Motion of Protest against British Practice
of Carrying off American Negroes
[Philadelphia, May 26, 1783.] A motion made by Hamilton on this date protested against the British seizure of Negroes belonging to citizens of the United States.1
JCC description begins Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789 (Washington, 1904–1937). description ends , XXIV, 363–64. The motion is in the writing of John Rutledge; D, in the handwriting of John Rutledge, Reel 42, Item 36, II, p. 129, Papers of the Continental Congress, National Archives.
1. The preliminary peace treaty included an article forbidding the carrying away of slave property by evacuating British armies.
During the war approximately two thousand Negroes had sought refuge behind the British lines. Contrary to the stipulation of the peace treaty that they be returned, Sir Guy Carleton, the British commander in America, did not return them.