Quakers' Petition Concerning Slavery
"The People called Quakers" presented this formal petition to the assembled members of Parliament on June 16, 1783. There was then a bill before the House of Parliament "which restrains the Officers of the African Company from exporting Negroes." The Quakers' petition requested consideration of the "many thousands of these our fellow Creatures, entitled to the natural rights of Mankind, [who] are held as personal Property in cruel Bondage" and to extend protections to them as well:
Your Petitioners deeply affected with a consideration of the Rapine, Oppression, and Bloodshed, attending this Traffic, humbly request that this restriction may be extended to all Persons whomsoever; or that the House would grant such other Relief in the Premises, as in its Wisdom may seem meet.
The formal petition begins on the right-hand page and continues on to the following page. Five additional pages contain the signatories to the petition. This document is from a volume containing the minutes of the Quakers' Annual Assembly in Great Britain in 1783.