Philadelphia, October 25, 1788
The Pennsylvania Society for promoting the abolition of slavery and the relief of free negroes unlawfully held in bondage has taken the liberty to ask your Excellency’s acceptance of a few copies of their Constitution and the laws of Pennsylvania which relate to one of the objects of their Institution; also, of a copy of Thomas Clarkson’s excellent Essay upon the Commerce and Slavery of the Africans.
The Society have heard, with great regret, that a considerable part of the slaves who have been sold in the Southern States have been imported in Vessels fitted out in the state over which your Excellency presides. From your Excellency’s station, they hope your influence will be exerted, hereafter, to prevent a practice which is so evidently repugnant to the political principles and form of government lately adopted by citizens of the United States and which cannot fail of delaying the employment of the blessings of peace and liberty by drawing down the displeasure of the great and impartial Ruler of the Universe upon our country. I am, in behalf of the Society Sir, your most obedient servant
To His Excellency John Langdon, Esq. President of New Hampshire
Labels: Papers of Benjamin Franklin