, ... that an advantage may be
       gain'd by the Introduction of Slaves, w^ch will likewise be
       a means of reduceing the exorbitant Price of Labour, and in
       all Probability bring our staple Commoditys to their usual
       Prices." MS. Provincial Papers, XXV, March 1, 1761.

  [25] _Stat. at L._, VII, 158, 159; VIII, 330-332; _Col. Rec._, IX,
       400, 401, 443, ff.; X, 72, 77. The Board of Trade Journals,
       LXXXII, 47, (May 5, 1774), say that their lordships had
       some discourse with Dr. Franklin "upon the objections ...
       to ... _imposing Duties amounting to a prohibition upon the
       Importation of Negroes_."

  [26] _Cf._ MS. Provincial Papers, XXXII, January, 1775.

  [27] _Stat. at L._, X, 72, 73. It was forbidden by implication
       rather than specific regulation. It had been foreseen that an
       act for gradual abolition entailed stopping the importation of
       negroes. _Pa. Packet_, Nov. 28, 1778; _1 Pa. Arch._, VII, 79.

  [28] Professor E. P. Cheyney in an article written some years ago
       ("The Condition of Labor in Early Pennsylvania, I. Slavery,"
       in _The Manufacturer_, Feb. 2, 1891, p. 8) considers
       these laws to have been restrictive in purpose, and gives
       three causes for their passage, in the following order of
       importance: (a) dread of slave insurrections, (b) opposition
       of the free laboring classes to slave competition, (c)
       conscientious objections. I cannot think that this is correct.
       (a) seems to have been the impelling motive only in connection
       with the law of 1712, and seems rarely to have been thought
       of. It was urged in 1740, 1741, and 1742, when efforts were
       being made to pass a militia law in Pennsylvania, but it
       attracted little attention. _Cf._ MS. Board of Trade Papers,
       Prop., XV, T: 54, 57, 60.

  [29] In a MS. entitled "William Penn's Memorial to the Lords of
       Trade relating to several laws passed in Pensilvania,"
       assigned to the year 1690 in the collection of the Historical
       Society of Pennsylvania, but probably belonging to a later
       period, is the following: "These ... Acts ... to Raise money
       ... to defray publick Exigences in such manner as after a
       Mature delibera[~c]on they thought would not be burthensom
       particularly in the Act for laying a Duty on Negroes" ... MS.
       Pa. Miscellaneous Papers, 1653-1724, p. 24.

  [30] 1700. 20 shillings for negroes over sixteen years of age, 6
       for those under sixteen. No cause given. Apparently (terms
       of the act) _revenue_.--1705-1706. 40 shillings--a draw-back
       of one half if the negro be re-exported within six months.
       Apparently _revenue_.--1710. 40 shillings--excepting those
       imported by immigrants for their own use, and not sold within
       a year. Almost certainly (preamble) _revenue._--1712. 20
       pounds. The causes were a dread of insurrection because of
       the negro uprising in New York, and the Indians' dislike
       of the importation of Indian slaves. Purpose undoubtedly
       _restriction_.--1715. 5 pounds. Apparently (character of
       the provisions) _restriction_ and _revenue_.--1717-1718.
       5 pounds. To continue the preceding. _Restriction_ and
       _revenue_--1720-1721. 5 pounds. To continue the preceding.
       _Revenue_ (preamble) and _restriction_.--1722. 5 pounds.
       To continue provisions of previous acts. _Revenue_ and
       _restriction_.--1725-1726. 5 pounds. _Revenue_ and
       _restriction_.--1729. 2 pounds. Reduction made probably
       because since 1712 none of the laws had been allowed to
       stand for any length of time, and because there had been
       much smuggling. _Revenue_ and _restriction_.--1761. 10
       pounds. No cause given for the increase. _Restriction_
       and _revenue_.--1768. Preceding continued--"of public
       utility." _Restriction_ and _revenue_.--1773. Preceding made
       perpetual--"of great public utility"--but duty raised to 20
       pounds. _Restriction. Cf. Stat. at L._, II, 107, 285, 383,
       433; III, 117, 159, 238, 275; IV, 52, 123; VI, 104; VII, 158;
       VIII, 330.

  [31] See below, chapters IV and V.

  [32] "Man hat besonders in Pensylvanien den Grundsatz angenommen
       ihre Einführung so viel möglich abzuhalten" ... _Achenwall's
       in Göttingen über Nordamerika und über dasige Grosbritannische
       Colonien aus mündlichen Nachrichten des Herrn Dr. Franklins_
       ... _Anmerkungen_, 24, 25. (About 1760).

  [33] _Stat. at L._, X, 67, 68; 1 _Pa. Arch._, I, 306. _Cf._ Mr.
       Woodward's speech, Jan. 19, 1838, _Proceedings and Debates of
       the Convention of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to Propose
       Amendments to the Constitution_, etc., X, 16, 17.

  [34] "Aus Pennsylvanien ... fahren gen Barbadoes, Jamaica
       und Antego. Von dar bringen sie zurück ... Negros."
       Daniel Falkner, _Curieuse Nachricht von Pennsylvania in
       Norden-America_, etc., (17O2), 192. For a negro woman from
       Jamaica (1715), see MS. Court Papers, Philadelphia County,
       1619-1732. Also numerous advertisements in the newspapers.
       _Mercury_, Apr. 17, 1729, (Barbadoes); July 31, 1729,
       (Bermuda); July 23, 1730, (St. Christophers); Jan. 21, 1739,
       (Antigua). Oldmixon, speaking of Pennsylvania, says, "Negroes
       sell here ... very well; but not by the Ship Loadings, as
       they have sometimes done at Maryland and Virginia." (1741.)
       _British Empire in America_, etc., (2d ed.), I, 316. _Cf._
       however the following: "A PARCEL of likely Negro Boys and
       Girls just arrived in the Sloop Charming Sally ... to be
       sold ... for ready Money, Flour or Wheat" ... Advt. in _Pa.
       Gazette_, Sept. 4, 1740. For a consignment of seventy see MS.
       Provincial Papers, XXVII, Apr. 26, 1766.

  [35] _Cf._ MS. William Trent's Ledger, "Negroes" (1703-1708).
       Isaac Norris, Letter Book, 75, 76 (1732). For a statement of
       profit and loss on two imported negroes, see _ibid._, 77. In
       this case Isaac Norris acted as a broker, charging five per
       cent. For the wheat and flour trade with Barbadoes, see _A
       Letter from Doctor More ... Relating to the ... Province of
       Pennsilvania_, 5. (1686).

  [36] Some were probably brought from Africa by pirates. _Cf._ MS.
       Board of Trade Papers, Prop., III, 285, 286; IV, 369; V, 408.
       The hazard involved in the purchase of negroes is revealed in
       the following: "Acco^t of Negroes D^r to Tho. Willen £17: 10
       for a New Negro Man ... £15 and 50 Sh. more if he live to the
       Spring" ... MS. James Logan's Account Book, 91, (1714). As to
       the effect of cold weather upon negroes, Isaac Norris, writing
       to Jonathan Dickinson in 1703, says, ... "they're So Chilly
       they Can hardly Stir frõ the fire and Wee have Early beginning
       for a hard Wint^r." MS. Letter Book, 1702-1704, p. 109. In
       1748 Kalm says, ... "the toes and fingers of the former"
       (negroes) "are frequently frozen." _Travels_, I, 392.

  [37] _Mercury_, Sept. 26, 1723. MS. Penn Papers, Accounts
       (unbound), 27 3d mo., 1741. Also _Calendar of State Papers,
       America and West Indies, 1697-1698_, p. 390; _Col. Rec._, IV,
       515; _Pa. Mag._, XXVII, 320.

  [38] A Report of the Royal African Company, Nov. 2, 1680, purports
       to show the first cost: "That the Negros cost them the
       first price 5li: and 4li: 15s. the freight, besides 25li p
       cent which they lose by the usual mortality of the Negros."
       MS. Board of Trade Journals, III, 229. The selling price had
       been considered immoderate four years previous. _Ibid._, I,
       236. In 1723 Peter Baynton sold "a negroe man named Jemy ...
       30 £." Loose sheet in Peter Baynton's Ledger. In 1729 a negro
       twenty-five years old brought 35 pounds in Chester County.
       MS. Chester County Papers, 89. The Moravians of Bethlehem
       purchased a negress in 1748 for 70 pounds. _Pa. Mag._, XXII,
       503. Peter Kalm (1748) says that a full grown negro cost
       from 40 pounds to 100 pounds; a child of two or three years,
       8 pounds to 14 pounds. _Travels_, I, 393, 394. Mittelberger
       (1750) says 200 to 350 florins (33 to 58 pounds). _Journey to
       Pennsylvania in the Year 1750_, etc., 106. Franklin (1751)
       in a very careful estimate thought that the price would
       average about 30 pounds. _Works_ (ed. Sparks), II, 314.
       Acrelius (about 1759) says 30 to 40 pounds. _Description of
       ... New Sweden_, etc. (translation of W. M. Reynolds, 1874,
       in _Memoirs of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania_, XI),
       p. 168. A negro iron-worker brought 50 pounds at Bethlehem in
       1760. _Pa. Mag._, XXII, 503. In 1790 Edward Shippen writes
       of a slave who cost him 100 pounds. _Ibid._, VII, 31. It is
       probable that the value of a slave was roughly about three
       times that of a white servant. _Cf. Votes and Proceedings_
       (1764), V, 308.

  [39] In 1708 the Board of Trade requested the governor of
       Pennsylvania that very definite information on a variety of
       subjects relating to the negro be transmitted thereafter half
       yearly. Were these records available they would be worth more
       than all the remaining information. _Cf._ MS. Provincial
       Papers, I, April 15, 1708; 1 _Pa. Arch._, I, 152, 153.

  [40] _N. Y. Col. Docs._, V, 604. As to the necessity for allowing
       so large a margin in these figures _cf._ the following. "The
       number of the whites are said to be Sixty Thousand, and of
       the Black about five Thousand." Col. Hart's Answer, etc., MS.
       Board of Trade Papers, Prop., XI, R: 7. (1720). "The number
       of People in this Province may be computed to above 40,000
       Souls amongst whom we have scarce any Blacks except a few
       Household Servants in the City of Philadelphia" ... Letter
       of Sir William Keith, _ibid._, XI, R: 42. (1722). Another
       communication gave the true state of the case, if not the
       exact numbers. "This Government has not hitherto had Occasion
       to use any methods that can furnish us with an exact Estimate,
       but as near as can at present be guessed there may be about
       _Forty five thousand_ Souls of _Whites_ and _four thousand_
       Blacks." Major Gordon's answer to Queries, _ibid._, XIII, S:
       34. (1730-1731).

  [41] William Douglass, _A Summary, Historical and Political, ...
       of the British Settlements in North-America_, etc. (ed.
       1755), II, 324; Abiel Holmes, _American Annals_, etc., II,
       187; Bancroft, _History of the United States_ (author's last
       revision), II, 391.

  [42] Letter in _Pa. Packet_, Jan 1, 1780. This made allowance
       for the numerous runaways during the British occupation of
       Philadelphia. Also _ibid._, Dec. 25, 1779; 1 _Pa. Arch._, XI,
       74, 75. For a higher estimate, 10,000, for 1780 but made in
       1795, see MS. Collection of the Records of the Pa. Society for
       the Abolition of Slavery, etc., IV, 111.

  [43] Slaves, 3,737; free, 6,537. Other enumerations occur, but are
       evidently without value. Oldmixon (1741), 3,600. _British
       Empire in America_, I, 321. Burke (1758), about 6,000. _An
       Account of the European Settlements in America_, II, 204. Abbé
       Raynal (1766), 30,000. _A Philosophical and Political History
       of the British Settlements ... in North America_ (tr. 1776),
       I, 163. A communication to the Earl of Dartmouth (1773),
       2,000. MS. Provincial Papers, Jan. 1775; 1 _Pa. Arch._, IV,
       597. Smyth (1782), over 100,000. _A Tour in the United States
       of America_, etc., II, 309.

  [44] MS. (Samuel Wright), A Journal of Our Rem(oval) from Chester
       and Darby (to) Conestogo ... 1726, copied by A. C. Myers;
       Morgan, _Annals of Harrisburg_, 9-11; _Col. Rec._, VIII, 305,
       306. Tax-lists printed in 3 _Pa. Arch._ Also Davis, _Hist.
       of Bucks Co._, 793; Futhey and Cope, _Hist. of Chester Co._,
       423 425; Ellis and Evans, _Hist. of Lancaster Co._, 301;
       Gibson, _Hist. of York Co._, 498; Bean, _Hist. of Montgomery
       Co._, 302; Lytle, _Hist. of Huntingdon Co._, 182; Blackman,
       _Hist. of Susquehanna Co._, 72; Creigh, _Hist. of Washington
       Co._, 362; Bausman, _Hist. of Beaver Co._, I, 152, 153;
       Linn, _Annals of Buffalo Valley_, 66-74; Peck, _Wyoming; its
       History_, etc., 240.

  [45] MS. Assessment Books, Chester Co., 1765, p. 197; 1768, p. 326;
       1780, p. 95; MS. Assessment Book, Phila. Co., 1769. As early
       as 1688 Henry Jones of Moyamensing had thirteen negroes. MS.
       Phila. Wills, Book A, 84. An undated MS. entitled "A List of
       my Negroes" shows that Jonathan Dickinson had thirty-two.
       Dickinson Papers, unclassified. An owner in York County is
       said to have had one hundred and fifty. 3 _Pa. Arch._, XXI,
       71. This is probably a misprint.

  [46] In 1790 the numbers were as follows: New York, 21,324 slaves,
       4,654 free, total 25,978; New Jersey, 11,423 slaves, 4,402
       free, total 15,825; Pennsylvania, 3,737 slaves, 6,537 free,
       total 10,274.

  [47] On Pennsylvania's amazing commercial and industrial activity
       see Anderson, _Historical and Chronological Deductions of the
       Origin of Commerce_, etc. (1762), III, 75-77.

  [48] See below, p. 41.

  [49] See below, chapters IV and V.

  [50] See below, _ibid._

  [51] Nevertheless slavery took root in the western counties, and
       lingered there longer than anywhere else in Pennsylvania.



The legal origin of slavery[52] in Pennsylvania is not easy to
discover, for the statute of 1700, which seems to have recognized
slavery there, is, like similar statutes in some of the other American
colonies, very indirect and uncertain in its wording. Before this time,
it is true, there occur instances where negroes were held for life, so
that undoubtedly there was _de facto_ slavery; but by what authority it
existed, or how it began, is not clear. It may have grown up to meet
the necessities of a new country. It may have been an inheritance from
earlier colonists. More probably still, it developed by diverging from
temporary servitude which, in the case of white servants at least,
flourished among the earliest English settlers in the region.

It is probable that slavery existed among the Dutch of New Netherland,
and possibly among the Swedes along the Delaware.[53] In 1664 their
settlements passed under English authority. To regulate them the
so-called "Duke of York's Laws" were promulgated. Meanwhile around the
estuary of the Delaware English colonists were settling with their
negroes. In 1676, five years before Penn set out for his territories,
the Duke's laws seem to have been obeyed in part of the Delaware River
country.[54] In these laws servants for life are explicitly mentioned.
In them it is also ordained that no Christian shall be held in bond
slavery or villenage.[55] This latter may be a tacit permission to hold
heathen negroes as slaves.

Not much can be based upon the Duke of York's laws since their meaning
upon this latter point is doubtful. Moreover, when Penn founded his
colony they were superseded after a short time by laws enacted in
Pennsylvania assemblies. In the years following at first no act was
passed recognizing slavery, but that some slaves were held there
is apparent. Numerous little pieces of evidence may be accumulated
indicating that there were negroes who were not being held as servants
for a term of years, nor does anything appear to indicate that this
was looked upon as illegal.[56] In 1685 William Penn, writing to his
steward at Pennsbury, said that it would be better to have blacks to
work the place, since they might be held for life.[57] In the same
year by the terms of a recorded deed a negro was sold to a new master
"forever."[58] Three years later the Friends of Germantown issued
their celebrated protest against slavery,[59] while in 1693 George
Keith denounced the practice of enslaving men and holding them in
perpetual bondage.[60] Meanwhile no law was made authorizing slavery
in the colony, and no court seems to have been called upon to decide
whether slavery was legal. It is not until 1700 that a statute was
passed bearing upon the subject. In that year a law for the regulation
of servants contains a section designed to prevent the embezzlement by
servants of their masters' goods. This section asserts that the servant
if white shall atone for such theft by additional servitude at the end
of his time sufficient to pay for double the value of the goods; but
if black he shall be severely whipped in the most public place of the
township.[61] It is probable that the law was so worded because it had
come to be seen that there were few cases in which a negro could give
satisfaction by additional time at the end of his term, since negroes
were being held for life. If such be the case, this law may be said to
contain the formal recognition of slavery in the colony.

The legal development of this slavery was rapid and brief. As it was
not created by statutory enactment, so some of its most important
incidents were never alluded to in the laws. The Assembly of
Pennsylvania, unlike that of Virginia, never seems to have thought
it necessary to define the status of the slave as property, the
consequences of slave baptism, or the line of servile descent.[62]
Some of these questions had been settled in other colonies before
the founding of Pennsylvania, and there the results seem to have
been accepted. Accordingly the steps in the development are neither
obvious nor distinct. They rest not so much upon statute as upon court
decisions interpreting usage, and in many cases the decisions do not
come until the end of the slavery period. Notwithstanding all this
there was a development, which may be said to fall into three periods.
They were, first, the years from 1682 to 1700, when slavery was slowly
diverging from servitude, which it still closely resembled; second,
from 1700 to 1725-1726, when slavery was more sharply marked off from
servitude; and third, the period from 1725-1726 to 1780, when nothing
was added but some minor restrictions.

During the earliest years slavery in Pennsylvania differed from
servitude in but little, save that servitude was for a term of years
and slavery was for life. It may be questioned whether at first all men
recognized even this difference. Many of Penn's first colonists were
men who embarked upon their undertaking with high ideals of religion
and right, and whose conception of what was right could not easily be
reconciled with hopeless bondage.[63] The strength of this sentiment is
seen in the well known provision of Penn's charter to the Free Society
of Traders, 1682, that if they held blacks they should make them free
at the end of fourteen years, the blacks then to become the Company's
tenants.[64] It is the motive in Benjamin Furley's proposal to hold
negroes not longer than eight years.[65] It is particularly evident
in the protest made at Germantown in 1688.[66] It is seen in George
Keith's declaration of principles in 1693.[67] And it gave impetus to
the movement among the Friends, which, starting about 1696, led finally
to the emancipation of all their negroes.

Accordingly at first there may have been some negroes who were held as
servants for a term of years, and who were discharged when they had
served their time.[68] There is no certain proof that this was so,[69]
and the probabilities are rather against it, but the conscientious
scruples of some of the early settlers make it at least possible.
In the growth of the colony, however, this feeling did not continue
strong enough to be decisive. Economic adjustment, an influx of men of
different standards, and motives of expediency, perhaps of necessity,
made the legal recognition of an inferior status inevitable. Against
this the upholders of the idea that negroes should be held only as
servants, for a term of years, waged a losing fight. It is true they
did not desist, and in the course of one hundred years their view
won a complete triumph; but their success came in abolition, and in
overthrowing a system established, long after they had utterly failed
to prevent the swift growth and the statutory recognition of legal
slavery for life and in perpetuity.

Aside from this one fundamental difference the incidents of each status
were nearly the same. The negro held for life was subject to the same
restrictions, tried in the same courts, and punished with the same
punishments as the white servant. So far as either class was subject
to special regulation at this time it was because of the laws for
the management of servants, passed in 1683 and 1693, which concerned
white servants equally with black slaves. These restrictions were as
yet neither numerous nor detailed, being largely directed against
free people who abetted servants in wrong doing. Thus, servants were
forbidden to traffic in their masters' goods; but the only penalty
fell on the receiver, who had to make double restitution. They were
restricted as to movement, and when travelling they must have a pass.
If they ran away they were punished, the white servant by extra
service, the black slave by whipping, but this different punishment for
the slave was not enacted until 1700, the beginning of the next period.
Whoever harbored them was liable to the master for damages.[70] The
relations between master and servant were likewise simple. The servant
was compelled to obey the master. If he resisted or struck the master,
he was punished at the discretion of the court. On the other hand the
servant was to be treated kindly.[71]

The period, then, prior to 1700 was characteristically a period
of servitude. The laws spoke of servants white and black.[72] The
regulations, the restrictions, the trials, the punishments, were
identical. There was only the one difference: white servants were
discharged with freedom dues at the end of a specified number of years;
for negroes there was no discharge; they were servants for life, that
is, slaves.

In the period following 1700 this difference gradually became apparent,
and made necessary different treatment and distinct laws. This
resulted from a recognition of the dissimilarity in character between
property based on temporary service and that based on service for
life. In the first place perpetual service gave rise to a new class of
slaves. At first the only ones in Pennsylvania were such negroes as
were imported and sold for life. But after a time children were born
to them. These children were also slaves, because ownership of a negro
held for life involved ownership of his offspring also, since, the
negro being debarred by economic helplessness from rearing children,
all of his substance belonging to his master, the master must assume
the cost of rearing them, and might have the service of the children
as recompense.[73] This was the source of the second and largest class
of slaves. The child of a slave was not necessarily a slave if one
of the parents was free. The line of servile descent lay through the
mother.[74] Accordingly the child of a slave mother and a free father
was a slave, of a free mother and a slave father a servant for a term
of years only. The result of the application of this doctrine to the
offspring of a negro and a white person was that mulattoes were divided
into two classes. Some were servants for a term of years; the others
formed a third class of slaves.

In the second place perpetual service gave to slave property more of
the character of a thing, than was the case when the time of service
was limited. The service of both servants and slaves was a thing,
which might be bought, sold, transferred as a chattel, inherited and
bequeathed by will; but in the case of a slave, the service being
perpetual, the idea of the service as a thing tended to merge into
the idea of the slave himself as a thing. The law did not attempt to
carry this principle very far. It never, as in Virginia, declared the
slave real estate. In Pennsylvania he was emphatically both person and
thing, with the conception of personality somewhat predominating.[75]
Yet there was felt to be a decided difference between the slave and the
servant, and this, together with the desire to regulate the slave as a
negro distinguished from a white man, was the cause of the distinctive
laws of the second period.

The years from 1700 to 1725-1726 are marked by two great laws which
almost by themselves make up the slave code of Pennsylvania. The first,
passed in 1700 and passed again in 1705-1706, regulated the trial and
punishments of slaves.[76] It marked the beginning of a new era in the
regulation of negroes, in that, subjecting them to different courts and
imposing upon them different penalties, it definitely marked them off
as a class distinct from all others in the colony. In 1725-1726 further
advance was made. Not only was the negro now subjected to special
regulation because he was a slave, but whether slave or free he was
now made subject to special restrictions because he was a negro. While
some of these had to do with movement and behavior, the most important
forbade all marriage or intercourse with white people.[77] These laws
must be examined in detail.

From the very first was seen the inevitable difficulty involved in
punishing the negro criminal as a person, and yet not injuring the
master's property in the thing. The result of this was that masters
were frequently led to conceal the crimes of their slaves, or to take
the law into their own hands.[78] The solution was probably felt to be
the removal of negroes from the ordinary courts. It is said, also, that
Penn desired to protect the negro by clearly defining his crimes and
apportioning his punishments. Accordingly he urged the law of 1700.[79]

Under this law negroes when accused were not to be tried in the regular
courts of the colony. They were to be presented by the Courts of
Quarter Sessions, but the cases were to be dealt with by special courts
for the trial of negroes, composed of two commissioned justices of the
peace and six substantial freeholders. On application these courts
were to be constituted by executive authority when occasion demanded.
Witnesses were to be allowed, but there was to be no trial by jury.[80]
In such courts it was doubtless easier to regard the slave as property,
and do full justice to the rights of the master.

Something was still wanting, however, for in case the slave criminal
was condemned to death, the loss fell entirely on the master. From
the earliest days of the colony owners had been praying for relief
from this. In 1707 the masters of two slaves petitioned the governor
to commute the death sentence to chastisement and transportation, and
thus save them from pecuniary loss. The petition was granted. Such
commutation was frequently sought, and in the special courts it could
be more readily granted.[81] The real solution, however, was discovered
in 1725-1726, when it was ordained that thereafter if any slave
committed a capital crime, immediately upon conviction the justices
should appraise such slave, and pay the value to the owner, out of a
fund arising principally from the duty on negroes imported.[82]

These laws continued in force until 1780, and down to that time slaves
were removed from the jurisdiction of the regular courts of the
province; although after 1776 it was asserted that the clause about
trial by jury in the new state constitution affected slaves as well as
free men; and a slave was actually so tried in 1779.[83] Whether this
view prevailed in all quarters it is impossible to say. In the next
year the abolition act did away with the special courts entirely.[84]

The law of 1700, which marked the differentiation of slaves from
servants, marked also the beginning of discrimination. For negroes
there were to be different punishments as well as a different mode
of trial. Murder, buggery, burglary, or rape of a white woman, were
to be punished by death; attempted rape by castration; robbing and
stealing by whipping, the master to make good the theft.[85] This law
was repeated in 1705-1706, except that the punishment for attempted
rape was now made whipping, branding, imprisonment, and transportation,
while these same penalties were to be imposed for theft over five
pounds. Theft of an article worth less than five pounds entailed
whipping up to thirty-nine lashes.[86] For white people at this time,
whether servants or free, there was a different code.[87]

A far more important discrimination was made in 1725-1726 by the law
which forbade mixture of the races. There had doubtless been some
intercourse from the first. A white servant was indicted for this
offence in 1677; and a tract of land in Sussex County bore the name
of "Mulatto Hall." In 1698 the Chester County Court laid down the
principle that mingling of the races was not to be allowed.[88] The
matter went beyond this, for in 1722 a woman was punished for abetting
a clandestine marriage between a white woman and a negro.[89] A few
months thereafter the Assembly received a petition from inhabitants of
the province, inveighing against the wicked and scandalous practice of
negroes cohabiting with white people.[90] It appeared to the Assembly
that a law was needed, and they set about framing one. Accordingly in
the law of 1725-1726 they provided stringent penalties. No negro was to
be joined in marriage with any white person upon any pretense whatever.
A white person violating this was to forfeit thirty pounds, or be sold
as a servant for a period not exceeding seven years. A clergyman who
abetted such a marriage was to pay one hundred pounds.[91]

The law did not succeed in checking cohabitation, though of marriages
of slaves with white people there is almost no record.[92] There exists
no definite information as to the number of mulattoes in the colony
during this period, but advertisements for runaway slaves indicate that
there were very many of them. The slave register of 1780 for Chester
County shows that they constituted twenty per cent. of the slave
population in that locality.[93] It must be said that the stigma of
illicit intercourse in Pennsylvania would not generally seem to rest
upon the masters, but rather upon servants, outcasts, and the lowlier
class of whites.[94]

Negro slaves were subject to another class of restrictions which were
made against them rather as slaves than as black men. These concerned
freedom of movement and freedom of action. During the earlier years of
the colony's history regulation of the movements of the slaves rested
principally in the hands of the owners. The continual complaints about
the tumultuous assembling of negroes, to be noticed presently, would
seem to indicate that considerable leniency was exercised.[95] But
frequently white people lured them away, and harbored and employed
them.[96] The law of 1725-1726 was intended specially to stop this.
No negro was to go farther than ten miles from home without written
leave from his master, under penalty of ten lashes on his bare back.
Nor was he to be away from his master's house, except by special leave,
after nine o'clock at night, nor to be found in tippling-houses, under
like penalty. For preventing these things counter-restrictions were
imposed upon white people. They were forbidden to employ such negroes,
or knowingly to harbor or shelter them, except in very unseasonable
weather, under penalty of thirty shillings for every twenty-four hours.
Finally it was provided that negroes were not to meet together in
companies of more than four. This last seems to have remained a dead

That this legislation failed to produce the desired effect is shown by
the experience of Philadelphia in dealing with negro disorder. Such
disorder was complained of as early as 1693, when, on presentment
of the grand jury, it was directed that the constables or any other
person should arrest such negroes as they might find gadding abroad on
first days of the week, without written permission from the master,
and take them to jail, where, after imprisonment, they should be given
thirty-nine lashes well laid on, to be paid for by the master. This
seems to have been enforced but laxly, for in 1702 the grand jury
presented the matter again, and their recommendation was repeated with
warmth in the year following.[98] A few years later they urged measures
to suppress the unruly negroes of the city.[99] In 1732 the council
was forced to recommend an ordinance to bring this about, and such an
ordinance was drawn up and considered. Next year the Monthly Meeting
of Friends petitioned, and the matter was taken up again, but nothing
came of it, so that the council was compelled to observe that further
legislation was assuredly needed.[100] In 1741 the grand jury presented
the matter strongly,[101] and an explicit order was at last given that
constables should disperse meetings of negroes within half an hour
after sunset.[102] The nuisance, probably, was still not abated,
for in 1761 the mayor caused to be published in the papers previous
legislation on the subject.[103] Nothing further seems to have been

The continued failure to suppress these meetings in defiance of a law
of the province, must be attributed either to the intrinsic difficulty
of enforcing such a law, or to the fact that the meetings were
objectionable because of their rude and boisterous character, rather
than because of any positive misdemeanor. More probably still this is
but one of the many pieces of evidence which show how leniently the
negro was treated in Pennsylvania.

The third period, from 1726 to 1780, is distinguished more because
of the lack of important legislation about the negro than through
any marked character of its own. The outlines of the colony's slave
code had now been drawn, and no further constructive work was done.
There is, however, one class of laws which may be assigned to this
period, since the majority of them fall chronologically within its
limits, though they are scarcely more characteristic of it than they
are of either of the two periods preceding. All of these laws imposed
restrictions upon the actions of negro slaves in matters in which white
people were restricted also, but the restrictions were embodied in
special sections of the laws, because of the negro's inability to pay a
fine: the law imposing corporal punishment upon the slave, whenever it
exacted payment in money or imprisonment from others.

Thus, an act forbidding the use of fireworks without the governor's
permission, states that the slave instead of being imprisoned shall
be publicly whipped. Another provides that if a slave set fire to any
woodlands or marshes he shall be whipped not exceeding twenty-one
lashes. As far back as 1700 whipping had been made the punishment of a
slave who carried weapons without his master's permission. In 1750-1751
participation in a horse-race or shooting-match entailed first fifteen
lashes, and then twenty-one, together with six days' imprisonment for
the first offense, and ten days' imprisonment thereafter. In 1760
hunting on Indians' lands or on other people's lands, shooting in the
city, or hunting on Sunday, were forbidden under penalty of whipping
up to thirty-one lashes. In 1750-1751 the penalty for offending
against the night watch in Philadelphia was made twenty-one lashes
and imprisonment in the work-house for three days at hard labor; for
the second offence, thirty-one lashes and six days. Sometimes it was
provided that a slave might be punished as a free man, if his master
would stand for him. Thus a slave offending against the regulations
for wagoners was to be whipped, or fined, if his master would pay the

So far the slave was under the regulation of the state. He was also
subject to the regulation of his owner, who, in matters concerning
himself and not directly covered by laws, could enforce obedience by
corporal punishment. This was sometimes administered at the public
whipping-post, the master sending an order for a certain number of
lashes.[105] But the slave was not given over absolutely into the
master's power. If he had to obey the laws of the state, he could
also expect the protection of the state.[106] The master could not
starve him, nor overwork him, nor torture him. Against these things
he could appeal to the public authorities. Moreover public opinion
was powerfully against them. If a master killed his slave the law
dealt with him as though his victim were a white man.[107] It is not
probable, to be sure, that the sentence was often carried out, but such
cases did not often arise.[108]

Such was the legal status of the slave in Pennsylvania. Before 1700 it
was ill defined, but probably much like that of the servant, having
only the distinctive incident of perpetual service, and the developing
incident of the transmission of servile condition to offspring.
Gradually it became altogether different. To the slave now appertained
a number of incidents of lower status. He was tried in separate courts,
subject to special judges, and punished with different penalties.
Admixture with white people was sternly prohibited. He was subject to
restrictions upon movement, conduct, and action. He could be corrected
with corporal punishment. The slave legislation of Pennsylvania
involved discriminations based both upon inferior status, and what
was regarded as inferior race. Nevertheless it will be shown that in
most respects the punishments and restrictions imposed upon negro
slaves were either similar to those imposed upon white servants, or
involved discriminations based upon the inability of the slave to pay
a fine, and upon the fact that mere imprisonment punished the master
alone. Moreover, what harshness there was must be ascribed partly to
the spirit of the times, which made harsher laws for both white men
and black men. The slave code almost never comprehended any cruel or
unusual punishments. As a legal as well as a social system slavery in
Pennsylvania was mild.

  [52] Throughout this work the fundamental distinction between the
       words "slave" and "servant," as used in the text, is that
       "slave" denotes a person held for life, "servant" a person
       held for a term of years only.]

  [53] _Cf._ O'Callaghan, _Voyages of the Slavers St. John and
       Arms of Amsterdam_, etc., 100, for a bill of sale, 1646.
       Sprinchorn, _Kolonien Nya Sveriges Historia_, 217.]

  [54] MS. Record of the Court at Upland in Penn., Sept. 25, 1676.]

  [55] "No Christian shall be kept in Bondslavery villenage or
       Captivity, Except Such who shall be Judged thereunto by
       Authority, or such as willingly have sould, or shall sell
       themselves," ... _Laws of the Province of Pennsylvania ...
       preceded by the Duke of York's Laws_, etc., 12. This is not to
       prejudice any masters "who have ... Apprentices for Terme of
       Years, or other Servants for Term of years or Life." _Ibid._,
       12. Another clause directs that "No Servant, except such are
       duly so for life, shall be Assigned over to other Masters
       ... for above the Space of one year, unless for good reasons
       offered". _Ibid._, 38.]

  [56] There is an evident distinction intended in the following: "A
       List of the Tydable psons James Sanderling and slave John Test
       and servant." One follows the other. MS. Rec. Court at Upland,
       Nov. 13, 1677. In 1686 the price of a negro, 30 pounds, named
       in a law-suit, is probably that of a slave. MS. Minute Book.
       Common Pleas and Quarter Sessions. Bucks Co., 1684-1730, pp.
       56, 57. A will made in 1694 certainly disposed of the within
       mentioned negroes for life. "I do hereby give ... pow^r ... to
       my s^d Exers ... eith^r to lett or hire out my five negroes
       ... and pay my s^d wife the one half of their wages Yearly
       during her life or Oth^rwise give her such Compensa[~c]on for
       her int^rest therein as shee and my s^d Ex[~er]s shall agree
       upon and my will is that the other half of their s^d wages
       shall be equally Devided between my aforsd Children, and after
       my sd wife decease my will also is That the sd negroes Or such
       of them and their Offsprings as are then alive shall in kind
       or value be equally Devided between my s^d Children" ... Will
       of Thomas Lloyd. MS. Philadelphia Wills, Book A, 267.

  [57] MSS., Domestic Letters, 17.

  [58] "Know all men by these presents That I Patrick Robinson
       Countie Clark of Philadelphia for and in Consideration of the
       Sum of fourtie pounds Current Money of Pennsilvania ... have
       bargained Sold and delivered ... unto ... Joseph Browne for
       himselfe, ... heirs ex[~e]rs ad[~m]rs and assigns One Negro
       man Named Jack, To have and to hold the Said Negro man named
       Jack unto the said Joseph Browne for himself ... for ever. And
       I ... the said Negro man unto him ... shall and will warrant
       and for ever defend by these presents." MS. Philadelphia Deed
       Book, E, 1, vol. V, 150, 151. This is similar to the regular
       legal formula afterward. _Cf._ MS. Ancient Rec. Sussex Co.,
       1681-1709, Sept. 22, 1709.

  [59] See below, p. 65.

  [60] "And to buy Souls and Bodies of men for Money, to enslave them
       and their Posterity to the end of the World, we judge is a
       great hinderance to the spreading of the Gospel" ... "neither
       should we keep them in perpetual Bondage and Slavery against
       their Consent" ... _An Exhortation and Caution To Friends
       Concerning buying or keeping of Negroes_, reprinted in _Pa.
       Mag._, XIII, 266, 268.

  [61] "An Act for the better Regulation of Servants in this Province
       and Territories." _Stat. at L._, II, 56.

  [62] _Cf._ J. C. Ballagh, _A History of Slavery in Virginia_,
       chapter II.

  [63] _Cf._ letter of William Edmundson to Friends in Maryland,
       Virginia, and other parts of America, 1675. S. Janney,
       _History of the Religious Society of Friends, from Its Rise to
       the Year 1828_, III, 178.

  [64] _The Articles Settlement and Offices of the Free Society of
       Traders in Pennsylvania_, etc., article XVIII. This quite
       closely resembles the ordinance issued by Governor Rising to
       the Swedes in 1654, that after a certain period negroes should
       be absolutely free.... "efter 6 åhr vare en slafvare alldeles
       fri." Sprinchorn, _Kolonien Nya Sveriges Historia_, 271.

  [65] "Let no blacks be brought in directly. and if any come out of
       Virginia, Maryld. [or elsewhere _erased_] in families that
       have formerly bought them elsewhere Let them be declared (as
       in the west jersey constitutions) free at 8 years end." "B. F.
       Abridgm^t. out of Holland and Germany." Penn MSS. Ford _vs._
       Penn. etc., 1674-1716, p. 17.

  [66] _Cf. Pa. Mag._, IV, 28-30.

  [67] _Ibid._, XIII, 265-270.

  [68] Negro servants are mentioned. See _Pa. Mag._, VII, 106. _Cf._
       below, p. 54. Little reliance can be placed upon the early use
       of this word.

  [69] I have found no instance where a negro was indisputably a
       servant in the early period. The court records abound in
       notices of white servants.

  [70] _Laws of the Province of Pennsylvania ... 1682-1700_, p. 153
       (1683), 211, 213 (1693). For running away white servants had
       to give five days of extra service for each day of absence.
       _Ibid._, 166 (1683), 213 (1693). Harboring cost the offender
       five shillings a day. _Ibid._, 152 (1683), 212 (1693).

  [71] _Ibid._, 113 (1682); _ibid._, 102 (Laws Agreed upon in

  [72] _Ibid._, 152. "No Servant white or black ... shall at anie
       time after publication hereof be Attached or taken into
       Execution for his Master or Mistress debt" ...

  [73] The rearing of slave children was regarded as a burden by
       owners. A writer declared that in Pennsylvania "negroes just
       born are considered an incumbrance only, and if humanity did
       not forbid it, they would be instantly given away." _Pa.
       Packet_, Jan. 1, 1780. In 1732 the Philadelphia Court of
       Common Pleas ordered a man to take back a negress whom he had
       sold, and who proved to be pregnant. He was to refund the
       purchase money and the money spent "for Phisic and Attendance
       of the Said Negroe in her Miserable Condition." MS. Court
       Papers. 1732-1744. Phila. Co., June 9, 1732.

  [74] The Roman doctrine of _partus sequitur ventrem_. This was
       never established by law in Pennsylvania, and during colonial
       times was never the subject of a court decision that has come
       down. That it was the usage, however, there is abundant proof.
       In 1727 Isaac Warner bequeathed "To Wife Ann ... a negro woman
       named Sarah ... To daughter Ann Warner (3) an unborn negro
       child of the above named Sarah." MS. Phila. Co. Will Files,
       no. 47, 1727. In 1786 the Supreme Court declared that it was
       the law of Pennsylvania, and had always been the custom. 1
       Dallas 181.

  [75] MS. Abstract of Phila. Co. Wills, Book A, 63, 71, (1693);
       Will of Samuel Richardson of Philadelphia in _Pa. Mag._,
       XXXIII, 373 (1719). In 1682 the attorney-general in England
       answering an inquiry from Jamaica, declared "That where goods
       or merchandise are by Law forfeited to the King, the sale of
       them from one to another will not fix the property as against
       the King, but they may be seized wherever found whilst they
       remain in specie; And that Negros being admitted Merchandise
       will fall within the same Law". MS. Board of Trade Journals,
       IV, 124. On several occasions during war negro slaves were
       captured from the enemy and brought to Pennsylvania, where
       they were sold as ordinary prize-goods--things. In 1745,
       however, when two French negro prisoners produced papers
       showing that they were free, they were held for exchange as
       prisoners of war--persons. MS. Provincial Papers, VII, Oct.
       2, 1745. For the status of the negro slave as real estate
       in Virginia, _cf._ Ballagh, _Hist. of Slavery in Virginia_,
       ch. II. In 1786 the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania decided
       that "property in a Negroe may be obtained by a _bona fide_
       purchase, without deed." 1 Dallas 169.

  [76] "An Act for the trial of Negroes." _Stat. at L._, II, 77-79.
       Repealed in Council, 1705. _Ibid._, II, 79; _Col. Rec._, I,
       612, 613. Passed again with slight changes in 1705-1706.
       _Stat. at L._, II, 233-236.

  [77] "An Act for the better regulating of Negroes in this
       Province." _Stat. at L._, IV, 59-64. It became law by lapse of
       time. _Ibid._, IV, 64.

  [78] "An Act for the better regulating of Negroes in this
       Province.", section 1. _Stat. at L._, IV, 59.

  [79] _Cf._ Enoch Lewis, "Life of William Penn" (1841), in _Friends'
       Library_, V, 315; J. R. Tyson, "Annual Discourse before the
       Historical Society of Pennsylvania" (1831), in _Hazard's
       Register_, VIII, 316.

  [80] MS. Minutes Court of Quarter Sessions Bucks County, 1684-1730,
       P. 375 (1703); MS. "Bail, John Kendig for a Negro, 29.
       9^{br} 35," in Logan Papers, unbound; "An Act for the trial
       of Negroes," _Stat. at L._, II, 77-79 (1700), 233-236
       (1705-1706); _Col. Rec._, III, 254; IV, 243; IX, 648, 680,
       704, 705, 707; X, 73, 276. For the commission instituting
       one of these special courts (1762), see MS. Miscellaneous
       Papers, 1684-1847, Chester County, 149; also Diffenderffer,
       "Early Negro Legislation in the Province of Pennsylvania," in
       _Christian Culture_, Sept. 1, 1890. Mr. Diffenderffer cites
       a commission of Feb. 20, 1773, but is puzzled at finding no
       record of the trial of negroes in the records of the local
       Court of Quarter Sessions. It would of course not appear
       there. Special dockets were kept for the special courts. _Cf._
       MS. Records of Special Courts for the Trial of Negroes, held
       at Chester, in Chester County. The law was not universally
       applied at first. In 1703 a negro was tried for fornication
       before the Court of Quarter Sessions. MS. Minutes Court of
       Quarter Sessions Bucks County, 1684-1730, p. 378.

  [81] _Col. Rec._, I, 61; II, 405, 406.

  [82] "An Act for the better regulating of Negroes," etc. _Stat. at
       L._, IV, 59. For an instance of such valuation in the case of
       two slaves condemned for burglary, see MS. Provincial Papers,
       XXX, July 29, 1773. The governor, however, pardoned these
       negroes on condition that they be transported.

  [83] "On the trials Larry the slave was convicted by a Jury of
       twelve Men and received the usual sentence of whipping,
       restitution and fine according to law.... This case is
       published as being the first instance of a slave's being tried
       in this state by a Grand and Petit Jury. Our constitution
       provides that these unhappy men shall have the same measure
       of Justice and the same mode of trial with others, their
       fellow creatures, when charged with crimes or offences."
       _Pa. Packet_, Feb. 16, 1779. Nevertheless a commission for a
       special court had been issued in August, 1777. _Cf._ "Petition
       of Mary Bryan," MS. Misc. Papers, Aug. 15, 1777.

  [84] _Stat. at L._, X, 72. What was the standing of negro slaves
       before the ordinary courts of Pennsylvania in the years
       between 1700 and 1780 it is difficult to say. They certainly
       could not be witnesses--not against white men, since this
       privilege was given to free negroes for the first time in 1780
       (_Stat. at L._, X, 70), and to slaves not until 1847 (_Laws of
       Assembly, 1847_, p. 208); while if they were witnesses against
       other negroes it would be before special courts. Doubtless
       negroes could sometimes seek redress in the ordinary courts,
       though naturally the number of such cases would be limited.
       There is, however, at least one instance of a white man being
       sued by a negro, who won his suit. "Francis Jn^oson the Negro
       verbally complained agst W^m Orion ... and after pleading to
       on both sides the Court passed Judgment and ordered W^m Orion
       to pay him the sd Francis Jn^oson twenty shillings" ... MS.
       Ancient Records of Sussex County, 1681 to 1709, 4th mo., 1687.
       Before 1700 negroes were tried before the ordinary courts, and
       there is at least one case where a negro witnessed against a
       white man. _Ibid._, 8br 1687.

  [85] _Stat. at L._, II, 77-79; _Col. Rec._, I, 612, 613. Instances
       of negro crime are mentioned in MS. Records of Special Courts
       for the Trial of Negroes--Chester County. For a case of
       arson punished with death, _cf. Col. Rec._, IV, 243. For
       two negroes condemned to death for burglary, _ibid._, IX, 6,
       also 699. The punishment for the attempted rape of a white
       woman was the one point that caused the disapproval of the
       attorney-general in England, and, probably, led to the passage
       of the revised act in 1705-1706. _Cf._ MS. Board of Trade
       Papers, Prop., VIII, 40, Bb. For restitution by masters, which
       was frequently very burdensome, _cf._ MS. Misc. Papers, Oct.
       9, 1780.

  [86] _Stat. at L._, II, 233-236. These punishments were continued
       until repealed in 1780, (_Stat. at L._, X, 72), when the
       penalty for robbery and burglary became imprisonment. This
       bore entirely on the master, so that in 1790 Governor Mifflin
       asked that corporal punishment be substituted. _Hazard's
       Register_, II, 74. For theft whipping continued to be imposed,
       but guilty white people were punished in the same manner. MS.
       Petitions, Lancaster County, 1761-1825, May, 1784. MS. Misc.
       Papers, July, 1780.

  [87] See below, p. 111.

  [88] "For that hee ... contrary to the Lawes of the Governmt
       and Contrary to his Masters Consent hath ... got wth child
       a certaine molato wooman Called Swart anna" ... MS. Rec.
       Court at Upland, 19; Penn MSS. Papers relating to the Three
       Lower Counties, 1629-1774, p. 193; MS. Minutes Abington
       Monthly Meeting, 27 1st mo., 1693. "David Lewis Constable of
       Haverfoord Returned A Negro man of his And A white woman for
       haveing A Baster Childe ... the negroe said she Intised him
       and promised him to marry him: she being examined, Confest
       the same: ... the Court ordered that she shall Receive Twenty
       one laishes on her beare Backe ... and the Court ordered the
       negroe never more to meddle with any white woman more uppon
       paine of his life." MS. Min. Chester Co. Courts, 1697-1710, p.

  [89] MS. Ancient Rec. of Phila., Nov. 4, 1722.

  [90] _Votes and Proceedings_, II, 336.

  [91] _Stat. at L._, IV, 62. _Cf. Votes and Proceedings_, II, 337,
       345. For marriage or cohabiting without a master's consent a
       servant had to atone with extra service. _Cf. Stat. at L._,
       II, 22. This obviously would not check a slave.

  [92] Apparently such a marriage had occurred in 1722. MS. Ancient
       Rec. Phila., Nov. 4, 1722, which mention "the Clandestine
       mariage of M^r Tuthil's Negro and Katherine Williams." The
       petitioner, who was imprisoned for abetting the marriage,
       concludes: "I have Discover'd who maried the foresd Negroe,
       and shall acquaint your hon^{rs}."

  [93] _American Weekly Mercury_, Nov. 9, 1727; _Pa. Gazette_, Feb.
       7, 1739-1740; and _passim_. Mittelberger mentions them in
       1750. _Cf. Journey to Pennsylvania_, etc., 107; MS. Register
       of Slaves in Chester County, 1780.

  [94] "A circumstance not easily believed, is, that the subjection
       of the negroes has not corrupted the morals of their masters"
       ... Abbé Raynal, _British Settlements in North America_
       I, 163. Raynal's authority is very poor. The assertion in
       the text rests rather on negative evidence. _Cf. Votes
       and Proceedings_, 1766, p. 30, for an instance of a white
       woman prostitute to negroes. _Ibid._, 1767-1776, p. 666, for
       evidence as to mulatto bastards by pauper white women. Also
       MS. Misc. Papers, Mar. 12, 1783. For a case (1715) where the
       guilty white man was probably not a servant _cf._ MS. Court
       Papers, Phila. Co., 1697-1732. Benjamin Franklin was openly
       accused of keeping negro paramours. _Cf. What is Sauce for a
       Goose is also Sauce for a Gander_, etc. (1764), 6; _A Humble
       Attempt at Scurrility_, etc. (1765), 40.

  [95] See below.

  [96] _Cf. Col. Rec._, I, 117.

  [97] _Stat. at L._, IV, 59-64, (sections IX-XIII). Tippling-houses
       seem to have given a good deal of trouble. In 1703 the grand
       jury presented several persons "for selling Rum to negros and
       others" ... MS. Ancient Rec. of Phila., Nov. 3, 1703. _Cf._
       also presentment of the grand jury, Jan. 2, 1744. _Pa. Mag._,
       XXII, 498.

  [98] _Col. Rec._, I, 380-381. "The great abuse and Ill consiquence
       of the great multitudes of negroes who commonly meete
       togeither in a Riott and tumultious manner on the first days
       of the weeke." MS. Ancient Rec. of Phila., 28 7th mo., 1702;
       _ibid._, Nov. 3, 1703.

  [99] "The Grand Inquest ... do present that whereas there has
       been Divers Rioters ... and the peace of our Lord the King
       Disturbers, by Divers Infants, bond Servants, and Negros,
       within this City after it is Duskish ... that Care may be
       taken to Suppress the unruly Negroes of this City accompanying
       to gether on the first Day of the weeke, and that they may not
       be Suffered to walk the Streets in Companys after it is Darke
       without their Masters Leave" ... MS. Ancient Rec. of Phila.,
       Apr. 4, 1717.

 [100] _Minutes of the Common Council of the City of Philadelphia,
       1704-1776_, 314, 315, 316, 326, 342, 376; _Col. Rec._, IV,
       224, (1737).

 [101] "The Grand Inquest now met humly Represent to This honourable
       Court the great Disorders Commited On the first Dayes of
       the week By Servants, apprentice boys and Numbers of Negros
       it has been with great Concearn Observed that the Whites in
       their Tumultious Resorts in the markets and other placies
       most Darringly Swear Curse Lye Abuse and often fight Striving
       to Excell in all Leudness and Obsenity which must produce a
       generall Corruption of Such youth If not Timely Remidieed and
       from the Concourse of Negroes Not only the above Mischeiffs
       but other Dangers may issue" ... MS. Court Papers, 1732-1744,
       Phila. Co., 1741.

 [102] "Many disorderly persons meet every evg. about the Court house
       of this city, and great numbers of Negroes and others sit
       there with milk pails, and other things, late at night, and
       many disorders are there committed against the peace and good
       government of this city" _Minutes Common Council of Phila._,

 [103] _Pa. Gazette_, Nov. 12, 1761.

 [104] "An Act for preventing Accidents that may happen by Fire,"
       sect. IV, _Stat. at L._, III, 254 (1721); "An Act to prevent
       the Damages, which may happen, by firing of Woods," etc.,
       sect. III, _ibid._, IV, 282 (1735); "An Act for the trial
       of Negroes," sect. V, _ibid._, II, 79 (1700); "An Act for
       the more effectual preventing Accidents which may happen by
       Fire, and for suppressing Idleness, Drunkenness, and other
       Debaucheries," sect. III, _ibid._, V, 109, 110 (1750-1751);
       "An Act to prevent the Hunting of Deer," etc., sect. VII,
       _ibid._, VI, 49 (1760); "An Act for the better regulating the
       nightly Watch within the city of Philadelphia," etc., sect.
       XXII, _ibid._, V, 126 (1750-1751); repeated in 1756, 1763,
       1766, 1771, _ibid._, V, 241; VI, 309; VII, 7; VIII, 115; "An
       Act for regulating Wagoners, Carters, Draymen, and Porters,"
       etc., sect. VII, _ibid._, VI, 68 (1761); repeated in 1763 and
       1770, _ibid._ VI, 250; VII, 359, 360.

 [105] _Cf._ the story of Hodge's Cato, told in Watson, _Annals of
       Philadelphia and Pennsylvania in the Olden Time_, etc., II,

 [106] _Cf._ Achenwall, who got his information from Franklin,
       _Anmerkungen_, 25: "Diese Mohrensclaven geniessen als
       Unterthanen des Staats ... den Schutz der Gesetze, so
       gut als freye Einwohner. Wenn ein Colonist, auch selbst
       der Eigenthumsherr, einen Schwarzen umbringt, so wird er
       gleichfalls zum Tode verurtheilt. Wenn der Herr seinem Sclaven
       zu harte Arbeit auflegt, oder ihn sonst übel behandelt, so kan
       er ihn beym Richter verklagen." Also Kalm, _Travels_, I, 390.

 [107] "Yesterday at a Supream Court held in this City, sentence of
       Death was passed upon William Bullock, who was ... Convicted
       of the Murder of his Negro Slave." _American Weekly Mercury_,
       Apr. 29, 1742.

 [108] Kalm (1748) said that there was no record of such a sentence
       being carried out; but he adds that a case having arisen, even
       the magistrates secretly advised the guilty person to leave
       the country, "as otherwise they could not avoid taking him
       prisoner, and then he would be condemned to die according to
       the laws of the country, without any hopes of saving him".
       _Travels_, I, 391, 392. For a case _cf. Pa. Gazette_, Feb.
       24, 1741-1742.



The mildness of slavery in Pennsylvania impressed every observer.
Acrelius said that negroes were treated better there than anywhere else
in America. Peter Kalm said that compared with the condition of white
servants their condition possessed equal advantages except that they
were obliged to serve their whole life-time without wages. Hector St.
John Crèvecoeur declared that they enjoyed as much liberty as their
masters, that they were in effect part of their masters' families, and
that, living thus, they considered themselves happier than many of the
lower class of whites.[109] There is good reason for believing these
statements, since a careful study of the sources shows that generally
masters used their negroes kindly and with moderation.[110]

Living in a land of plenty the slaves were well fed and comfortably
clothed. They had as good food as the white servants, says one
traveller, and another says as good as their masters.[111] In 1759 the
yearly cost of the food of a slave was reckoned at about twenty per
cent. of his value.[112] Likewise they were well clad, their clothes
being furnished by the masters. That clothes were a considerable item
of expense is shown by the old household accounts and diaries. Acrelius
computed the yearly cost at five per cent. of a slave's value.[113]
In the newspaper advertisements for runaways occur particularly full
descriptions of their dress.[114] Almost always they have a coat or
jacket, shoes, and stockings.[115] It is true that when they ran
away they generally took the best they had, if not all they had; but
making due allowance it seems certain that they were well clad, as an
advertiser declared.[116]

As to shelter, since the climate and economy of Pennsylvania never
gave rise to a plantation life, rows of negro cabins and quarters for
the hands never became a distinctive feature. Slaves occupied such
lodgings as were assigned to white servants, generally in the house of
the master. This was doubtless not the case where a large number was
held. They can hardly have been so accommodated by Jonathan Dickinson
of Philadelphia, who had thirty-two.[117]

In the matter of service their lot was a fortunate one. There seems to
be no doubt that they were treated much more kindly than the negroes in
the West Indies, and that they were far happier than the slaves in the
lower South. It is said that they were not obliged to labor more than
white people, and, although this may hardly have been so, and although,
indeed, there is occasional evidence that they were worked hard, yet
for the most part it is clear that they were not overworked.[118] The
advertisements of negroes for sale show, as might be expected, that
most of the slaves were either house-servants or farm-hands.[119]
Nevertheless the others were engaged in a surprisingly large number
of different occupations. Among them were bakers, blacksmiths,
brick-layers, brush-makers, carpenters, coopers, curriers, distillers,
hammermen, refiners, sail-makers, sailors, shoe-makers, tailors, and
tanners.[120] The negroes employed at the iron-furnaces received
special mention.[121] The women cooked, sewed, did house-work, and at
times were employed as nurses.[122] When the service of negroes was
needed they were often hired from their masters, but as a rule they
were bought.[123] They were frequently trusted and treated almost like
members of the family.[124]

When the day's work was over the negroes of Pennsylvania seem to have
had time of their own which they were not too tired to enjoy. Some no
doubt found recreation in their masters' homes, gossipping, singing,
and playing on rude instruments.[125] Many sought each other's company
and congregated together after nightfall. In Philadelphia, at any rate,
during the whole colonial period, crowds of negroes infesting the
streets after dark behaved with such rough and boisterous merriment
that they were a nuisance to the whole community.[126] At times negroes
were given days of their own. They were allowed to go from one place to
another, and were often permitted to visit members of their families
in other households.[127] Moreover, holidays were not grudged them.
It is said that in Philadelphia at the time of fairs, the blacks to
the number of a thousand of both sexes used to go to "Potter's Field,"
and there amuse themselves, dancing, singing, and rejoicing, in native
barbaric fashion.[128]

If, now, from material comfort we turn to the matter of the moral and
intellectual well-being of the slaves, we find that considering the
time, surprising efforts were made to help them. In Pennsylvania there
seems never to have been opposition to improving them. Not much was
done, it is true, and perhaps most of the negroes were not reached
by the efforts made. It must be remembered, however, what violent
hostility mere efforts aroused in some other places.[129]

There is the statement of a careful observer that masters desired
by all means to hinder their negroes from being instructed in the
doctrines of Christianity, and to let them live on in pagan darkness.
This he ascribes to a fear that negroes would grow too proud on seeing
themselves upon a religious level with their masters.[130] Some weight
must be attached to this account, but it is probable that the writer
was roughly applying to Pennsylvania what he had learned in other
places, for against his assertion much specific evidence can be arrayed.

The attention of the Friends was directed to this subject very early.
The counsel of George Fox was explicit. Owners were to give their
slaves religious instruction and teach them the Gospel.[131] In 1693
the Keithian Quakers when advising that masters should hold their
negroes only for a term of years, enjoined that during such time they
should give these negroes a Christian education.[132] In 1700 Penn
appears to have been able to get a Monthly Meeting established for
them, but of the meeting no record has come down.[133] As to what was
the actual practice of Friends in this matter their early records give
meagre information. It seems certain that negroes were not allowed to
participate in their meetings, though sometimes they were taken to the
meeting-houses.[134] It is probable that in great part the religious
work of the Friends among slaves was confined to godly advice and
reading.[135] As to the amount and quality of such advice, the well
known character of the Friends leaves no doubt.

The Moravians, who were most zealous in converting negroes, did not
reach a great number in Pennsylvania, because few were held by them;
nevertheless they labored successfully, and received negroes amongst
them on terms of religious equality.[136] This also the Lutherans did
to some extent, negroes being baptized among them.[137] It is in the
case of the Episcopalians, however, that the most definite knowledge
remains. The records of Christ Church show that the negroes who
were baptized made no inconsiderable proportion of the total number
baptized in the congregation. For a period of more than seventy years
such baptisms are recorded, and are sometimes numerous.[138] At this
church, also, there was a minister who had special charge of the
religious instruction of negroes.[139] It is possible that something
may have been accomplished by missionaries and itinerant exhorters.
This was certainly so when Whitefield visited Pennsylvania in 1740.
Both he and his friend Seward noted with peculiar satisfaction the
results which they had attained.[140] Work of some value was also done
by wandering negro exhorters, who, appearing at irregular intervals,
assembled little groups and preached in fields and orchards.[141]

Something was also accomplished for negroes in the maintenance of
family life. In 1700 Penn, anxious to improve their moral condition,
sent to the Assembly a bill for the regulation of their marriages,
but much to his grief this was defeated.[142] In the absence of such
legislation they came under the law which forbade servants to marry
during their servitude without the master's consent.[143] Doubtless
in this matter there was much of the laxity which is inseparable from
slavery, but it is said that many owners allowed their slaves to marry
in accordance with inclination, except that a master would try to have
his slaves marry among themselves.[144] The marriage ceremony was
often performed just as in the case of white people, the records of
Christ Church containing many instances.[145] The children of these
unions were taught submission to their parents, who were indulged, it
is said, in educating, cherishing, and chastising them.[146] Stable
family life among the slaves was made possible by the conditions of
slavery in Pennsylvania, there being no active interchange of negroes.
When they were bought or sold families were kept together as much as

In one matter connected with religious observances race prejudice was
shown: negroes were not as a rule buried in the cemeteries of white
people.[148] In some of the Friends' records and elsewhere there is
definite prohibition.[149] They were often buried in their masters'
orchards, or on the edge of woodlands. The Philadelphia negroes were
buried in a particular place outside the city.[150]

Under the kindly treatment accorded them the negroes of colonial
Pennsylvania for the most part behaved fairly well. It is true that
there is evidence that crime among them assumed grave proportions
at times, while the records of the special courts and items in the
newspapers show that there occurred murder, poisoning, arson, burglary,
and rape.[151] In addition there was frequent complaint about
tumultuous assembling and boisterous conduct, and there was undoubtedly
much pilfering.[152] Moreover the patience of many indulgent masters
was tried by the shiftless behavior and insolent bearing of their
slaves.[153] Yet the graver crimes stand out in isolation rather than
in mass; and it is too much to expect an entire absence of the lesser
ones. The white people do not seem to have regarded their negroes as
dangerous.[154] Almost never were there efforts for severe repression,
and a slave insurrection seems hardly to have been thought of.[155]
There are no statistics whatever on which to base an estimate, but
judging from the relative frequency of notices it seems probable that
crime among the negroes of Pennsylvania during the slavery period--no
doubt because they were under better control--was less than at any
period thereafter.

But there was a misdemeanor of another kind: negro slaves frequently
ran away. Fugitives are mentioned from the first,[156] and there is
hardly a copy of any of the old papers but has an advertisement for
some negro at large.[157] These notices sometimes advise that the slave
has stolen from his master; often that he has a pass, and is pretending
to be a free negro; and occasionally that a free negro is suspected of
harboring him.[158]

The law against harboring was severe and was strictly enforced. Anyone
might take up a suspicious negro; while whoever returned a runaway to
his master was by law entitled to receive five shillings and expenses.
It was always the duty of the local authorities to apprehend suspects.
When this occurred the procedure was to lodge the negro in jail, and
advertise for the master, who might come, and after proving title and
paying costs, take him away. Otherwise the negro was sold for a short
time to satisfy jail fees, advertised again, and finally either set at
liberty or disposed of as pleased the local court.[159]

This fleeing from service on the part of negro slaves, while varying
somewhat in frequency, was fairly constant during the whole slavery
period, increasing as the number of slaves grew larger. During
the British occupation of Philadelphia, however, it assumed such
enormous proportions that the number of negroes held there was
permanently lowered.[160] Notwithstanding, then, the kindly treatment
they received, slaves in Pennsylvania ran away. Nevertheless it is
significant that during the same period white servants ran away more
than twice as often.[161]

Many traits of daily life and marks of personal appearance which no
historian has described, are preserved in the advertisements of the
daily papers. Almost every negro seems to have had the smallpox.
To have done with this and the measles was justly considered an
enhancement in value. Some of the negroes kidnapped from Africa
still bore traces of their savage ancestry. Not a few spoke several
languages. Generally they were fond of gay dress. Some carried fiddles
when they ran away. One had made considerable money by playing. Many
little hints as to character appear. Thus Mona is full of flattery.
Cuff Dix is fond of liquor. James chews abundance of tobacco. Stephen
has a "sower countenance"; Harry, "meek countenance"; Rachel,
"remarkable austere countenance"; Dick is "much bandy legged"; Violet,
"pretty, lusty, and fat." A likely negro wench is sold because of her
breeding fast. One negro says that he has been a preacher among the
Indians. Two others fought a duel with pistols. A hundred years has
involved no great change in character.[162]

Finally, on the basis of information drawn from rare and miscellaneous
sources it becomes apparent that in slavery times there was more
kindliness and intimacy between the races than existed afterwards. In
those days many slaves were treated as if part of the master's family:
when sick they were nursed and cared for; when too old to work they
were provided for; and some were remembered in the master's will.[163]
Negroes did run away, and numbers of them desired to be free, but when
manumission came not a few of them preferred to stay with their former
owners. It was the opinion of an advocate of emancipation that they
were better off as slaves than they could possibly be as freemen.[164]

Such was slavery in Pennsylvania. If on the one hand there was the
chance of families being sold apart; if there was seen the cargo, the
slave-drove, the auction sale; it must be remembered that such things
are inseparable from the institution of slavery, and that on the
other hand they were rare, and not to be weighed against the positive
comfort and well-being of which there is such abundant proof. If ever
it be possible not to condemn modern slavery, it might seem that
slavery as it existed in Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century was a
good, probably for the masters, certainly for the slaves.[165] The
fact is that it existed in such mitigated form that it was impossible
for it to be perpetuated. Whenever men can treat their slaves as men
in Pennsylvania treated them, they are living in a moral atmosphere
inconsistent with the holding of slaves. Nothing can then preserve
slavery but paramount economic needs. In Pennsylvania, since such needs
were not paramount, slavery was doomed.


 [109] Acrelius, _Description of New Sweden_, 169 (1759); Kalm,
       _Travels_, I, 394 (1748); Hector St. John Crèvecoeur,
       _Letters from an American Farmer_, 222 (just before the

 [110] When one of Christopher Marshall's white servants "struck
       and kickt" his negro woman, he "could scarcely refrain from
       kicking him out of the House &c &c &c." MS. Remembrancer, E,
       July 22, 1779.

 [111] Kalm, I, 394; St. John Crèvecoeur, 221. Benjamin Lay
       contradicts this, but allowance must always he made for the
       extremeness of his assertions. _Cf._ his _All Slave-Keepers
       Apostates_ (1737), 93.

 [112] Acrelius, 169.

 [113] St. John Crèvecoeur, 221; Kalm, I, 394; Acrelius, 169.
       Personal papers contain numerous notices. "To 1 pr Shoes for
       the negro ... 6" (sh.). MS. William Penn's Account Book,
       1690-1693, p. 2 (1690). A "Bill rendered by Christian Grafford
       to James Steel" is as follows: "Making old Holland Jeakit and
       breeches fit for your Negero 0.3.0 Making 2 new Jeakits and
       2 pair breeches of stripped Linen for both your Negeromans
       0.14.0 And also for Little Negero boy 0.4.0 Making 2 pair
       Leather Breeches, 1 for James Sanders and another for your
       Negroeman Zeason 0.13.0." _Pa. Mag._, XXXIII, 121 (1740).
       The bill rendered for the shoes of Thomas Penn's negroes
       in 1764-1765 amounted to £7 7 sh. 3d., the price per pair
       averaging about 7 sh. 6d. Penn-Physick MSS., IV, 223. Also
       _ibid._, IV, 265, 267. _Cf._ Penn Papers, accounts (unbound),
       Aug. 19, 1741; Christopher Marshall's Remembrancer, E, June 1,

 [114] Thus Cato had on "two jackets, the uppermost a dark blue
       half thick, lined with red flannel, the other a light blue
       homespun flannel, without lining, ozenbrigs shirt, old leather
       breeches, yarn stockings, old shoes, and an old beaver hat"
       ... _Pa. Gazette_, May 5, 1748. A negro from Chester County
       wore "a lightish coloured cloath coat, with metal buttons,
       and lined with striped linsey, a lightish linsey jacket with
       sleeves, and red waistcoat, tow shirt, old lightish cloth
       breeches, and linen drawers, blue stockings, and old shoes."
       _Ibid._, Jan. 3, 1782. Judith wore "a green jacket, a blue
       petticoat, old shoes, and grey stockings, and generally wears
       silver bobbs in her ears." _Ibid._, Feb. 16, 1747-1748.

 [115] _Amer. Weekly Mercury_, Jan. 31, 1721; Jan. 31, 1731; _Pa.
       Gazette_, Oct. 22, 1747; May 5, 1748; Apr. 16, 1761; Jan. 3,
       1782; _Pa. Journal_, Feb. 5, 1750-1751; _Pa. Mag._, XVIII, 385.

 [116] _Pa. Gazette_, May 3, 1775. Supported by advertisements

 [117] MS. Dickinson Papers, unclassified. A farm with a stone house
       for negroes is mentioned in _Pa. Gaz._, June 26, 1746. "Part
       of these slaves lived in their master's family, the others had
       separate cabins on the farm where they reared families" ...
       "Jacob Minshall Homestead" in _Reminiscence, Gleanings and
       Thoughts_, No. I, 12.

 [118] Kalm, _Travels_, I, 394. For treatment of negroes in the
       West Indies, _cf._ Sandiford, _The Mystery of Iniquity_, 99
       (1730); Benezet, _A Short Account of that Part of Africa
       Inhabited by the Negroes_ (1762), 55, 56, note; Benezet,
       _A Caution and Warning to Great Britain and Her Colonies
       in a Short Representation of the Calamitous State of the
       Enslaved Negroes_ (1766), 5-9; Benezet, _Some Historical
       Account of Guinea_ (1771), chap. VIII. For treatment in
       the South, _cf._ Whitefield, _Three Letters_ (1740), 13,
       71; Chastellux, _Voyage en Amérique_ (1786), 130. For
       treatment in Pennsylvania _cf._ Kalm, _Travels_, I, 394; St.
       John Crèvecoeur, _Letters_, 221. Acrelius says that the
       negroes at the iron-furnaces were allowed to stop work for
       "four months in summer, when the heat is most oppressive."
       _Description_, 168.

 [119] _Mercury, Gazette_, and _Pa. Packet_, _passim_. Most of the
       taverns seem to have had negro servants. _Cf._ MS. Assessment
       Book, Chester Co., 1769, p. 146; of Bucks Co., 1779, p. 84.

 [120] _Mercury_, Mar. 3. 1723-1724; Dec. 15, 1724; July 4, 1728;
       Aug. 24, 1732; _Gazette_, Feb. 7, 1740; Dec. 3, 1741; May 20,
       1742; Nov. 1, 1744; July 9, Dec. 3, 1761; _Packet_, July 5,

 [121] "The laborers are generally composed partly of negroes
       (slaves) partly of servants from Germany or Ireland" ...
       Acrelius, _Description_, 168. _Cf._ Gabriel Thomas, _An
       Historical and Geographical Account of the Province and
       Country of Pensilvania_ (1698), etc., 28.

 [122] _Mercury_, Jan. 16, 1727-1728; July 25, 1728; Nov. 7,
       1728. _Gazette_, July 17, 1740; Mar. 31, 1743. "A compleat
       washerwoman" is advertised in the _Gazette_, Oct. 1, 1761;
       also "an extraordinary washer of clothes," _Gazette_, Apr. 12,
       1775; Penn-Physick, MSS IV, 203 (1740).

 [123] _Gazette_, May 19, 1743; July 11, 1745; Nov. 5, 1761; May 15,
       1776; Dec. 15, 1779. _Cf._ notices in William Penn's Cash
       Book (MS.), 3, 6, 9, 15, 18; John Wilson's Cash Book (MS.),
       Feb. 23, 1776; MS. Phila. Account Book, 38 (1694); MS. Logan
       Papers, II, 259 (1707); Richard Hayes's Ledger (MS.), 88

 [124] _Cf._ the numerous allusions to his negro woman made by
       Christopher Marshall in his Remembrancer. An entry in John
       Wilson's Cash Book (MS.), Apr. 27, 1770, says: "paid his"
       (Joseph Pemberton's) "Negro woman Market mony ... 7/6." The
       following advertisement is illustrative, although perhaps it
       reveals the advertiser's art as much as the excellence and
       reliability of the negress. "A likely young Negroe Wench, who
       can cook and wash well, and do all Sorts of House-work; and
       can from Experience, be recommended both for her Honesty and
       Sobriety, having often been trusted with the Keys of untold
       Money, and Liquors of various Sorts, none of which she will
       taste. She is no Idler, Company-keeper or Gadder about. She
       has also a fine, hearty young Child, not quite a Year old,
       which is the only Reason for selling her, because her Mistress
       is very sickly, and can't bear the Trouble of it." _Pa.
       Gazette_, Apr. 2, 1761.

 [125] "Thou Knowest Negro Peters Ingenuity In making for himself
       and playing on a fiddle w^{th} out any assistance as the
       thing in them is Innocent and diverting and may keep them
       from worse Employmt I have to Encourage in my Service promist
       him one from Engld therefore buy and bring a good Strong well
       made Violin w^{th} 2 or 3 Sets of spare Gut for the Suitable
       Strings get somebody of skill to Chuse and by it".... MS.
       Isaac Norris, Letter Book, 1719, p. 185.

 [126] See above, pp. 32-34.

 [127] "Our Negro woman got leave to visit her children in Bucks
       County." Christopher Marshall's Remembrancer, D, Jan. 7, 1776.
       "This afternoon came home our Negro woman Dinah." _Ibid._, D,
       Jan. 15, 1776.

 [128] Watson, _Annals_, I, 406. _Cf._ letter of William Hamilton of
       Lancaster: "Yesterday (being Negroes Holiday) I took a ride
       into Maryland." _Pa. Mag._, XXIX, 257.

 [129] For the treatment of William Edmundson when he tried to
       convert negroes in the West Indies, _cf._ his _Journal_, 85;
       Gough, _A History of the People Called Quakers_, III, 61.
       _Cf._ MS. Board of Trade Journals, III, 191 (1680).

 [130] Kalm, _Travels_, I, 397. "It's obvious, that the future
       Welfare of those poor Slaves ... is generally too much
       disregarded by those who keep them." _An Epistle of Caution
       and Advice, Concerning the Buying and Keeping of Slaves_
       (1754), 5. This, however, is neglect rather than opposition.

 [131] Fox's _Epistles_, in _Friend's Library_, I, 79 (1679).

 [132] "An Exhortation and Caution to Friends Concerning buying or
       keeping of Negroes," in _Pa. Mag._, XIII, 267.

 [133] Proud, _History of Pennsylvania_, 423; Gordon, _History of
       Pennsylvania_, 114.

 [134] "Several" (negroes) "are brought to Meetings." MS. Minutes
       Radnor Monthly Meetings, 1763-1772, p. 79 (1764). "Most of
       those possessed of them ... often bring them to our Meetings."
       _Ibid._, 175 (1767).

 [135] _Cf._ MS. Yearly Meeting Advices, 1682-1777, "Negroes or

 [136] Cranz, _The Ancient and Modern History of the Brethren ...
       Unitas Fratrum_, 600, 601; Ogden, _An Excursion into Bethlehem
       and Nazareth in Pennsylvania_, 89, 90; I _Pa. Arch._, III, 75;
       _Pa. Mag._, XXIX, 363.

 [137] _Cf._ Bean, _History of Montgomery County_, 302.

 [138] MS. Records of Christ Church, Phila., I, 19, 43, 44, 46, 49,
       132, 168, 271, 273, 274, 276, 277, 280, 281, 282, 283, 288,
       293, 306, 312, 314, 333, 337, 341, 342, 344, 352, 353, 359,
       371, 379, 383, 388, 392, 397, 399, 416, 440, 441. Baptisms
       were very frequent in the years 1752 and 1753. Very many
       of the slaves admitted were adults, whereas in the case of
       free negroes at the same period most of the baptisms were of

 [139] William Macclanechan, writing to the Archbishop of Canterbury
       in 1760, says: "On my Journey to New-England, I arrived at the
       oppulent City of Philadelphia, where I paid my Compliments
       to the Rev'd Dr. Jenney, Minister of Christ's Church in
       that City, and to the Rev'd Mr. Sturgeon, _Catechist to the
       Negroes_." H. W. Smith, _Life and Correspondence of the Rev.
       William Smith_, I, 238.

 [140] "Many negroes came, ... some enquiring, have I a soul?"
       Gillies and Seymour, _Memoirs of the Life and Character of ...
       Rev. George Whitefield_ (3d ed.), 55. "I believe near Fifty
       Negroes came to give me Thanks, under God, for what has been
       done to their Souls.... Some of them have been effectually
       wrought upon, and in an uncommon Manner." _A Continuation of
       the Reverend Mr. Whitefield's Journal_, 65, 66. "Visited a
       Negroe and prayed with her, and found her Heart touched by
       Divine Grace. Praised be the Lord, methinks one Negroe brought
       to Jesus Christ is peculiarly sweet to my Soul." W. Seward,
       _Journal of a Voyage from Savannah to Philadelphia_, etc.,
       Apr. 18, 1740.

 [141] "This afternoon a Negro man from Cecil County maryland
       preached in orchard opposite to ours. there was Sundry people,
       they said he spoke well for near an hour." MS. Ch. Marshall's
       Remembrancer, E, July 13, 1779.

 [142] "Then (the pror and Gov.) proposed to them the necessitie of
       a law ... about the marriages of negroes." _Col. Rec._, I,
       598, 606, 610; _Votes and Proceedings_, I, 120, 121; Bettle,
       "Notices of Negro Slavery as connected with Pennsylvania,"
       in _Mem. Hist. Soc. Pa._, VI, 368; Clarkson, _Life of Penn_,
       II, 80-82. Clarkson attributes the defeat to the lessening
       of Quaker influence, the lower tone of the later immigrants,
       and temporary hostility to the executive. More probably the
       bill failed because stable marriage relations have always
       been found incompatible with the ready movement and transfer
       of slave property; and because at this early period the
       slaveholders recognized this fact, and were not yet disposed
       to allow their slaves to marry.

 [143] _Stat. at L._, II, 22. _Cf._ Commonwealth _v._ Clements
       (1814), 6 Binney 210.

 [144] St. John Crèvecoeur, _Letters_, 221; Kalm, _Travels_, I,
       391. Kalm adds that it was considered an advantage to have
       negro women, since otherwise the offspring belonged to another

 [145] MS. Rec. Christ Church, 4239, 4317, 4361, 4370, 4371, 4373,
       4376, 4379, 4381, 4404, 4405; MS. Rec. First Reformed Church,
       4158, 4315; MS. Rec. St. Michael's and Zion, 109. Among the
       Friends there are very few records of such marriages. _Cf._
       however, MS. Journal of Joshua Brown, 5 2d mo., 1774: ... "I
       rode to Philadelphia ... and Lodged that Night at William
       Browns and 5th day of the mo^{th} I Spent in town and Was at a
       Negro Wedding in the Eving Where Several pe^r Mett and had a
       Setting with them and they took Each other and the Love of God
       Seemd to be Extended to them".... A negro marriage according
       to Friends' ceremony is recorded in MS. Deed Book O, 234, West
       Chester. _Cf._ Mittelberger, _Journey_, 106, "The blacks are
       likewise married in the English fashion." There must have been
       much laxity, however, for only a part of which the negroes
       were to blame. "They are suffered, with impunity, to cohabit
       together, without being married, and to part, when solemnly
       engaged to one another as man and wife".... Benezet, _Some
       Historical Account of Guinea_, 134.

 [146] St. John Crèvecoeur, _Letters_, 222.

 [147] "Acco^t of Negroes Dr. ... for my Negroe Cuffee and his
       Wife Rose and their Daughter Jenny bo^t of W^m Banloft ...
       76/3/10." MS. James Logan's Account Book, 90 (1714). "Wanted,
       Four or Five Negro Men ... if they have families, wives, or
       children, all will be purchased together." _Pa. Packet_,
       Aug. 22, 1778. _Cf._ also _Mercury_, June 4, 1724; June 21,
       1739; _Independent Gazeteer_, July 14, 1792. _Cf._ however,
       Benezet, _Some Historical Account of Guinea_, 136; Crawford,
       _Observations upon Negro Slavery_ (1784), 23, 24; _Pa.
       Packet_, Jan. 1, 1780.

 [148] This was not always the case. The MS. Rec. of Sandy Bank
       Cemetery, Delaware Co., contains the names of two negroes.

 [149] MS. Minutes Middletown Monthly Meeting, 2d Book A, 171, 558,
       559; _Pa. Mag._, VIII, 419; Isaac Comly, "Sketches of the
       History of Byberry," in _Mem. Hist. Soc. Pa._, II, 194. There
       were exceptions, however. _Cf._ MS. Bk. of Rec. Merion Meeting
       Grave Yard.

 [150] Bean, _Hist. Montgomery Co._, 302; Martin, _Hist. of Chester_,
       80; Kalm, _Travels_, I, 44; _Pa. Gazette_, Nov. 15, 1775.

 [151] _Stat. at L._, IV, 59; _Col. Rec._, II, 18; 1 _Pa. Arch._
       XI, 667; _Mercury_, Apr. 12, 1739; _Phila. Staatsbote_, Jan.
       16, 1764, _Pa. Gazette_, Nov. 12, 1761. For an instance of a
       slave killing his master, _cf._ MS. Supreme Court Papers, XXI,
       3546. This was very rare. _Pa. Mag._, XIII, 449. According to
       Judge Bradford's statement arson was "the crime of slaves and
       children." _Journal of Senate of Pa., 1792-1793_, p. 52; _Col.
       Rec._, IV, 243, 244, 259; XII, 377; MS. Miscellaneous Papers,
       Feb. 25, 1780. _Cf._ especially MS. Records of Special Courts
       for the Trial of Negroes; _Col. Rec._, IX, 648; MS. Streper
       Papers, 55.

 [152] In 1737 the Council spoke of the "insolent Behaviour of the
       Negroes in and about the city, which has of late been so
       much taken notice of".... _Col. Rec._, IV, 244; _Votes and
       Proceedings_, IV, 171. As to pilfering Franklin remarked
       that almost every slave was by nature a thief. _Works_ (ed.
       Sparks), II, 315.

 [153] The following has not lost all significance. "I was much
       Disturbed after I came our girl Poll driving her same stroke
       of Impudence as when she was in Philad^a and her mistress
       so hood-winked by her as not to see it which gave me much
       uneasiness and which I am determined not to put up with"....
       Ch. Marshall, Remembrancer, D, Aug. 4, 1777. _Cf._ also
       _Remarks on the Quaker Unmasked_ (1764).

 [154] As shown by the very careless enforcement of the special

 [155] Except immediately following the negro "insurrection" in New
       York in 1712. _Cf. Stat. at L._, II, 433; 1 _Pa. Arch._, IV,
       792; 2 _Pa. Arch._, XV, 368.

 [156] "A negro man and a White Woman servant being taken up ...
       and brought before John Simcocke Justice in Commission for
       runaways Who upon examination finding they had noe lawful
       Passe Comitted them to Prison" ... MS. Court Rec. Penna. and
       Chester Co., 1681-88, p. 75; MS. New Castle Ct. Rec., Liber
       A, 158 (1677); MS. Minutes Ct. Quarter Sess. Bucks Co.,
       1684-1730, p. 138 (1690); MS. Minutes Chester Co. Courts,
       1681-1697, p. 222 (1694-1695). For the continual going away of
       Christopher Marshall's "Girl Poll," see his Remembrancer, vol.

 [157] The following is not only typical, but is very interesting
       on its own account, since Abraham Lincoln was a descendent
       of the family mentioned. "RUN away on the 13th of
       _September_ last from _Abraham Lincoln_ of _Springfield_
       in the County of Chester, a Negro Man named Jack, about 30
       Years of Age, low Stature, speaks little or no _English_,
       has a Scar by the Corner of one Eye, in the Form of a V, his
       Teeth notched, and the Top of one on his Fore Teeth broke;
       He had on when he went away an old Hat, a grey Jacket partly
       like a Sailor's Jacket. Whoever secures the said Negro, and
       brings him to his Master, or to _Mordecai_ Lincoln ... shall
       have _Twenty Shillings_ Reward and reasonable Charges." _Pa.
       Gazette_, Oct. 15, 1730.

 [158] _Mercury_, Apr. 18, 1723; July 11, 1723; _Gazette_, May 3,
       1744; Feb. 22, 1775; July 28, 1779; Jan. 17, 1782; _Packet_,
       Oct. 13, 1778; Aug. 3, 1779. One negro indentured himself to a
       currier. _Gazette_, Aug. 30, 1775. Such negroes the community
       was warned not to employ. _Packet_, Feb. 27, 1779.

 [159] The penalty was thirty shillings for every day. _Stat. at
       L._, IV, 64 (1725-1726). There was need for regulation from
       the first. _Cf. Col. Rec._, I, 117. An advertisement from
       Reading in _Gazette_, July 31, 1776, explains the procedure
       when suspects were held in jail. Such advertisements recur
       frequently. _Cf. Mercury_, Aug. 13, 1730 (third notice);
       _Gazette_, Dec. 27, 1774; _Packet_, Mar. 23, 1779.

 [160] For negroes carried off or who ran away at this time _cf._ MS.
       Miscellaneous Papers, Sept. 1, 1778; Nov. 19, 1778; Aug. 20,
       1779; and others. Numbers of strange negroes were reported to
       be wandering around in Northumberland County. _Ibid._, Aug.
       29, 1780. In 1732 the Six Nations had been asked not to harbor
       runaway negroes, since they were "the Support and Livelihood
       of their Masters, and gett them their Bread." 4 _Pa. Arch._,
       II, 657, 658.

 [161] So I judge from statistics which I have compiled from the
       advertisements in the newspapers.

 [162] _Mercury_, Apr. 18, 1723; _Packet_, July 16, 1778; _Gazette_,
       June 12, 1740; Feb. 4, 1775; Jan. 3, 1776; July 2, 1781;
       _Gazette_, Nov. 17, 1748; Feb. 21, 1775. "'Old Dabbo' an
       African Negro ... call'd here for some victuals.... He had
       three gashes on each cheek made by his mother when he was a
       child.... His conversation is scarcely intelligible"; MS.
       Diary of Joel Swayne, 1823-1833, Mar. 27, 1828. _Mercury_,
       Aug. 6, 1730; _Packet_, Aug. 26, 1779; _Gazette_, July 31,
       1739-1740; _Mercury_, June 24, 1725; _Packet_, June 22, 1789;
       _Packet_, Dec. 31, 1778; _Gazette_, Sept. 10, 1741; July 21,
       1779; Sept. 11, 1746; Oct. 16, 1776; July 30, 1747; May 14,
       1747; Oct. 22, 1747; Aug. 30, 1775; Mar. 22, 1747-1748; July
       24, 1776; Apr. 23, 1761; July 5, 1775; _Packet_, Jan. 26, 1779.

 [163] "My Dear Companion ... has really her hands full, Cow to milk,
       breakfast to get, her Negro woman to bath, give medicine, Cap
       up with flannels, as She is allways Sure to be poorly when
       the weather is cold, Snowy and Slabby. its then She gives her
       Mistriss a deal of fatigue trouble in attending on her." Ch.
       Marshall, Remembrancer, E, Mar. 25, 1779. "To Israel Taylor
       p order of the Com^s for Cureing negro Jack legg ... 4/10
       To Roger Parke for Cureing negro sam ... /9/9." MS. William
       Penn's Account Book, 1690-1693, p. 8. A bill for £10 10 sh.
       4d. was rendered to Thomas Penn for nursing and burying his
       negro Sam. Some of the items are very humorous. MS. Penn
       Papers, Accounts (unbound), Feb. 19, 1741. The bill for Thomas
       Penn's negroes, Hagar, Diana, and Susy, for the years 1773
       and 1774, amounted to £5 5 sh. Penn-Physick MSS., IV, 253.
       An item in a bill rendered to Mrs. Margaretta Frame is: "To
       bleeding her Negro man Sussex ... /2/6." MS. Penn Papers,
       Accounts (unbound), June 5, 1742. St. John Crèvecoeur,
       _Letters_, 221. Masters were compelled by law to support their
       old slaves who would otherwise have become charges on the
       community. _Cf. Stat. at L._, X, 70; _Laws of Pa., 1803_, p.
       103; _1835-1836_, pp. 546, 547. In very many cases, however,
       old negroes were maintained comfortably until death in the
       families where they had served. _Cf._ MS. Phila. Wills, X,
       94 (1794). There are numerous instances of negroes receiving
       property by their master's wills. _Cf._ West Chester Will
       Files, no. 3759 (1785). For the darker side _cf._ Lay, _All
       Slave-Keepers Apostates_, 93.

 [164] "Many of those whom the good Quakers have emancipated have
       received the great benefit with tears in their eyes, and
       have never quitted, though free, their former masters and
       benefactors." St. John Crèvecoeur, _Letters_, 222; _Pa.
       Mag._, XVIII, 372, 373; Buck, MS. _History of Bucks Co._,
       marginal note of author in his scrapbook. For the superiority
       of slavery _cf._ J. Harriot, _Struggles through Life_, etc.,
       II, 409. Also Watson, _Annals_, II, 265.

 [165] It has been suggested that it was milder than the system under
       which redemptioners were held, and that hence "Quaker scruples
       against slavery were either misplaced or insincere." C. A.
       Herrick, "Indentured Labor in Pennsylvania," (MS. thesis,
       University of Pa.), 89. An examination of the Quaker records
       would have shown that the last part of this statement is not
       true. See below, chaps. IV, V.



In Pennsylvania the disintegration of slavery began as soon as slavery
was established, for there were free negroes in the colony at the
beginning of the eighteenth century.[166] Manumission may have taken
place earlier than this, for in 1682 an owner made definite promise
of freedom to his negro.[167] The first indisputable case now known,
however, occurred in 1701, when a certain Lydia Wade living in Chester
County freed her slaves by testament.[168] In the same year William
Penn on his return to England liberated his blacks likewise.[169]
Judging from the casual and unexpected references to free negroes
which come to light from time to time, it seems probable that other
masters also bestowed freedom. At any rate the status of the free negro
had come to be recognized about this time as one to be protected by
law, for when in 1703 Antonio Garcia, a Spanish mulatto, was brought
to Philadelphia as a slave, he appealed to the provincial Council,
and presently was set at liberty.[170] In 1717 the records of Christ
Church mention Jane, a free negress, who was baptized there with her

This freeing of negroes at so early a time in the history of the colony
is sufficiently remarkable. It might be expected that manumission
would have been rare; and, indeed, the records are very few at first.
Nevertheless a law passed in 1725-1726 would indicate that the practice
was by no means unusual.[172]

It is not possible.to say what was the immediate cause of the passing
of that part of the act which refers to manumission. It may have been
the growth of a class of black freemen, or it may have been the desire
to check manumission;[173] but it was probably neither of these things
so much as it was the practice of masters who set free their infirm
slaves when the labor of those slaves was no longer remunerative.[174]
This practice together with the usual shiftlessness of most of the
freedmen makes the resulting legislation intelligible enough. It
provided that thereafter if any master purposed to set his negro free,
he should obligate himself at the county court to secure the locality
in which the negro might reside from any expense occasioned by the
sickness of the negro or by his inability to support himself. If a
negro received liberty by will, recognizance should be entered into by
the executor immediately. Without this no negro was to be deemed free.
The security was fixed at thirty pounds.[175]

Whatever may have been the full purpose of this statute, there can
be no question that it did check manumission to a certain extent. A
standing obligation of thirty pounds, which might at any moment become
an unpleasant reality, when added to the other sacrifices which freeing
a slave entailed, was probably sufficient to discourage many who
possessed mildly good intentions. Several times it was protested that
the amount was so excessive as to check the beneficence of owners:[176]
and on one occasion it was computed that the thirty pounds required
did not really suffice to support such negroes as became charges, but
that a different method and a smaller sum would have secured better
results.[177] The burden to owners was no doubt felt very grievously
during the latter half of the eighteenth century, when manumission was
going on so actively, and it is known that the Assembly was asked to
give relief.[178] Nevertheless nothing was done until 1780 when the
abolition act swept from the statute-books all previous legislation
about the negro, slave as well as free.[179]

In spite of the obstacles created by the statute of 1725-1726, the
freeing of negroes continued. In 1731 John Baldwin of Chester ordered
in his will that his negress be freed one year after his decease. Two
years later Ralph Sandiford is said to have given liberty to all of
his slaves. In 1742 Judge Langhorne in Bucks County devised freedom
to all of his negroes, between thirty and forty in number. In 1744 by
the will of John Knowles of Oxford, negro James was to be made free
on condition that he gave security to the executors to pay the thirty
pounds if required. Somewhat before this time John Harris, the founder
of Harrisburg, set free the faithful negro Hercules, who had saved his
life from the Indians. In 1746 Samuel Blunson manumitted his slaves
at Columbia. During this period negroes were occasionally sent to the
Moravians, who gave them religious training, baptized them, and after
a time set them at liberty. During the following years the records of
some of the churches refer again and again to free negroes who were
married in them, baptized in them, or who brought their children to
them to be baptized.[180] At an early date there was a sufficient
number of free black people in Pennsylvania to attract the attention of
philanthropists; and it is known that Whitefield as early as 1744 took
up a tract of land partly with the intention of making a settlement
of free negroes.[181] Up to this time, however, manumission probably
went on in a desultory manner, hampered by the large security required,
and practised only by the most ardent believers in human liberty. The
middle of the eighteenth century marked a great turning-point.

The southeastern part of Pennsylvania, in which most of the negroes
were located, was peopled largely by Quakers, who in many localities
were the principal slave-owners, and who at different periods during
the eighteenth century probably held from a half to a third of all
the slaves in the colony. But they were never able to reconcile this
practice entirely with their religious belief and from the very
beginning it encountered strong opposition. As this opposition is
really part of the history of abolition in Pennsylvania it will be
treated at length in the following chapter. Here it is sufficient to
say that from 1688 a long warfare was carried on, for the most part by
zealous reformers who gradually won adherents, until about 1750 the
Friends' meetings declared against slavery, and the members who were
not slave-owners undertook to persuade those who still owned negroes to
give them up.

The feeling among some of the Friends was extraordinary at this time.
They went from one slaveholder to another expostulating, persuading,
entreating. It was then that the saintly John Woolman did his work;
but he was only the most distinguished among many others. It is hardly
possible to read over the records of any Friends' meeting for the
next thirty years without finding numerous references to work of this
character; and in more than one journal of the period mention is made
of the obstacles encountered and the expedients employed.[182]

The results of their efforts were far-reaching. Many Friends who
would have scrupled to buy more slaves, and who were convinced that
slave-holding was an evil, yet retained such slaves as they had,
through motives of expediency, and also because they believed that
negroes held in mild bondage were better off than when free. Against
this temporizing policy the reformers fought hard, and aided by the
decision of the Yearly Meeting that slaveholders should no longer
participate in the affairs of the Society, carried forward their work
with such success that within one more generation slavery among the
Friends in Pennsylvania had passed away.

During the period, then, from 1750 to 1780 manumission among the
Friends became very frequent. Many slaves were set free outright,
their masters assuming the liability required by law. Others were
manumitted on condition that they would not become chargeable.[183]
Some owners gave promise of freedom at the end of a certain number of
years, considering the service during those years an equivalent for the
financial obligation which at the end they would have to assume.[184]
Often the negro was given his liberty on condition that at a future
time he would pay to the master his purchase price.[185] In 1751 a
writer said that numerous negroes had gained conditional freedom, and
were wandering around the country in search of employment so as to pay
their owners. The magistrates of Philadelphia complained of this as a

Just how many slaves gained their freedom during this period it is
impossible to say. The church records mention them again and again; and
they become, what they had not been before, the occasion of frequent
notice and serious speculation.[187] Other people began now to follow
the Friends' example,[188] and the belief in abstract principles of
freedom aroused by the Revolutionary struggle gave further impetus to
the movement.[189] In every quarter, now, manumissions were constantly
being made.[190] Any estimate as to how many negroes, servants and
free, there were in Pennsylvania by 1780 must be largely a conjecture,
but it is perhaps safe to say that there were between four and five

The act of 1780, which put an end to the further growth of slavery in
Pennsylvania, marked the beginning of the final work of the liberators.
Coming at a time when so many people had given freedom to their slaves,
and passing with so little opposition in the Assembly as to show that
the majority of Pennsylvania's people no longer had sympathy with
slavery, it was the signal to the abolitionists to urge the manumission
of such negroes as the law had left in bondage. The task was made
easier by the fact that not only was the value of the slave property
now much diminished, but a man no longer needed to enter into surety
when he set his slaves free. Doubtless many whose religious scruples
had been balanced by material considerations, now saw the way smooth
before them, or arranged to make the sacrifice cost them little or
nothing at all. During this period manumission took on a commercial
aspect which formerly had not been so evident. This was brought about
in several ways.

Sometimes negroes had saved enough to purchase their liberty.[192]
Many, as before, received freedom upon binding themselves to pay
for it at the expiration of a certain time.[193] In this they often
received assistance from well-disposed people, in particular from the
Friends, who had by no means stopped the good work when their own
slaves were set free.[194] At times the entire purchase money was paid
by some philanthropist.[195] Frequently one member of a negro family
bought freedom for another, the husband often paying for his wife, the
father for his children.[196] Furthermore it had now become common
to bind out negroes for a term of years, and many owners who desired
their slaves to be free, found partial compensation in selling them
for a limited period, on express condition that all servitude should
be terminated strictly in accordance with the contract. By furthering
such transactions the benevolent tried to help negroes to gain
freedom.[197] Occasionally the slave liberated was bound for a term of
years to serve the former master.[198] Even at this period, however,
negroes continued to be manumitted from motives of pure benevolence.
Some received liberty by the master's testament, and others were held
only until assurance was given the master that he would not become
liable under the poor law.[199]

As the result of the earnest efforts that were made slavery in
Pennsylvania dwindled steadily. In the course of a long time it would
doubtless have passed away as the result of continued individual
manumission. As a matter of fact, it had become almost extinct within
two generations after 1750. This was brought about by work that
affected not individuals, but whole classes, and finally all the people
of the state; which was designed to strike at the root of slavery and
destroy it altogether. This was abolition.


 [166] It is of course possible that some of these negroes had been
       servants, and that their period of service was over.

 [167] "Where As William Clark did buy ... An negor man Called and
       knowen by the name of black Will for and during his natrill
       Life; never the Less the said William Clark doe for the
       Incourigment of the sd neagor servant hereby promise Covenant
       and Agree; that if the said Black Will doe well and Truely
       sarve the said William Clark ... five years ... then the said
       Black Will shall be Clear and free of and from Any further
       or Longer Sarvicetime or Slavery ... as wittnes my hand this
       Thurteenth day of ... June Anno; Din; 1682." MS. Ancient Rec.
       of Sussex Co., 1681-1709, p. 116.

 [168] "My will is that my negroes John and Jane his wife shall be
       set free one month after my decease." Ashmead, _History of
       Delaware County_, 203.

 [169] "I give to ... my blacks their freedom as is under my hand
       already" ... MS. Will of William Penn, Newcastle on Delaware,
       30th 8br, 1701. This will, which was left with James Logan,
       was not carried out. Penn's last will contains no mention of
       his negroes. He frequently mentions them elsewhere. _Cf._ MS.
       Letters and Papers of William Penn (Dreer), 29 (1689), 35
       (1690); _Pa. Mag._, XXXIII, 316 (1690); MS. Logan Papers. II,
       98 (1703). _Cf._ also Penn. MSS., Official Correspondence, 97.

 [170] _Col. Rec._, II, 120.

 [171] Jane "a free negro woman" ... MS. Rec. Christ Church, 46.

 [172] "Whereas 'tis found by experience that free negroes are an
       idle, slothful people and often prove burdensome to the
       neighborhood and afford ill examples to other negroes" ... "An
       Act for the better regulating of Negroes in this Province."
       _Stat. at L._, IV, 61.

 [173] "Our Ancestors ... for a long time deemed it policy to
       obstruct the emancipation of Slaves and affected to consider a
       free Negro as a useless if not a dangerous being" ... Letter
       of W. Rawle (1787), in MS. Rec. Pa. Soc. Abol. Slavery.

 [174] _Votes and Proceedings_, II, 336, 337.

 [175] "An Act for the better regulating of Negroes in this
       Province." _Stat. at L._, IV, 61 (1725-1726).

 [176] "This is however very expensive for they are obliged to make
       a provision for the Negro thus set at liberty, to afford him
       subsistence when he is grown old, that he may not be driven by
       necessity to wicked actions, or that he may be at anybody's
       charge, for these free Negroes become very lazy and indolent
       afterwards." Kalm, _Travels_, I, 394 (1748).

 [177] _Cf. Votes and Proceedings, 1767-1776_, p. 30. The author
       of _Brief Considerations on Slavery, and the Expediency of
       Its Abolition_ (1773) argued that the public derived benefit
       from the labor of adult free negroes, and that the public
       should pay the surety required. By an elaborate calculation
       he endeavored to prove that a sum of about five shillings
       deposited at interest by the community each year of the
       negro's life after he was twenty-one, would amply suffice for
       all requirements. Pp. 8-14 of the second part, entitled "An
       Account Stated on the Manumission of Slaves." He says "As the
       laws stand at present in several of our northern governments,
       the act of manumission is clogged with difficulties that
       almost amount to a prohibition." _Ibid._, 11.

 [178] _Votes and Proceedings, 1767-1776_, p. 696.

 [179] _Stat. at L._, X, 72.

 [180] Martin, _History of Chester_, 480; Watson, _Annals_, II,
       265; _Pa. Mag._, VII, 82; Davis, _History of Bucks County_,
       798; MS. in Miscellaneous Collection, Box 10, Negroes;
       Morgan, _Annals of Harrisburg_, 11; Smedley, _History of the
       Underground Railroad in Chester_, etc., 27; _Pa. Mag._, XII,
       188; XXIX, 363, 365; MS. Rec. Christ Church, 46, 352, 356,
       379, 400, 403, 404, 440, 441, 455, 475, 4126, 4330, 4356; MS.
       Rec. First Reformed Church, 4126, 4248; MS. Rec. St. Michael's
       and Zion, 97.

 [181] _Cf._ Conyngham's "Historical Notes," in _Mem. Hist. Soc.
       Pa._, I, 338.

 [182] See below, p. 74.

 [183] MS. Miscellaneous Papers, 1684-1847, Chester Co., 101 (1764).

 [184] They were generally held longer than apprentices or white
       servants--until twenty-eight or thirty years of age, but many
       of the Friends protested against this. MS. Diary of Richard
       Barnard, 24 5 mo., 1782; M.S. Minutes Exeter Monthly Meeting,
       Book B, 354 (1779).

 [185] "I do hereby Certify that Benjamin Mifflin hath given me
       Directions to sell his Negro man Cuff to himself for the Sum
       of Sixty Pounds if he can raise the Money having Repeatedly
       refused from Others seventy Five Pounds and upwards for him."
       MS. (1769) in Misc. Coll., Box 10, Negroes.

 [186] _Pa. Gazette_, Mar. 5, 1751.

 [187] _Cf._ Benezet, _Some Historical Account of Guinea_, 134, 135,
       where he laments the difficulties under which free negroes
       labor. Also same author, _A Mite Cast into the Treasury_,
       13-17, where he argues that negro servants should not be held
       longer than white apprentices.

 [188] "Die mährischen Brüder folgten diesem rühmlichen Beispiel;
       so auch Christen von den übrigen Bekenntnissen." Ebeling, in
       _Erdbeschreibung_, etc., IV, 220.

 [189] _Cf._ preamble to the act of 1780. _Stat. at L._, X, 67, 68. A
       negro twenty-one years old was manumitted because "all mankind
       have an Equal Natural and Just right to Liberty." MS. Extracts
       Rec. Goshen Monthly Meeting, 415 (G. Cope).

 [190] MS. General Quarter Sessions of the Peace, Phila. Co.,
       1773-1780. Franklin, Letter to Dean Woodward, Apr. 10, 1773,
       in _Works_ (ed. Sparks), VIII, 42.

 [191] In 1751 the number of negroes in Pennsylvania, including
       Delaware, was thought to be 11,000. _Cf._ above, p. 12. The
       negroes in Pennsylvania alone by 1780 probably did not exceed
       the same number. Of these 6,000 were said to be slaves. _Cf._
       above, _ibid._ In some places by this time manumission was
       nearly complete. _Cf._ W. J. Buck, in _Coll. Hist. Soc. Pa._,
       I, 201.

 [192] MSS. Misc. Coll., Box 10, Negroes.

 [193] MS. Rec. Pa. Soc. Abol. Sl., I, 19, 27, 29, 43, 67, and

 [194] A MS. dated Phila., 1769, contains a list of persons who had
       promised to contribute towards purchasing a negro's freedom.
       Among the memoranda are: "John Head agrees to give him Twenty
       Shillings and not to be Repaid ... John Benezet twenty
       Shillings ... Christopher Marshall /7/6.... If he can raise
       with my Donation enough to free him I agree to give him three
       pounds and not otherwise I promise Saml Emlen jur ... Joseph
       Pemberton by his Desire [Five _erased_] pounds £3." MS. Misc.
       Coll., Box 10, Negroes.

 [195] Misc. MSS. 1744-1859. Northern, Interior and Western Counties,
       191 (1782).

 [196] In 1779 a negro of Bucks County to secure the freedom of his
       wife gave his note to be paid by 1783. In 1782, having paid
       part, he was allowed to take his wife until the next payment.
       In 1785 she was free. MS. Rec. Pa. Soc. Abol. Sl., I, 27-43.
       In 1787 negro Samson had purchased his wife and children for
       ninety-nine pounds. _Ibid._, I, 67. James Oronogue, who had
       been hired by his master to the keeper of a tavern, gained by
       his obliging behavior sixty pounds from the customers within
       four years' time, and at his master's death was allowed to
       purchase his freedom for one hundred pounds. He paid besides
       fifty pounds for his wife. _Ibid._, I, 69. When Cuff Douglas
       had been a slave for thirty-seven years his master promised
       him freedom after four years more. On the master agreeing to
       take thirty pounds in lieu of this service, Douglas hired
       himself out, and was free at the end of sixteen months. He
       then began business as a tailor, and presently was able to buy
       his wife and children for ninety pounds, besides one son for
       whom he paid forty-five pounds. _Ibid._, I, 72. Also _ibid._,
       I, 79, 91.

 [197] "Wanted to purchase, a good Negro Wench.... If to be sold on
       terms of freedom by far the most agreeable." _Pa. Packet_,
       Aug. 22, 1778. In 1791 Caspar Wistar bought a slave for sixty
       pounds "to extricate him from that degraded Situation" ...,
       his purpose being to keep the negro for a term of years only.
       MS, Misc. Coll., Box 10, Negroes. Numerous other examples
       among the same MSS.

 [198] "I, John Lettour from motives of benevolence and humanity ...
       do ... set free ... my Negro Girl Agathe Aged about Seventeen
       Years. On condition ... that she ... bind herself by Indenture
       to serve me ... Six years".... MS. _ibid. Cf._ MS. Abstract
       Rec. Abington Monthly Meeting, 372 (1765).

 [199] "I Manumit ... my Negro Girl Abb when she shall Arrive to the
       Age of Eighteen Years ... (on Condition that the Committee
       for the Abolition of slavery shall make entry according to
       Law ... so as to secure me from any Costs or Trouble on me
       or my Estate on said Negro after the age of Eighteen Years)
       ... Hannah Evans." MS. Misc. Coll., Box 10, Negroes. _Cf._
       _Stat. at L._, X, 70. At times this might become an unpleasant
       reality. _Cf._ MS. State of a Case respecting a Negro (Ridgway



The events which led to the extinction of slavery in Pennsylvania fall
naturally into four periods. They are, first, the years from 1682 to
about 1740, during which the Germans discountenanced slave-holding, and
the Friends ceased importing negroes; second, the period of the Quaker
abolitionists, from about 1710 to 1780, by which time slavery among
the Quakers had come to an end; third, from 1780 to 1788, the years of
legislative action; and finally, the period from 1788 to the time when
slavery in Pennsylvania became extinct through the gradual working of
the act for abolition.

Opposition to slaveholding arose among the Friends. Slavery had not
yet been recognized in statute law when they began to protest against
it. This protest, faint in the beginning and taken up only by a few
idealists, was never stopped afterwards, but, growing continually in
strength, was, as the events of after years showed, from the first
fraught with foreboding of doom to the institution. Opposition on
the part of the Friends had begun before Pennsylvania was founded.
In 1671 Fox, travelling in the West Indies, advised his brethren in
Barbadoes to deal mildly with their negroes, and after certain years of
servitude to make them free. Four years later William Edmundson in one
of his letters asked how it was possible for men to reconcile Christ's
command, to do as they would be done by, with the practice of holding
slaves without hope or expectation of freedom.[200] Nevertheless in
the first years after the settlement of Pennsylvania Friends were the
principal slaveholders. This led to differences of opinion, but at the
start economic considerations prevailed.

The reform really began in 1688, a year memorable for the first formal
protest against slavery in North America.[201] Germantown had been
settled by German refugees who in religious belief were Friends. These
men, simple-minded and honest, having had no previous acquaintance with
slavery, were amazed to find it existing in Penn's colony. At their
monthly meeting, the eighteenth of the second month, 1688, Pastorius
and other leaders drew up an eloquent and touching memorial. In words
of surpassing nobleness and simplicity they stated the reasons why they
were against slavery and the traffic in men's bodies. Would the masters
wish so to be dealt with? Was it possible for this to be in accord with
Christianity? In Pennsylvania there was freedom of conscience; there
ought likewise to be freedom of the body. What report would it cause
in Europe that in this new land the Quakers handled men as there men
treated their cattle? If it were possible that Christian men might do
these things they desired to be so informed.[202]

This protest they sent to the Monthly Meeting at Richard Worrel's.
There it was considered, and found too weighty to be dealt with, and
so it was sent on to the Quarterly Meeting at Philadelphia, and from
thence to the Yearly Meeting at Burlington, which finally decided not
to give a positive judgment in the case.[203] For the present nothing
came of it; but the idea did not die. It probably lingered in the minds
of many men; for within a few years a sentiment had been aroused which
became widespread and powerful.

In 1693 George Keith, leader of a dissenting faction of Quakers, laid
down as one of his doctrines that negroes were men, and that slavery
was contrary to the religion of Christ; also that masters should set
their negroes at liberty after some reasonable time.[204] At a meeting
of Friends held in Philadelphia in 1693 the prevailing opinion was that
none should buy except to set free. Three years later at the Friends'
Yearly Meeting it was resolved to discourage the further bringing in of
slaves.[205] In 1712 when the Yearly Meeting at Philadelphia desiring
counsel applied to the Yearly Meeting at London, it received answer
that the multiplying of negroes might be of dangerous consequence.[206]
In the next and the following years the Meetings strongly advised
Friends not to import and not to buy slaves.[207] From 1730 to 1737
reports showed that the importation of negroes by Friends was being
largely discontinued. By 1745 it had virtually ceased.[208]

It is generally believed that Pennsylvania's restrictive legislation,
that long series of acts passed for the purpose of keeping out negroes
by means of prohibitive duties, was largely due to Quaker influence.
This is probably true, but it is not easy to prove. The proceedings of
the colonial Assembly have been reported so briefly that they do not
give the needed information. When, however, the strong feeling of the
Friends is understood in connection with the fact that they controlled
the early legislatures, it is not hard to believe that the high duties
were imposed because they wished the traffic at an end. Their feeling
about the slave-trade and their desire to stop it are revealed again
and again in the meeting minutes.[209] The most drastic law was
certainly due to them.[210]

But the small number of negroes in Pennsylvania as compared with the
neighboring northern colonies was above all due to the early and
continuous aversion to slavery manifested by the Germans. The first
German settlers opposed the institution for religious reasons.[211]
This opposition is perhaps to be ascribed to them as Quakers rather
than as men of a particular race. But as successive swarms poured into
the country it was found, it may be from religious scruples, more
probably because of peculiar economic characteristics and because of
feelings of sturdy industry and self-reliance, that they almost never
bought negroes nor even hired them.[212] As the German element in
Pennsylvania was very considerable, amounting at times to one-third of
the population, such a course, though lacking in dramatic quality, and
though it has been unheralded by the historians, was nevertheless of
immense and decisive importance.[213]

During this period, then, much had been accomplished. Not only had the
Germans turned their backs upon slave-holding, but the Friends, brought
to perceive the iniquity of the practice, had ceased importing slaves,
and for the most part had ceased buying them. It was another generation
before the conservative element could be brought to advance beyond
this position. It was not so easy to make them give up the slaves they
already had.

The succeeding period was characterized by an inevitable struggle which
ensued between considerations of economy and ethics. The attitude of
many Friends was that in refusing to buy any more slaves they were
fulfilling all reasonable obligations. Sometimes there was a desire
to hush up the whole matter and get it out of mind. Isaac Norris
tells of a meeting that was large and comfortable, where the business
would have gone very well but for the warm pushing by some Friends
of Chester in the matter of negroes. But he adds that affairs were
so managed that the unpleasant subject was dropped.[214] What would
have been the result of this disposition cannot now be known; but it
proved impossible to smooth matters away. There had already begun
an age of reformers, forerunners by a hundred years of Garrison and
his associates, men who were content with nothing less than entire

The first of the abolitionists was William Southeby of Maryland, who
went to Pennsylvania. For years the subject of slavery weighed heavily
upon his mind. As early as 1696 he urged the Meeting to take action.
His petition to the Provincial Assembly in 1712 asking that all slaves
be set free was one of the most memorable incidents in the early
struggle against slavery. But the Assembly resolved that his project
was neither just nor convenient; and his ideas were so far in advance
of the times that not only did he a little later lose favor among the
Friends, but long after it was the judgment that his ill-regulated zeal
had brought only sorrow.[215]

The next in point of time was Ralph Sandiford (1693-1733), a Friend of
Philadelphia. His hostility to slavery was aroused by the sufferings
of negroes whom he had seen in the West Indies; and his feeling was
so strong that on one occasion he refused to accept a gift from a
slaveholder. In 1729 he published his _Mystery of Iniquity_, an
impassioned protest against slavery. Although threatened with severe
penalties if he circulated this work, he distributed it wherever he
felt that it would be of use.[216] Such enmity did he arouse that he
was forced to leave the city.[217]

His work was carried forward by Benjamin Lay (1677-1759), an Englishman
who came from Barbadoes to Philadelphia in 1731. He too aroused much
hostility by his violence of expression and eccentric efforts to create
pity for the slaves. He gave his whole life to the cause, but owing to
his too radical methods he was much less influential than he might have

A man of far greater power was John Woolman (1720-1772), perhaps the
greatest liberator that the Friends ever produced. Woolman gave up his
position as accountant rather than write bills for the sale of negroes.
He was very religious, and most of his life he spent as a minister
travelling from one colony to another trying to persuade men of the
wickedness of slavery. In 1754 he published the first part of his
book, _Some Considerations on the Keeping of Negroes_, of which the
second part appeared in 1762. He was stricken with smallpox while on a
visit to England, and died there.[219]

The last was Anthony Benezet (1713-1784), a French Huguenot who joined
the Society of Friends. He came to Philadelphia as early as 1731, but
it was about 1750 that his attention was drawn to the negroes. From
that time to the end of his life he was their zealous advocate. By his
writings upon Africa, slavery, and the slave-trade, he attracted the
attention and enlisted the support of many. He was untiring in his
efforts. Frequently he talked with the negroes and strove to improve
them; he endeavored to create a favorable impression of them; he was
influential in securing the passage of the abolition act; and at his
death he bequeathed the bulk of his property to the cause which he had
served so well in his life.[220]

That these Quaker reformers, particularly men like Woolman and Benezet,
exerted an enormous influence against slavery in Pennsylvania,
there can be no doubt.[221] Their influence is attested by numerous
contemporary allusions, but it is proved far better by the change in
sentiment which was gradually brought about. Southeby, Sandiford, and
Lay were before their time and were treated as fanatics. Woolman and
Benezet who came afterward were able to reap the harvest which had been

The movement which had been urged with violent rapidity from without
was all the while proceeding slowly and quietly within. For many years
the Friends considered slavery, and almost every year the Meetings
made reports upon the subject. These reports showed that the number of
Quakers who bought slaves was constantly decreasing.[222] In 1743 an
annual query was instituted.[223] In 1754 the Yearly Meeting circulated
a printed letter strongly condemning slavery.[224] The second decisive
step followed when it was made a rule that Friends who persisted in
buying slaves should be disowned. The measure was effective and this
part of the work was soon accomplished.[225] Finally in 1758 the third
step was taken when it was unanimously agreed that Friends should
be advised to manumit their slaves, and that those who persisted in
holding them should not be allowed to participate in the affairs of
the Society.[226] John Woolman and others were appointed on committees
to visit slaveholders and persuade them.[227]

The work of these visiting committees is as remarkable as any in the
history of slavery. Self-sacrificing people who had freed their own
slaves now abandoned their interests and set out to persuade others
to give negroes the freedom thought to be due them. In southeastern
Pennsylvania are old diaries almost untouched for a century and a half
which bear witness of characters odd and heroic; which contain the
story of men and women sincere, brave, and unfaltering, who united
quiet mysticism with the zeal of a crusader. The committees undertook
to persuade a whole population to give up its slaves. There is no doubt
that the task was a difficult one. Again and again the writers speak
of obstacles overcome. They tell of owners who would not be convinced,
who acknowledged that slavery was wrong, and promised that they would
buy no more slaves, but who affirmed that they would keep such as they
had. The diaries speak of repeated visits, of the arguments employed,
of slow and gradual yielding, and of final triumph. If ever Christian
work was carried on in the spirit of Christ, it was when John Woolman,
Isaac Jackson, James Moon, and their fellow missionaries put an end to
slavery among the Quakers of Pennsylvania.[228]

The penalties denounced by the Meeting were imposed with firmness.
In 1761 the Chester Quarterly Meeting dealt with a member for having
bought and sold a slave.[229] Through this and the following years
there are many records in the Monthly Meetings of manumissions,
voluntary and persuaded; record being made in each case to ensure the
negro his freedom.[230] In 1774 the Philadelphia Meeting resolved that
Friends who held slaves beyond the age at which white apprentices were
discharged, should be treated as disorderly persons.[231] The work of
abolition was practically completed in 1776 when the resolution passed
that members who persisted in holding slaves were to be disowned.[232]
If this is understood in connection with the fact that in the Meetings
questions were rarely decided except by almost unanimous vote, it is
clear that so far as the Friends were concerned slavery was nearly
extinct. This was almost absolutely accomplished by 1780.[233]

The wholesale private abolition of slavery by the Friends of
Pennsylvania is one of those occurrences over which the historian
may well linger. It was not delayed until slavery had become
unprofitable,[234] nor was it forced through any violent hostility.
It was a result attained merely by calm, steady persuasion, and a
disposition to obey the dictates of conscience unflinchingly. As such
it is among the grandest examples of the triumph of principle and ideal
righteousness over self-interest.[235] It may well be doubted whether
any body of men and women other than the Friends were capable of such
conduct at this time.[236]

So far the checking of slavery in Pennsylvania had been the result of
two great factors; that the Germans would not hold slaves, and that the
Friends gradually gave them up. Another factor now made it possible
to bring about the end of the institution altogether. There began the
period of the long contest of the Revolution, when Pennsylvania was
stirred to its depths by the struggle for independence.

Almost at the beginning of the war, in 1776, the Assembly received
from citizens of Philadelphia two petitions that manumission be
rendered easier. These petitions accomplished nothing,[237] but the
feeling which had been gathering strength for so many years went
forward unchecked, and by 1778 there existed a powerful sentiment
in favor of legislative abolition. Therefore in February, 1779, the
draft of a bill was prepared and recommended by the Council; but for
a while no progress was made, since the Assembly, though it approved
the principle, believed that such a measure should originate in
itself.[238] Toward the end of the year the matter was taken up in
earnest, and a bill was soon drafted. Public sentiment was thoroughly
aroused now. Petitions for and against the bill came to the Assembly,
and letters were published in the newspapers. The friends of the
measure were untiring in their efforts. Anthony Benezet is said to have
visited every member of the Assembly. On March 1, 1780, the bill was
enacted into a law, thirty-four yeas and twenty-one nays.[239]

The "Act for the gradual Abolition of Slavery" provided that thereafter
no child born in Pennsylvania should be a slave; but that such
children, if negroes or mulattoes born of a slave mother, should be
servants until they were twenty-eight years of age; that all present
slaves should be registered by their masters before November 1, 1780;
and that such as were not then registered should be free.[240] It
abolished the old discriminations, for it provided that negroes
whether slave or free should be tried and punished in the same manner
as white people, except that a slave was not to be admitted to
witness against a freeman.[241] The earlier special legislation was

The act of 1780, which was principally the work of George Bryan,[243]
was the final, decisive step in the destruction of slavery in
Pennsylvania. The buying and selling of human beings as chattels
had become repugnant to the best thought of the state, and it had
partly passed away. The practice still survived, however, in many
quarters, and strengthened as it was by considerations of economy and
convenience, it would probably have gone on for many years. Against
this the abolition law struck a mortal blow. From the day of March 1,
1780, the little remnant of slavery slowly withered and passed away.
In the course of a generation, except for some scattered cases, it had
vanished altogether.

Pennsylvania was the first state to pass an abolition law.[244] In
after years this became a matter of great pride. Her legislators and
statesmen frequently boasted of it. Not only was the priority a glory
in itself, but the manner in which Pennsylvania conceived the law, and
the success with which she carried it out, furnished the states that
lay near her a splendid example and a strong incentive which not a few
of them followed shortly thereafter.[245]

Yet this law was open to some objections, and for different reasons
received much criticism. First, it was loosely and obscurely drawn in
some of its sections, and these gave rise to litigation.[246] In the
second place, it was largely ineffectual to prevent certain abuses
which had been foreseen when it was discussed, and which assumed
alarming proportions in a few years. Some Pennsylvanians openly kept up
the slave-trade outside of Pennsylvania, and masters within the state
sold their slaves into neighboring states, whither they sent also their
young negroes, who there remained slaves instead of acquiring freedom
at twenty-eight.[247] They even sent away for short periods their
female slaves when pregnant, so that the children might not be born on
the free soil of Pennsylvania. Besides this the kidnapping of free
negroes went on unchecked.[248]

These practices did not escape unprotested. The Friends were
indefatigable in their efforts to stop them, and the government was
not disposed to allow the work of 1780 to be undone.[249] So in 1788
was passed an act to explain and enforce the previous one. It provided
that the births of the children of slaves were to be registered; that
husband and wife were not to be separated more than ten miles without
their consent; that pregnant females should not be sent out of the
state pending their delivery; and it forbade the slave-trade under
penalty of one thousand pounds. Heavy punishments were provided for
such chicanery as had previously been employed.[250]

This legislation was enforced by the courts in constructions which
favored freedom wherever possible. Exact justice was dealt out, but
if the master had neglected in the smallest degree to comply with the
precise conditions specified in the laws, whether through carelessness,
mistake, or unavoidable circumstance, the authorities generally
showed themselves glad to declare the slave free.[251] The Friends
and abolitionists were particularly active in hunting up pretexts
and instituting law-suits for the purpose of setting at liberty the
negroes of people who believed they were obeying the laws, but who had
neglected to comply with some technical point.[252]

While these devotees of freedom were harassing the enemy they were
engaged in operations much more drastic. The laws for abolition,
respecting as they did the sacredness of right in property, had not
abrogated existing titles to slaves.[253] This the abolitionists
denounced as theft, and resolved to get justice by cutting out slavery
root and branch.[254]

First they attacked it in the courts. The declaration of rights in the
constitution of 1790 declared that all men were born equally free and
independent, and had an inherent right to enjoy and defend life and
liberty.[255] In 1792 a committee of the House refused the petition of
some slaveholders on the ground that slavery was not only unlawful in
itself, but also repugnant to the constitution.[256] This point was
seized upon by the abolitionists, who resolved to test it before the
law. Accordingly they arranged the famous case of Negro Flora _v._
Joseph Graisberry, and brought it up to the Supreme Court of the state
in 1795. It was not settled there, but went up to what was at that
time the ultimate judicial authority in Pennsylvania, the High Court
of Errors and Appeals. Some seven years after the question had first
been brought to law this august tribunal decided after lengthy and
able argument that negro slavery did legally exist before the adoption
of the constitution of 1790, and that it had not been abolished

Failing to destroy slavery in the courts the abolitionists strove to
demolish it by legal enactment. For this purpose they began a campaign
that lasted for two generations. In 1793 the Friends petitioned the
Senate for the complete abolition of slavery, and in 1799 they sent a
memorial showing their deep concern at the keeping of slaves. In the
following year citizens of Philadelphia prayed for abolition, and a few
days later the free blacks of the city petitioned that their brethren
in bondage be set free, suggesting that a tax be laid upon themselves
to help compensate the masters dispossessed. The demand for freedom
was supported in other quarters of the state, and undoubtedly a strong
feeling was aroused. The Pennsylvania Society for the Abolition of
Slavery began the practice, which it kept up for so many years, of
regularly memorializing the legislature. Later on some of the leading
men of the state took up the cause, and once the governor in his
message referred to the galling yoke of slavery and its stain upon the

It is probable, however, that the majority of the people in the state
believed that enough had been done, and desired to see the little
remaining slavery quietly extinguished by the operation of such laws
as were effecting the extinction. Be this as it may, it is certain
that although many bills were proposed to effect total and immediate
abolition, some of which had good prospects of success, yet each one
was gradually pared of its most radical provisions, and in the end was
always found to lack the support requisite to make it a law.

In 1797 the House had a resolution offered and a bill prepared for
abolition. This measure dragged along through the next two sessions,
but in 1800 so much encouragement came from the city and counties that
the work was carried on in earnest. The course of this bill illustrates
the progress of others. At first the proposed enfranchisement was to
be immediate and for all; then it was modified to affect only negroes
over twenty-eight. In this form it passed the House by a handsome
majority, but in the Senate it was postponed to the next session. When
finally its time came the committee having it in charge reported that
as slavery was not in accordance with the constitution of 1790, a law
to do away with slavery was not needed. The measure was still mentioned
as unfinished business about the time that the High Court decided that
slavery was in accordance with the constitution after all.[259]

The abolitionists did not lose heart. They tried again in 1803, and
again the following year. In 1811 a little was done in the House,
and in 1821 the matter was discussed in the Senate. In this latter
year a bill was prepared and debated, but nothing passed except the
motion to postpone indefinitely. Indeed the movement had now spent its
force, and was thereafter confined to futile petitions that showed more
earnestness of purpose than expectation of success.[260]

This is easily explicable when it is understood how rapidly slavery
had declined. The number of slaves in Pennsylvania had never been
large. By the first Federal census they were put at less than four
thousand; but within a decade they had diminished by more than half,
and ten years later there were only a few hundred scattered throughout
the state.[261] The majority of these slaves during the later years
were living in the western counties that bordered on Maryland and
Virginia, where slavery had begun latest and lingered longest.[262] In
Philadelphia and the older counties it had almost entirely disappeared.
So rapid was the decline that as early as 1805 the Pennsylvania
Abolition Society reported that in the future it would devote itself
less to seeking the liberation of negroes than to striving to improve
those already free. This could only mean that they were finding very
few to liberate.[263]

That the decreasing agitation for the entire abolition of slavery in
Pennsylvania was due to the decline of slavery and not to any decrease
in hostility to it, is shown by the character of other legislation
demanded, and the readiness with which stringent laws were passed.
The act of 1780 permitted the resident of another state to bring his
slave into Pennsylvania and keep him there for six months.[264] A very
strong feeling developed against this. In 1795 it was necessary for the
Supreme Court to declare that such a right was valid. It was afterwards
decided, however, that if the master continued to take his slave in
and out of Pennsylvania for short periods, the slave should be free.
Again and again the legislature was asked to withdraw the privilege.
It is needless to recount the petitions that never ceased to come,
and at times poured in like a flood. At last the pressure of popular
feeling could no longer be held back, and after the legislation of
1847 following the memorable case of Prigg _v._ Pennsylvania, when a
slave was brought by his master within the bounds of Pennsylvania, that
moment by state law he was free.[265]

Long before this time the passage through the state of slaves bound
with chains had awakened the pity of those who saw it.[266] In 1816 it
was decided that in certain cases if a runaway slave gave birth to a
child in Pennsylvania the child was free.[267] Later the legislature
forbade state officers to give any assistance in returning fugitives;
and at last lacked but little of giving fugitives trial by jury.

If it be asked whether at this time Pennsylvania was not rather
decrying slavery among her neighbors than destroying it within her own
gates, since beyond denial she still had slavery there, it must be
answered that first, her slavery as regards magnitude was a veritable
mote, and secondly, since after 1830, for example, there was not
one slave in Pennsylvania under fifty years old, it was far more to
the advantage of the negroes to remain in servitude where the law
guaranteed them protection and good treatment, than to be set free,
when their color and their declining years would have rendered their
well-being doubtful. It is probable that such slavery as existed there
in the last years was based rather on the kindness of the master
and the devotion of the slave, than on the power of the one and the
suffering of the other. It was a peaceful passing away. And so in
connection with slavery Pennsylvania is seen to have been fortunate.
Seeing at an early time the pernicious consequences of such an
institution she was able, such were the circumstances of her economic
environment, and such was the character of her people, to check it so
effectually that it never assumed threatening bulk. Almost as quick
to perceive the evil of it, she acted, and while others moralized and
lamented, she set her slaves free. Moreover as if to atone for the
sin of slave-keeping she granted her freedmen such privileges that it
seemed to her ardent idealists that the future could not but promise

Whether this liberality came to be a matter of regret in after
years, and whether because of circumstances sure to come, but as yet
unforeseen, it was possible for the experience of Pennsylvania with her
free black population to be as happy as that with her slaves, it will
be the purpose of later chapters to enquire.


 [200] Edmundson's _Journal_, 61. Janney, _History of the Friends_,
       III, 178.

 [201] Pennypacker, "The Settlement of Germantown," in _Pa. Mag._,
       IV, 28; McMaster, "The Abolition of Slavery in the United
       States," in _Chatauquan_, XV, 24, 25 (Apr., 1892). For the
       protest against slavery and the slave-trade (_De instauranda
       Æthiopum Salute_, Madrid, 1647) of the Jesuit, Alfonso
       Sandoval, _cf._ Saco, _Historia de la Esclavitud de la Raza
       Africana en el Nuevo Mundo_, 253-256.

 [202] Pennypacker, _place cited_; Learned, _Life of Francis Daniel
       Pastorius_, 261, 262. Facsimile of protest in Ridgway Branch
       of the Library Company of Philadelphia.

 [203] The Monthly Meeting declared "we think it not expedient for us
       to meddle with it here." Pennypacker, _place cited_, 30, 31.

 [204] Watson, _Annals_, II, 262. "An Exhortation and Caution To
       Friends Concerning buying or keeping of Negroes," in _Pa.
       Mag._, XIII, 265-270. This is said to have been the first
       printed protest against slavery in America. _Cf._ Hildeburn,
       _A Century of Printing_, etc., I, 28, 29; Gabriel Thomas,
       _Account_, 53; Bettle, _Notes_, 367.

 [205] Clarkson, _Life of Penn_, II, 78, 79.

 [206] _Cf._ Bettle, 372.

 [207] _Ibid._, 373.

 [208] _Ibid._, 377.

 [209] "Whereas several Papers have been read relating to the keeping
       and bringing in of Negroes ... it is the advice of this
       Meeting, that Friends be careful not to encourage the bringing
       in of any more Negroes" ... MS. "Negroes or Slaves," Yearly
       Meeting Advices, 1682-1777 (1696). "This meeting is also
       dissatisfied with Friends buying and incouriging the bringing
       in of Negroes" ... MS. Chester Quarterly Meeting Minutes, 6
       6th mo., 1711. "There having a conscern Come upon severall
       friends belonging to this meeting Conscerning the Importation
       of Negros ... after some time spent in the Consideration
       thereof it is the Unanimous sence of this meeting that friends
       should not be concerned hereafter in the Importation thereof
       nor buy any" ... MS. Chester Monthly Meeting Minutes, 27 4th
       mo., 1715. MS. Chester Quarterly Meeting Minutes, 1 6th mo.,
       1715. "This meeting have been for some time under a Concern by
       reason of the great Quantity of Negros fetched and imported
       into this Country." _Ibid._, 11 6th mo., 1729. MS. Yearly
       Meeting Minutes, 19-23 7th mo., 1730. As soon as Friends had
       been brought to cease the importation of negroes, attack was
       made upon the practice of Friends buying negroes imported by
       others. _Cf._ MS. Chester Q. M. M., 11 6th mo., 1729; 9 9th
       mo., 1730. The MS. Chester M. M. M. mention 100 books on the
       slave-trade for circulation.

 [210] "We also kindly received your advice about negro slaves, and
       we are one with you, that the multiplying of them, may be of
       a dangerous consequence, and therefore a Law was made in
       Pennsylvania laying Twenty pounds Duty upon every one imported
       there, which Law the Queen was pleas'd to disanull, we would
       heartily wish that a way might be found to stop the bringing
       in more here, or at least that Friends may be less concerned
       in buying or selling, of any that may be brought in, and hope
       for your assistance with the Government if any farther Law
       should be made discouraging the importation. We know not of
       any Friend amongst us that has any hand or concern in bringing
       any out of their own Country." MS. Yearly M. M., 22 7th mo.,
       1714. This was written in reply to the London Yearly Meeting,
       and alludes to the act passed in 1712. See above, p. 3.

 [211] See above, p. 65. _Cf._ also P. C. Plockhoy's principle laid
       down in his _Kort en Klaer Ontwerp_ (Amsterdam, 1662): "No
       lordship or servile slavery shall burden our Company." Quoted
       in Pennypacker, _Settlement of Germantown_, 204, 292.

 [212] "The Germans seldom hire men to work upon their farms." Rush,
       _An Account of the Manners of the German Inhabitants of
       Pennsylvania_ (1789), 24. "They never, as a general thing,
       had colored servants or slaves." _Ibid._, 24 (note by Rupp).
       "Slaves in Pennsylvania never were as numerous in proportion
       to the white population as in New York and New Jersey. To our
       German population this is certainly attributable--Wherever
       they or their numerous descendants located they preferred
       _their own_ labor to that of negro slaves." Buck, MS. _History
       of Bucks County_, 69. "Of all the nations who have settled in
       America, the Germans have availed themselves the least of the
       unjust and demoralizing aid of slavery." W. Grimshaw, _History
       of the United States_, 79. The truth of these statements is
       revealed in the tax-lists of the different counties. Thus,
       in Berks County there were 2692 German tax-payers (61%) and
       1724 (39%) not Germans. Of these 44 Germans held 62 slaves,
       and 57 of other nationalities held 92 slaves. 3 _Pa. Arch._,
       XVIII, 303-430. In York County, where there were 2051 German
       property-holders (34%) and 3993 who were not Germans (66%),
       27 Germans held 44 slaves as against 178 others who held 319
       slaves. 3 _Pa. Arch._, XXI, 165-324. (Both these estimates are
       for 1780.) In Lancaster County the property-holders included
       approximately 3475 Germans (48%) and 3706 not Germans (52%).
       Here 31 Germans held 46 slaves, while 200 not Germans held 402
       slaves. 3 _Pa. Arch._, XVII, 489-685 (1779). The records of
       the German churches rarely mention slaves.

 [213] The small number of negroes in Pennsylvania was often
       noticed. Burnaby, _Travels through the Middle Settlements_,
       63, said "there are few negroes or slaves" ... (1759),
       Anburey, _Travels through the Interior Parts of America_, II,
       280-281, said, "The Pennsylvanians ... are more industrious
       of themselves, having but few blacks among them." (1778).
       _Cf._ Proud, _History_, II, 274. Estimates as to the number
       of Germans in Pennsylvania vary from 3/5 (1747, _cf._ Rupp's
       note in Rush, _Account_, 1) to 1/3 (1789, _ibid._, 54). For
       many estimates _cf._ Diffenderffer, _German Immigration into
       Pennsylvania_, pt. II, _The Redemptioners_, 99-108. Some few
       Germans had intended to hold slaves from the first. _Cf._ the
       articles of agreement between the members of the Frankfort
       Company (1686): ... "alle ... leibeigenen Menschen ... sollen
       unter Allen Interessenten pro rato der Ackerzahl gemein seyn."
       MS. in possession of S. W. Pennypacker, Philadelphia.

 [214] Watson, (MS.) Annals, 530. The same spirit is apparent much
       later. "There generally appeared an uneasiness in their minds
       respecting them, tho all are not so fully convinced of the
       Iniquity of the practice as to get over the difficulty which
       they apprehend would attend their giving them their liberty"
       ... MS. Abstract Rec. Gwynedd Monthly Meeting, 278 (1770).
       "Perhaps thou wilt say, 'I do not buy any negroes: I only use
       those left me by my father.' But is it enough to satisfy your
       own conscience?" Benezet, _Notes on the Slave Trade_, 8.

 [215] _Votes and Proceedings_, II, 110; _The Friend_, XXVIII, 293,
       and following; A. C. Thomas, "The Attitude of the Society
       of Friends toward Slavery in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth
       Centuries, Particularly in Relation to Its Own Members," in
       _Amer. Soc. Church History_, VIII, 273, 274.

 [216] "Ralph Sandiford C^r for Cash receiv'd of Benj^a Lay for 50
       of his Books which he intends to give away ... 10" (sh.) MS.
       Benjamin Franklin's Account Book, Feb. 28, 1732-1733.

 [217] Sandiford, _Mystery of Iniquity_, 43; Vaux, _Memoirs of the
       Lives of Benjamin Lay and Ralph Sandiford_; _The Friend_, L,
       170; Thomas, _Attitude_, 274; Franklin, _Works_ (ed. Sparks),
       X, 403.

 [218] _Cf. American Weekly Mercury_, Nov. 2, 1738, for notice in
       which the Friends' Meeting denounces his _All Slave-Keepers
       ... Apostates_ (1737). _Cf._ anecdotes related by Vaux;
       Bettle, _Notices_, 375, 376; _The Friend_, L, 170; Thomas,
       _Attitude_, 274.

 [219] Bettle, _Notices_, 378-382; Thomas, _Attitude_, 245, 275-279;
       Tyler, _Literary History of the American Revolution_, II,
       339-347; _The Friend_, LIII, 190; Woolman, _Journal_.

 [220] Vaux, _Memoirs of Benezet_; _The Friend_, LXXI, 369; Thomas,
       274, 275; Bettle, 382-387; Benezet's own writings.

 [221] Thomas, 273. There must have been a great many other reformers
       of considerable influence, but of less fame, about whose
       work little has come down. _Cf._ "Thos. Nicholson on Keeping
       Negroes" (1767). MS. in Misc. Coll., Box 10, Negroes.

 [222] _Cf._ MS. Chester Q. M. M., 14 6th mo., 1738; 8 6th mo., 1743.

 [223] Needles, _Memoir_, 13.

 [224] Bettle, 377.

 [225] The MS. Chester Q. M. M., 8 8th mo., 1763, say ... "we are not
       quite clear of dealing in Negro's, but care is taken mostly
       to discourage it ...." Three years later they add ... "clear
       of importing or purchasing Negro's." _Ibid._, 11 8th mo.,
       1766. _Cf._ also _ibid._, 10 8th mo., 1767; MS. Chester M.
       M. Miscellaneous Papers, 28 1st mo., 1765; MS. Darby M. M.
       M., II, 11, 12, 16, 19, (1764), 24, 27, 31, 33, 35, 38, 40,
       42, 45, 46, (1764-1765). These references concern the case of
       Enoch Eliot, who, having purchased two negroes, was repeatedly
       urged to set them free, and finally did so. MS. Abstract Rec.
       Abington M. M., 28 7th mo., 1760; 25 8th mo., 1760. "One of
       the fr^{ds} app^d to visit Jonathan Jones reports they all had
       an oppertunity With him s^d Jonathan, and that he gave them
       exspectation of not making any more purchases of that kind, as
       also he is sorry for the purchace he did make" ... _Ibid._, 24
       11th mo., 1760; also _ibid._, 24 11th mo., 1760; 20 9th mo.,
       1762; 29 10th mo., 1764.

 [226] MS. Yearly M. M., 23-29 9th mo., 1758, where Friends are
       earnestly entreated to "sett them at Liberty, making a
       Christian Provision for them according to their Ages etc"....
       _Cf._ report about George Ragan: ... "as to his Buying and
       selling a Negro, he saith he Cannot see the Evil thereof, and
       therefore cannot make any satisfaction, and as he has been
       much Laboured with by this m^g to bring him to a sight of his
       Error, This m^g therefore agreeable to a minute of our Yearly
       M^g can do no Less than so far Testify ag^st him ... as not to
       Receive his Collections, neither is he to sit in our m^{gs}
       for Discipline until he can see his Error" ... MS. Abst.
       Abington M. M., 288 (1761). _Cf._ Michener, _Retrospect of
       Early Quakerism_, 346, 347; _A Brief Statement of the rise and
       Progress of the Testimony of the Religious Society of Friends,
       against Slavery and the Slave Trade_, 21-24; Sharpless, _A
       History of Quaker Government in Pennsylvania_, II, 229;
       Needles, 13. For the fervid feeling at this time _cf._
       _Journal of John Churchman_ (1756), in _Friends' Library_, VI,

 [227] Bettle, 378; Sharpless, II, 229. _Cf._ also _Journal of Daniel
       Stanton_, in _Friends' Library_, XII, 167.

 [228] MS. Abst. Abington M. M., 328, 336, 347, 351, 358, 368, 372,
       398; MS. Min. Sadsbury M. M., 1737-8--1783, pp. 270, 290; MS.
       Min. Radnor M. M., 1772-1782, pp. 63, 66, 71, 102, 103, 107,
       etc.; MS. Min. Women's Q. M., Bucks Co., 26 8th mo., 1779; 30
       8th mo., 1781; MS. Darby M. M. M., II, 87, 91, 93, (1769), 178
       (1774), 180, 181, 184, 186, 190 (1775), 309, 312 (1780); MS.
       Women's Min. Darby M. M., 2 2d mo., 1775; 30 3rd mo., 1775; 3
       8th mo., 1780; 31 8th mo., 1780; MS. Extracts Buckingham M.
       M., 128, 130, 136 (1767-1768); MS. Diary of Richard Barnard,
       24 9th mo., 1774; 7 6th mo., 1780; MS. Journal of Joshua
       Brown, 11th mo., 1775; above all the MS. Diary of James Moon,
       _passim_. _Cf._ Sharpless, _Quakerism and Politics_, 159-178;
       Whittier's introduction to John Woolman's _Journal_.

 [229] Futhey and Cope, _History of Chester Co._, 423.

 [230] _Cf._ Abst. Rec. Gwynedd M. M., 201, 204, 213, 218, 240, 270,
       271, 273, 278, 280, 307, 311, 312, 316, 321, 322, 323, 336,
       348, 374, 471; MS. Papers Middletown M. M., 1759-1786, pp.
       386, 388, 389, 390; Franklin, _Works_, (ed. Sparks). VIII, 42.

 [231] _Brief Statement_, 49.

 [232] MS. Yearly M. M., 27 9th mo., 1776; _Brief Statement_, 24-27;
       Needles, 13; Thomas, 245; Sharpless, _History of Quaker
       Government in Pennsylvania_, II, 138, 139.

 [233] _Brief Statement_, 31-35; Needles, 13; Sharpless, II, 226.
       For some years the Meetings continued to make regular reports
       on this subject. "7th No Slaves among us and such of their
       Offspring as are under our Care are generally pretty well
       provided for." MS. Rec. Warrington Q. M., 25 8th mo., 1788.

 [234] In the absence of a plantation system slavery in Pennsylvania
       never was profitable in the same sense as in Virginia or South
       Carolina, and where white labor could be obtained slavery
       could not compete. _Cf._ Franklin, _Works_, II, 314, 315
       (1751). But as it was almost impossible to obtain sufficient
       white labor, or at least to retain it, slavery as it existed
       in Pennsylvania was profitable throughout the colonial period.
       For the strong desire to import, see above, chap. I. For
       the high prices paid in the first quarter of the nineteenth
       century for the right to hold negroes to the age of 28, see
       below, p. 94.

 [235] This is my judgment after a careful investigation of the
       Friends' records. Adam Smith, who had not seen these records,
       but who wrote just when the work was being completed, thought
       differently. _Wealth of Nations_ (ed. Rogers), I, 391.

 [236] Other sects followed the example of the Friends, _cf._
       Ebeling, IV, 220, but their work was mostly significant in
       connection with the legislative work of the Assembly. For the
       effects of the work of the Friends _cf._ Bowden, _History of
       the Friends_, II, 221.

 [237] _Votes and Proceedings_, 1767-1776, p. 696.

 [238] 1 _Pa. Arch._, VII, 79; _Journal of House of Rep._, 1776-1781,
       p. 311.

 [239] _Col. Rec._, XII, 99; _Pa. Packet_, Sept. 16, 1779; _Journals
       of House, 1776-1781_, pp. 392, 394, 399, 412, 424, 435;
       _Packet_, Mar. 13, 1779; Dec. 25, 1779; Jan. 1, 1780;
       _Gazette_, Dec. 29, 1779; Vaux, _Memoirs of Benezet_, 92. The
       distribution of the vote seems to have had no political, no
       religious, and probably no economic significance. The measure
       was popular in and out of the Assembly. _Packet_, Dec. 25,
       1779; _Jour. of House, 1776-1781_, p. 435. An earlier bill
       had been published in the _Packet_, Mar. 4, 1779. It is very
       interesting. The bill as finally drafted became the first act
       for the abolition of slavery in the United States. Accordingly
       its authors had to do much original and constructive work.
       In the course of the work their ideas underwent some change,
       and the transition is easily seen in comparing the first bill
       of 1779 with the act as passed in 1780. In some respects the
       first is more liberal than the second; in other respects
       less so. Thus at first it was intended to make the children
       of slaves servants until twenty-one only. (_Packet_, Mar. 4,
       1779). "A Citizen" discussing this objected that the master
       would receive inadequate compensation for rearing negro
       children, and urged that the age limit be made twenty-eight
       or even thirty. (_Packet_, Mar. 13, 1779), and so pay for the
       unproductive years, which was but just. The law made the age
       twenty-eight. On the other hand it was at first proposed to
       continue the prohibition of intermarriage and the permission
       to bind out idle free negroes. (_Packet_, Mar. 4, 1779). Both
       these provisions were omitted from the law.

 [240] _Stat. at L._, X, 67-73; 2 Sergeant and Rawle, 305-309. Many
       of the Friends thought that negroes ought not to be held after
       they were twenty-one. _Cf._ MS. Rec. Pa. Soc. Abol. Sl., I,
       23. Very many masters lost their negroes through failing to
       register them, through ignorance of the provision requiring
       registry, or through carelessness in complying with it. _Cf._
       Rush, _Considerations upon the Present Test-Law_, (2nd ed.), 7
       (note); _Journals of House, 1776-1781_, p. 537, and following;
       4 _Pa. Arch._, III, 822. _Cf._ Christopher Marshall's
       Remembrancer, F, Oct. 10, 1780: ... "gott our Negro Recorded."
       _Cf. York Herald_, Apr. 26, 1797. The limit was extended
       to Jan. 1, 1783, in favor of the citizens of Washington and
       Westmoreland counties, previously under the jurisdiction of
       Virginia. _Stat. at L._, X, 463. Runaways from other states
       were of course not made free by this provision. _Cf._ sect.
       VIII of act.

 [241] The repeal of this section was proposed the next year, but
       failed by three votes. _Cf. Journals of House, 1776-1781_,
       p. 605. It was finally repealed in 1847.

 [242] Sect. X of act.

 [243] For the view that it was drafted by William Lewis, _cf. Pa.
       Mag._, XIV, 14; Robert E. Randall, _Speech on the Laws of the
       State relative to Fugitive Slaves_, 6; Horace Binney, _Leaders
       of the Old Bar of Philadelphia_, 25. There can be little
       doubt, however, that full credit should be given to Bryan.
       "He framed and executed the 'act'" ... Obituary notice in the
       _Gazette_, Feb. 2, 1791. _Cf._ inscription on his tomb-stone,
       copy in Inscriptions in the Burying Ground of the Second
       Presbyterian Church Phila. (MS. H. S. P.); _Mem. Hist. Soc.
       Pa._, I, 408-410; Konkle, _Life and Times of Thomas Smith_,

 [244] Vermont had forbidden slavery by her constitution of 1777.
       Poore, II, 1859.

 [245] Its significance in this respect is remarked by Bowden,
       _History of the Friends_, II, 220. Connecticut and Rhode
       Island provided for abolition in 1784, New York in 1799, New
       Jersey in 1804. The same was accomplished in Massachusetts
       in 1780, and in New Hampshire in 1792, by construction of
       the constitution. Among many instances where Pennsylvania
       pointed to her great act with pride, _cf. Acts of Assembly,
       1819-20_, p. 199; 4 _Pa. Arch._, VI, 242, 290. Albert
       Gallatin, writing to Charles Brown, Mar. 1, 1838, says: "It is
       indeed a great subject of pride ... that as one of the United
       States she was the first to abolish slavery" ... _Writings_
       (ed. Adams), II, 523, 524.

 [246] 1 Dallas 469; 14 Sergeant and Rawle 443-446; 1 _Pa. Arch._,
       VIII, 720.

 [247] _Pa. Mag._, XV, 372, 373. The selling-price elsewhere was
       greater since it included the price of the posterity.

 [248] Brissot de Warville, _Mémoire sur les Noirs de l'Amérique
       Septentrionale_, 19.

 [249] _Minutes of Assembly, 1787-1788_, pp. 104, 134, 135, 137,
       159, 164, 177, 197; _Packet_, Mar. 13, 1788; _Diary of Jacob
       Hiltzheimer_, 144.

 [250] _Laws of Pennsylvania_ (Carey and Bioren), III, 268-272.
       Despite this many negroes continued to be sold out of the
       state, and in 1795 the Pa. Soc. Abol. Sl. was asking for a
       more stringent law. _Cf._ MS. Rec. of Soc., IV, 191. Also
       MS. Supreme Court Papers, nos. 3, 4, (1795). As late as 1796
       the author of the _Reise von Hamburg nach Philadelphia_
       says: "Häufig kommen, in Philadelphia vorzüglich ... grosze
       Transporte von Sclaven von Africa vorüber," p. 24.

 [251] 1 Dallas 491, 492; 2 Dallas 224-228; 3 Sergeant and Rawle
       396-402; 2 Yeates 234, 449; 3 _id._ 259-261; 4 _id._ 115, 116;
       6 Binney 206-211; MS. Sup. Ct. Papers, I, 1; MS. Rec. Pa. Soc.
       Abol. Sl., I, 197.

 [252] 2 Rawle, 204-206; 1 Penrose and Watts 93. _Cf. Min. of
       Assembly, 1785-1786_, pp. 168, 169.

 [253] 14 Sergeant and Rawle 442; Brissot, _Mémoire_, 20.

 [254] Brissot, _Mémoire_, 21. _Cf._ the severe censure in _Why
       Colored People in Philadelphia Are Excluded from the Street
       Cars_ (1866), 23.

 [255] Art. IX, sect. 1.

 [256] _Journal of the House, 1792-1793_, pp. 39, 55.

 [257] MS. Docket Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, XXVII, 379. The suit
       was on a writ "de homine replegiando." _Cf._ Stroud, _Sketch
       of the Laws Relating to Slavery in the Several States of the
       United States of America_ (2d ed.), 227 (note); MS. Docket
       of the High Court of Errors and Appeals, 1780-1808, p. 126;
       _Pa. Gazette_, Feb. 3, 1802; Report of Pa. Soc. Abol. Sl. in
       _Minutes Sixth Convention Abol. Soc., Phila., 1800_, p. 7.
       It was the different decision of an exactly similar question
       that abolished slavery in Massachusetts. _Cf._ Littleton _v._
       Tuttle, 4 Massachusetts 128.

 [258] _Journal of Senate, 1792-1793_, pp. 150, 151; _1798-1799_, p.
       149; _J. of H., 1799-1800_, pp. 76, 123, 153, 160, 172, 190;
       _J. of S., 1799-1800_, p. 223; _J. of S., 1800-1801_, pp. 134,
       135; _J. of H., 1802-1803_, p. 218; _J. of H., 1811-1812_, pp.
       24, 216; 4 _Pa. Arch._, IV, 757, for Governor Snyder's message.

 [259] _J. of H., 1796-1797_, pp. 283, 308, 354, 355; _J. of H.,
       1797-1798_, pp. 75, 269; _J. of H., 1798-1799_, pp. 20, 354;
       _J. of H., 1799-1800_, pp. 23, 76, 93, 123, 153, 160, 162,
       172, 176, 190, 236, 303, 304, 306, 309, 310, 313, 314, 330,
       358, 376; _J. of S., 1799-1800_, pp. 144, 223, 235. The bill
       passed the House 54 to 15. _J. of S., 1800-1801_, p. 175; _J.
       of S., 1801-1802_, p. 24.

 [260] _J. of H., 1802-1803_, pp. 361, 362; _1804-1805_, p. 61; _Pa.
       Gazette_, Feb. 1, 1804; _J. of H., 1811-1812_, pp. 58, 67,
       216; _J. of. S., 1820-1821_, p. 33; _Phila. Gazette_, Mar.
       6, 1821; _J. of S., 1820-1821_, pp. 105, 308, 469, 531, 532,
       535, 536. For the provisions of such a bill--the abolition
       of slavery and of servitude until twenty-eight--compensation
       of owners--permission for negroes to remain slaves if they
       so desired--_cf. House Report_ no. 399 (1826); _J. of H.,
       1825-1826_, pp. 370, 375, 396, 497, 498. Also _J. of S.,
       1841_, vol. I, 249, 294.

 [261] The numbers were 1790, _3737_; 1800, _1706_; 1810, _795_;
       1820, _211_; 1830, _67_; 1840, _64_ (?). The U. S. Census
       Reports do not mention any after 1840, but it is said that
       James Clark of Donegal Township, Lancaster County, held a
       slave in 1860. _Cf._ W. J. McKnight, _Pioneer Outline History
       of Northwestern Pennsylvania_, 311. It is necessary to remark
       that the U. S. Census reported _386_ as the number of slaves
       in 1830. As this was in increase of 175 over the number
       reported in 1820, it aroused consternation in Pennsylvania and
       amazement elsewhere, so that a committee of the Senate was
       immediately appointed to investigate. Their account showed
       that there had been no increase but a substantial diminution
       in numbers; and that the U. S. officers had been grossly
       careless, if not positively ignorant in their work. _J. of S.,
       1832-1833_, vol. I, 141, 148, 482-487; _Hazard's Register_,
       IV, 380; IX, 270-272, 395; XI, 158, 159; _African Repository
       and Colonial Journal_, VII, 315.

 [262] _Cf. J. of S., 1821-1822_, pp. 214, 215.

 [263] _Minutes Tenth American Convention Abol. Sl., Phila., 1805_,
       p. 13.

 [264] _Stat. at L._, X, 71.

 [265] Respublica _v._ Richards, 2 Dallas 224-228; Commonwealth _v._
       Smyth, 1 Browne 113, 114; _Laws of Assembly, 1847_, p. 208.
       This law was affirmed by the courts in 1849. Kauffman _v._
       Oliver 10 _Pa. State Rep._ (Barr), 517-518. It was at times
       contested by the citizens of other states, as in the famous
       episode of J. H. Wheeler's slaves in 1855. _Cf. Narrative of
       Facts in the Case of Passmore Williamson_. In this case the
       Federal District Court held that Pa. had no jurisdiction over
       the right of transit. In 1860 a negress was brought from Va.
       to Pa. She was at once told that she was free; but when her
       master returned she went back with him. _Phila. Inquirer_,
       Aug. 29, 1860.

 [266] _J. of H., 1821-1822_, pp. 628, 637, 950; _J. of S.,
       1821-1822_, pp. 325, 330, 331. For a vivid description _cf._
       Parrish, _Remarks on the Slavery of the Black People_ (1806),

 [267] If the mother had absconded before she became pregnant.
       Commonwealth _v._ Holloway (1816), 2 Sergeant and Rawle 305.
       _Cf. Niles's Weekly Register_, X, 400.


Edward Raymond Turner was born May 28, 1881, in Baltimore, Maryland,
where he obtained his earlier education. After receiving the degree of
Bachelor of Arts at St. Johns College, Annapolis, 1904, he taught in
the Baltimore schools. He entered the Johns Hopkins University in 1907,
and was Fellow in History 1909-1910.

Transcriber's Note

A reference to p. 111 in note 87 on p. 29 seems incorrect. The
final page of this text is p. 88.

The following likely printer's errors were corrected:

 p.  7        The Manufac[t]urer                        Added.

 p. 26        Cf / _Cf_                                 Italic.

 p. 27 n. 30  _Col. Rec._[,] I, 61;                     Added.

 p. 47 n. 40  [_in Mem./in _Mem.] Hist. Soc. Pa._       Font error.

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