Petition from Inhabitants of Fauquier County,
December 7, 1831
In this petition, the people of Fauquier County suggested that the United States government should pay to send free African Americans to Africa. They also wanted the government to buy slaves and send them to Africa as well. They asked the Virginia legislature to push for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to legalize this process.
Slave Population, 1830: 12,523 (48% of total population)
The undersigned inhabitants of the County of Fauquier respectfully declare that they believe the time has arrived when it is highly expedient that the General Government should possess the power to raise and appropriate money to transport free persons of Color to the coast of Africa, and also, the power to purchase slaves and transport them likewise:
Therefore, they petition the Legislature to take the earliest and most effective means to procure an amendment to the Constitution of the United States, which will give the Congress of the Union, power to pass the necessary Laws to carry the above stated objects.
From Erik S. Root, Sons of the Fathers: The Virginia Slavery Debates of 1831–1832 (Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2010), 312.