The First Black Petitioners to Congress and Their Quaker Allies

The First Black Petitioners to Congress and Their Quaker Allies

Revisions to the draft petition reveal some new details as well as insight into the thinking of the black and white activists who collaborated on it.  For instance, whereas the final draft refers to an anonymous “humane person” who secretly transported Job Albert out of North Carolina, the initial draft identifies him as Caleb Trueblood.  Trueblood was a member of the North Carolina Standing Committee, the southern equivalent of the PMS.  He was also the former master of Moses Gordon, the unnamed “fellow black” described in the petition as being in jail.  Another revision to the petition clarified that the “exiles” were not only “late Inhabitants” but also “natives” of North Carolina.  This change highlighted the African Americans’ birthright connection to the nation in order to buttress their right to petition Congress for redress of their grievances.

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