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Loudoun County Anti-Slavery Resolution

December 30, 1831

In this document, a group of citizens from Loudoun County supported existing efforts for gradual emancipation of the slaves and "the removal of the entire colored population" from the state.

Loudoun County:

Slave Population, 1830: 5,363 (25% of total population)

                 At a meeting of the citizens of Loudoun County, held at the Court House in Leesburg, on the 17th instant, in the pursuance of previous notice, for the purpose of taking into consideration of petitioning the Legislature relative to the colored population of the State, Col. Samuel M. Edwards, Mayor Leesburg, was called to the Chair, and B. W. W. was appointed secretary.


                 In explanation of the subject before the meeting, R. H. Henersom, Esq. addressed the chair at some length. He illustrated the necessity of adopting measures suited to the crisis, and expressed his satisfaction at finding that the all important object that had induced the call of this meeting, had also attracted the serious attention of other parts of the State more immediately interested in the question of slavery. Mr. Henderson also read in the meeting a position to the General Assembly from the Ladies of Fluvanna County, setting forth the evils consequent upon the present order of things, and praying such remedy as might suggest itself to the combined wisdom of that body. After further remarks upon the expediency of the proposed course, Mr. M. submitted the following resolutions, which after some discussion, were unanimously adopted:


1st Resolved that we deeply sympathize with our fellow citizens of Southampton in their sufferings and sorrows, and that we are sincerely desirous to take the most effectual measures to shield our beloved State from, and to guard our posterity against, the repetition of such enormities and horrors.


2nd Resolved, That to complain of public evils, which are remediable, is the part of children[,] to remove them is the part of men.


3rd Resolved, As the opinion of this meeting, that the only adequate remedy for the evil which these resolutions discuss is the gradual emancipation of the slaves of the Commonwealth, and the removal of the entire colored population; and farther, that, as much time will be required for the accomplishment of this great object, none ought to be lost by delay.


4th Resolved, As the opinion of this meeting that a gradual emancipation and removal of the Slaves of the Commonwealth is practicable, and upon this assumption, the continuation of slavery is forbidden by the true policy of Virginia, repugnant to her political theory and Christian professions, and an opprobrium to our ancient and renowned dominion.


5th Resolved, That we view with profound sensibility the proceedings of the female citizens of the County of Fluvanna; that we tender to them the homage of our most respectful sympathies; that we will share, cheerfully, with our fellow citizens, the toils, privations, and burdens necessary to the attainment of the great end at which their memorial aims; and that we invoke our common legislators to commence while it is yet day, the glorious work of deliverance as well of the white as of the colored population of the state, and that we trust and believe the smiles of the Creator and Preserver of all men will accompany their arduous, patriotic and pious labors.


6th Resolved, That a committee of nine be appointed by the chairman of this meeting to prepare a Memorial addressed to the General Assembly in conformity with the sentiments expressed in these resolutions and respectfully asking that body to adopt such measures as, in their better judgment, they shall deem expedient for the accomplishment of the end proposed.


From Erik S. Root, Sons of the Fathers: The Virginia Slavery Debates of 1831–1832 (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2010), 323.

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