Petition against the Introduction of Slavery
Petition of the Inhabitants of New Inverness to His Excellency General Oglethorpe
We are informed that our Neighbors in Savannah have petitioned your Excellency for the Liberty of having Slaves: We hope, and earnestly intreat, that before such proposals are hearkened unto, your Excellency will consider our Situation, and of what dangerous and bad Consequences such Liberty would be of to us, for many reasons.
1) The Nearness of the Spaniards, who have proclaimed Freedom to all Slaves who run away from their Masters, makes it impossible for us to keep them, without more labor in guarding them than what we would be at to do their work.
2) We are laborious, & know a White Man may be, by the Year, more usefully employed than a Negroe.
3) We are not rich, and becoming Debtors for Slaves, in Case of their running away or dying, would inevitably ruin the poor Master , and he become a greater Slave to the Negroe-Merchant, than the slave he bought could be to him.
4) It would oblige us to keep a Guard Duty at least as Severe as when we expected a daily Invasion: And if that was the Case, how miserable would it be to us, and our Wives and Families, to have one Enemy without, and a more dangerous one in our Bosoms!
5) It is shocking to human Nature, that any Race of Mankind and their Posterity should be sentanc'd to perpetual Slavery; nor in Justice can we think otherwise of it, that they are thrown amongst us to be our Scourge one Day or other for our Sins: And as Freedom must be as dear to them as it is to us, what a Scene of Horror must it bring about! And the longer it is unexecuted, the bloody Scene must be the greater.
We therefore for our own Sakes, our Wives and Children, and our Posterity, beg your Consideration, and intreat, that instead of introducing Slaves, you'll put us in the Way to get some of our Countrymen, who, with their Labor in Time of Peace, and our Vigilance, if we are invaded, with the Help of those, will render it a difficult Thing to hurt us, or that Part of the Province we possess. We will forever pray for your Excellency, and are with all Submission, &c.
New Inverness Formerly named Darien 3 Jan. 1738-9
John Mackintosh-Son to L.John Mackintosh-Moore
Archibald McBain, his mark AMB
Jos. Burges, his mark BE
Alex. Clark, Son of the above
Donald Clark-third, his mark X
Hugh Morrison, his mark HM