To the honorable the Convention of the United States of America now assembled in the City of Philadelphia. The memorial of the Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the releif of free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage.
The Pennsylvania Society for promoting the Abolition of Slavery and the releif of free Negroes unlawfully held in Bondage rejoice with their fellow Citizens in beholding a Convention of the States assembled for the purpose of amending the federal Constitution.
They recollect with pleasure, that among the first Acts of the illustrious Congress of the Year 1774 was a resolution for prohibiting the Importation of African Slaves.
It is with deep distress they are forced to observe that the peace was scarcely concluded before the African Trade was revived and American Vessels employed in transporting the Inhabitants of Africa to cultivate as Slaves the soil of America before it had drank in all the blood which had been shed in her struggle for liberty.
To the revival of this trade the Society ascribe part of the Obloquy with which foreign Nations have branded our infant States.2
In vain will be their Pretentions to a love of liberty or a regard for national Character, while they share in the profits of a Commerce that can only be conducted upon Rivers of human tears and Blood. I.
By all the Attributes, therefore, of the Deity which are offended by this inhuman traffic—by the Union of our whole species in a common Ancestor and by all the Obligations which result from it—by the apprehensions and terror of the righteous Vengeance of God in national Judgements—by the certainty of the great and awful day of retribution—by the efficacy of the Prayers of good Men, which would only insult the Majesty of Heaven, if offered up in behalf of our Country while the Iniquity we deplore continues among us—by the sanctity of the Christian Name—by the Pleasures of domestic Connections and the pangs which attend there Dissolutions—by the Captivity and Sufferings of our American bretheren in Algiers which seem to be intended by divine Providence to awaken us to a Sense of the Injustice and Cruelty of dooming our African Bretheren to perpetual Slavery and Misery—by a regard to the consistency of principles and Conduct which should mark the Citizens of Republics—by the magnitude and intensity of our desires to promote the happiness of those millions of intelligent beings who will probably cover this immense Continent with rational life—and by every other consideration that religion Reason Policy and Humanity can suggest the Society implore the present Convention to make the Suppression of the African trade in the United States, a part of their important deliberations.
Signed by order of the Society June the 2 1787
Jonathan Penrose Vice President