Address of the House of Burgesses to the King, 1772

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Address of the House of Burgesses to the King  (1772) 
Acts of the House of Burgesses

Virginia Colony to George III of England, April 1, 1772, Petition Against Importation of Slaves from Africa [1], Library of Congress

To the King's most excellent Majesty, The humble Address of the House of Burgesses of Virginia.

Most Gracious Sovereign, We your Majesty’s dutiful and loyal Subjects the Burgesses of Virginia, now met in General Assembly, beg Leave with all Humility to approach your Royal Presence.

The many Instances of your Majesty’s benevolent Intentions and most gracious Disposition to promote the Prosperity and Happiness of your Subjects in the Colonies, encourage us to look up to the Throne, and implore your Majesty’s paternal Assistance in averting a Calamity of a most alarming Nature.

The Importation of Slaves into the Colonies from the Coast of Africa hath long been considered as a Trade of great Inhumanity, and, under its present Encouragement, we have too much reason to fear will endanger the very Existence of your Majesty’s American Dominions.

We are sensible that some of your Majesty’s Subjects in Great Britain may reap Emoluments from this Sort of Traffick, but when we consider that it greatly retards the Settlement of the Colonies with more useful Inhabitants, and may in Time, have the most destructive Influence, we presume to hope that the Interest of a few will be disregarded when placed in Competition with the Security and Happiness of such Numbers of your Majesty’s dutiful and loyal Subjects.

Deeply impressed with these Sentiments, we most humbly beseech your Majesty to remove all those Restraints on your Majesty’s Governors of this Colony which inhibit their assenting to such Laws, as might check so very pernicious a Commerce.

Your Majesty’s ancient Colony and Dominion of Virginia hath at all Times and upon every Occasion been entirely devoted to your Majesty’s sacred Person and Government, and we cannot forego this Opportunity of renewing those Assurances of the truest Loyalty and warmest Affection, which we have so often, with the greatest Sincerity, given to the Best of Kings, whose Wisdom and Goodness we esteem the surest Pledges of the Happiness of all his people.

In the Earl of Dunmores
of the 1st May 1772.