Log In | Contact Us

African-American Collection | State Archives Catalog

PDF icon
1652, Act forbidding forced covenant bond (PDF Document, 4.57 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1652, Transcription of excerpt related to the Act forbidding forced covenant bond (PDF Document, 8.11 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1711 Feb. 27, An Act for laying a Duty on Negro Slaves that shall be Imported into this Colony (PDF Document, 1.72 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1714 Oct. 27, An Act concerning runaway slaves (PDF Document, 11.08 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1715 July, An Act prohibiting importation of Indian servants as slaves (PDF Document, 8.51 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1715 July, Masters of vessels, Negro slaves to be register at Naval office (PDF Document, 8.46 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1717, General Assembly Proceeding v 9 p 47, 51 (PDF Document, 1.15 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1718 Sept. 9, An Act for the...speedy tryal of...Negro and Indians (PDF Document, 627.11 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1723 June, Ordered that Attorney General gather in money due colony for importation of negroes (PDF Document, 722.34 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1728 Feb., An Act Relating to Freeing Molatto and Negro Slaves (PDF Document, 21.8 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1728 Feb., An Act relating to the freeing of Molatto and Negro Slaves (Published) (PDF Document, 919.21 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1729 June, An Act for Disposing of Money raised in this Colony for Importing Negro Slaves (PDF Document, 455.25 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1731 June, Repeal of 1711 Act for laying a Duty on Negro Slaves that shall be Imported (PDF Document, 11.48 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1732 June, Petition concerning duty on importation of negroes (PDF Document, 4.4 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1735 Aug., Last will and testament concerning property including slaves (PDF Document, 13.68 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1735 Dec., Letter to the Governor re: import duties on negroes (PDF Document, 11.07 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1737 Dec., Slave owner right of appeal of court judgment concerning slaves found purloining (PDF Document, 3.02 MB)
Download Original File



1745 June, America as great mart for slaves
1745 June, America as great mart for slaves (JPEG Image, 1.78 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1745 Sept., King George's War (PDF Document, 1.65 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1746 June, Letter from the Governor re: return of free Spanish Negroes to Havana (PDF Document, 7.45 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1746 June, Re: return of free Spanish negroes captured by Rhode Island privateer (PDF Document, 7.17 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1747 Aug., Sale of real estate to settle debts (PDF Document, 13.05 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1748, Letter from the Governor re: return of Spanish prisoners captured as slaves by RI privateers (PDF Document, 3.25 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1750, Act to prevent Persons keeping House...entertaining Indians, Negros or Mulattos (PDF Document, 414.48 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1750, Act to prevent Persons keeping House...entertaining Indians, Negros...(Published) (PDF Document, 1.42 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1755 Feb., An Act in Addition to an Act for Freeing Slaves (PDF Document, 3.71 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1755 June, Petition re. purchase of unsound negro girl (PDF Document, 8.19 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1757 June, An Act to prevent the Commander...of any other Vessel from carrying Slaves (PDF Document, 6.29 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1757 March, French and Indian War (PDF Document, 7.39 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1763 June, Petition of negro woman to sell real estate (PDF Document, 7.75 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1764 Jan., Letter from the Governor re: impact of Sugar Act on West Africa trade and the RI economy (PDF Document, 25.05 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1765 June, Petition re: enticement of negro woman away from owner (PDF Document, 12.34 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1770, Manumission Act (PDF Document, 204.58 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1770, Manumission Act (Published) (PDF Document, 1.17 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1775 Nov., An Act Prohibiting the Importation of Negros into this Colony (PDF Document, 14.72 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 Feb., Committee to establish the value of slaves enlisting (PDF Document, 207 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 Feb., Letter to G. Washington re: liberty to slaves who enlist (PDF Document, 4.38 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 Feb., Slaves enlisting in the Army (PDF Document, 598.24 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 March, Re: recruited negroes to be employed on the most dangerous service (PDF Document, 5.31 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 March, Re: the payment of interest to apprenticed slaves and principal to owners (PDF Document, 571.76 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 May, Re: slaves enlisting in Army are manumitted/no enlistment after June 10 (Published) (PDF Document, 415.35 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 May, Re: slaves enlisting in Continental Army are manumitted/no enlistment after 6/10/1778 (PDF Document, 300.7 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 Oct., re: the payment of owners of slaves who enlist in the Continental Army (PDF Document, 335.19 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1778 Oct., re: the payment of owners of slaves who enlist in the Continental Army (Published) (PDF Document, 479.77 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1779 Aug., Custody of a negro woman (PDF Document, 249.52 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1779 Aug., Re: what the blacks cost the State on behalf of the United States (PDF Document, 6.46 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1779 June, Claim against Continental Treasury for purchase of slaves for army (PDF Document, 7.26 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1779 Oct., Export without consent (PDF Document, 674.56 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1779 Sept., Re: inadequate pay for slaves in Col. Greene's regiment (PDF Document, 10.6 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1779, re: preventing slaves from being purchased and carried from the State, without consent (PDF Document, 432.8 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1781 Nov., Petition re: Purchase and sale of disobedient negro woman and child out of state (PDF Document, 33.09 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1783 Dec., Draft of the Manumission Act (PDF Document, 8.32 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1783, Committee established to consider Quaker petition to abolish slavery (PDF Document, 895.27 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1784 Feb., Clause repeal (PDF Document, 295.03 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1784, An Act for the gradual abolition of slavery (PDF Document, 1.67 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1784, Slavery Act transcription (PDF Document, 15.79 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1785 Aug., Manumission of Peter Venter (PDF Document, 6.67 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1785 Aug., Report of RI Delegate to Continental Congress on Blacks and Federal Rule... (PDF Document, 30.55 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1785 Oct., Petition for declaration of freedom (PDF Document, 12.98 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1785, Act Repealing Part of Act Respecting the Manumission of Slaves (PDF Document, 896.84 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1787 June, Quaker petition for abolition of slave trade (PDF Document, 25.09 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1787 June, Quaker Petition Respecting the Slave Trade Referred (PDF Document, 772.46 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1787 Oct., An Act to Prevent the Slave Trade and to Encourage the Abolition of Slavery (PDF Document, 1.17 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1790 Jan., Petition for compensation for slave who enlisted in state service in 1778 during the War (PDF Document, 6.66 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1790 Jan., Petition re: losses as a result of Negro Man who enlisted in the State Service in 1778 (PDF Document, 13.87 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1790 June, Act Incorporating the Society for the Abolition of Slavery (PDF Document, 2.8 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1790 June, Petition of abolitionist Voluntary Society for Charter of Incorporation (PDF Document, 38.38 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1793 Feb., Petition of owner for compensation after slave enlisted in state service during the war (PDF Document, 33.79 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1798 Jan., Prohibition against interracial marriage (Published) (PDF Document, 158.12 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1803 Oct., Act that Sheriff deliver slave named Thomas Johnson from jail to his master (PDF Document, 856.64 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1804 March, Amendment of An Act Relative to Slaves, and their Manumission and Support (PDF Document, 581.18 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1820 July, Petition to be incorporated into a Society called the African Society (PDF Document, 18.84 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1822, Prohibition against interracial marriage (Published) (PDF Document, 508.96 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1825 June, Memorial on American Convention on Abolition of Slavery (PDF Document, 516.96 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1831 Jan., Petition of the Colored people for relief against taxes (PDF Document, 18.36 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1833 June, Petition and Act of the Providence African Society for Mutual Relief (PDF Document, 3.48 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1836 June, Petition Concerning Abolition of Slavery- Sample Representation of Town Petitions (PDF Document, 1.33 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1836 June, Petition of Abolitionists for use of Courthouse (PDF Document, 9.04 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1838 Jan., Memorial Regarding the Abolition of Slavery (Town Samples) (PDF Document, 1.86 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1838 Jan., Memorial Remonstrance against resolution of Congress relative to anti-slavery petitions (PDF Document, 8.78 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1838 Jan., Petition of the Kent County Young Men's Anti-Slavery Society (PDF Document, 4.79 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1839 Jan., Report of the Committee On Petitions relating to the Abolition of Slavery (PDF Document, 6.34 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1841 June, Petition That Their Property May Be Taxed (PDF Document, 8.58 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1841, The People's Constitution (PDF Document, 5.67 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1844 Jan., Petition to abolish distinction of color (PDF Document, 5.68 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1844 June, Memorial to amend constitution to prohibit slavery in all states (PDF Document, 1.69 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1848 May, Petition of Citizens...for a law regulating the means of Conveyance by railroads (PDF Document, 802.24 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1848, Petition for equal rights in the use of conveyance furnished by the Rail Road Companies (PDF Document, 925.46 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1850 Feb., Re: the Abolition of Slavery and Slave Traffic (PDF Document, 1.91 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1850 May, re: slavery in the territories (PDF Document, 961.36 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1851 Feb., Petition fugitive slave law (PDF Document, 508.04 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1851, Fugitive Slave Act petition (Transcription) (PDF Document, 32.66 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1854 June, Joint Resolution disapproving Congressional repeal of the Missouri Compromise (PDF Document, 5.72 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1854 June, Joint Resolution opposing purchase or annexation of Cuba or other foreign countries (PDF Document, 1.79 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1854 June, Petition relating to the Missouri Compromise and the Fugitive Slave Law (PDF Document, 759.52 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1856 Jan., Petition for charter as National Guards of Providence (PDF Document, 20.34 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1857 Feb., Petition of Freewill Baptist Antislavery Society for Charter (PDF Document, 1.08 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1857, Petition for the use of assembly for education speech (PDF Document, 705.16 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1859, Petition for the use of assembly for education speech (PDF Document, 45.11 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1860 Jan., Petition for a law protecting school rights (PDF Document, 9.94 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1861 Jan., Petition for repeal of state Personal Liberty Laws (PDF Document, 6.73 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1862 Jan., Petition asking for Equal School Rights (PDF Document, 1.55 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1862, Petition for equal school rights transcription (PDF Document, 39.55 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1864, Petition for equal school rights (PDF Document, 3.01 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1864, Petition for equal school rights (Transcription) (PDF Document, 13.55 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1865, 13th Amendment (PDF Document, 11.69 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1865, 13th Amendment Transmittal Documents (PDF Document, 11.08 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1865, Petition for equal school rights (PDF Document, 321.96 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1866 Jan. An Act to Revise Statutses on Public Instruction (PDF Document, 5.96 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1866 Jan., An Act respecting equal access to public schools (PDF Document, 2.73 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1868 Jan., Petition asking for repeal of Statute forbidding the intermarriage of Whites and Blacks (PDF Document, 781.66 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1870 Jan., Petition concerning discrimination on account of of race or color in certain cases (PDF Document, 1.73 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1872 Jan., Petition re: law forbidding inter-marriage of whites with Negroes, Indians, & Mulatttoes (PDF Document, 1.06 MB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1878, Petition to repeal the law on interracial marriages (PDF Document, 152.53 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1881 Jan., An in Amendment of Chapter 149 of the General Statutes  Of Marriage (PDF Document, 653.58 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1881 March, Repeal of law prohibiting interracial marriage (PDF Document, 68.54 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
1885, An Act to secure to all persons civil rights (PDF Document, 1003.23 KB)
Download Original File



PDF icon
A Heritage Discovered- Blacks in Rhode Island (PDF Document, 11.41 MB)
Download Original File


Title:
African-American Collection
Date:
1652-1885
Description:

The presence of African-Americans looms long and large over the history of Rhode Island. Early in its establishment as an English colony in the 1630s, the colonial legislature promulgated a law that prohibited "the common course practiced among Englishmen to buy Negroes" and sought to prevent "such practice among us" (1652).

As it turned out, however, this law could not override the influence of the colony's limited natural resources and its advantageous maritime location. By the end of the seventeenth century, these conditions had induced some of the colony's inhabitants to seek their fortunes by turning to the lucrative trans-Atlantic trade in African "negroes", while other individuals in the colony who could afford it purchased and kept imported slaves for their own households. These events comprised a long chapter in the history of the African-American experience in Rhode Island, but it was not to be the final one in that history. As events unfolded, by the middle of the nineteenth century, it had become completely unlawful to own slaves in Rhode Island.

The digitized records made available here hold some of the stories that make up this history. The records are drawn from the legislative Acts and Resolves, Petitions to the General Assembly, and the correspondence of Rhode Island's Governors. These records represent a selection from a larger volume of documentation held by the Rhode Island State Archives covering the experiences of African-Americans in Rhode Island.

In this selection one encounters individuals who owned slaves and others engaged in the slave trade. One also finds documentation from public officials concerning the economic, military, moral, and social ramifications of the presence of African-Americans in Rhode Island. Also included are records of Rhode Islanders who protested against the importation of "negroes" and who argued against the institution of slavery, both in Rhode Island and elsewhere in the nation. Especially in the petitions, one can catch glimpses of African-Americans themselves in action - in moments of defiance of their masters, as well as when they took active measures in their own behalf to gain equal rights.

Repository:
State Archives Catalog
Found in:
Subjects:
Publisher:
Rhode Island State Archives
Rights:
Copyright is in the public domain unless otherwise specified.  We reserve the right to restrict reproduction of materials due to preservation concerns.
Languages:

State Archives Catalog

Archives Catalog Home
Collections
Digital Content
Subjects
Creators
Record Groups


Powered by Archon Version 3.21 rev-1
Copyright ©2012 The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign