TO HIS EXCELLENCY
WILLIAM FRANKLIN, ESQ.
Captain-General, Governor, and Commander in Chief, in and over the Province of New-Jersey, Chancellor and Vice-Admiral in the same, &c.
To the Honorable His Majesty's COUNCIL,--And
To the Honorable HOUSE of REPRESENTATIVES of the said Province,
The PETITION of sundry Inhabitants of the County of Salem
THAT by the Laws of GOD and Nature, Liberty, being the inherent and universal Right of Man, cannot be forfeited but as a Satisfaction to publick Justice, or by the voluntary Act of the Individual--That the municipal Laws of England are founded on this Principle, from which its excellent Constitution derives those superior Advantages which so eminently distinguish it from all others yet known--And that the Toleration of personal Slavery, among a free People, is not only inimical and destructive to the Constitution, but, in its Consequences, greatly pernicious to the Morals of the People among whom in prevails, and utterly inconsistent with the Spirit and whole Tenor of the Christian Religion.
YOUR PETITIONERS therefore, impressed with these Sentiments, and affected with the Cruelty and Injustice of a Trade whereby many Thousands of our Fellow-Creatures are yearly forced from the State of Liberty assigned them by Providence, and the nearest Connections in Life, do earnestly crave the Attention of the Legislature to such Measures as may be judged most effectual to suppress this complicated Evil, by prohibiting the further Importation of the Natives of Africa into this Province, and enabling their Possessors, when so disposed, to set them at Liberty, by such Alteration of the Laws of this Government relating to Slaves, as the Legislature in its Wisdom shall judge to be expedient. Such as are of the People called Quakers only excepting to the Stile
Ebenez. Miller Jr.
Richard Smith junior.
Wm. Hancock [junior].
Elisha [Passell Sen.].