TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES: The Undersigned, [Inhabitants] of [the town of Lenox] in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, respectfully and earnestly pray your honorable bodies, promptly to reject all proposals for the admission of Florida, or any other new State into this Union, whose constitution of government shall permit the existence of domestic slavery.

TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES: The Undersigned, [Inhabitants] of [the town of Lenox] in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, respectfully and earnestly pray your honorable bodies, promptly to reject all proposals for the admission of Florida, or any other new State into this Union, whose constitution of government shall permit the existence of domestic slavery.

NP: np, nd [1839]. Small printed slip, completed in manuscript, 6 x 19 cm., laid down on a larger sheet of lined paper on which 47 members of the town of Lenox, Massachusetts have affixed their signatures. Small pin holes along the top edge of the document, possibly signs of having been posted. Docketed on verso: "Petition against the admission of Florida, No. of Petitioners 47, Lenox, Massachusetts, 1839." Signers include James W. Robbins, a member of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society; George J. Tucker, later Berkshire Co. Treasurer and Registrar of Deeds; Rufus Parker, a Lenox highway surveyor; David Osborn; Eldad Post; Nathan Isbell; Oliver Dewey; Robt. Worthington; Oliver Peck; Charles Mattoon; Allen Metcalf; etc. etc. Old fold lines, else very good. Item #64763

The Missouri Compromise of 1820 allowed for the admission of Missouri as a slave state, and Maine as a free state, in an effort to preserve the delicate political balance in Congress. It further declared that slavery would be banned in the rest of the lands which were part of the Louisiana Purchase. With the acquisition of Florida in 1821, parts of that territory with its large slave population began to organize around a plantation economy. The Seminole Indians were subdued in a series of wars and by the late 1830s, Florida began to petition for admittance to the Union. Once again the balance of power was threatened in Congress. This petition reflects that concern. In 1845, Florida was admitted as a slave state, balanced by the admission of Iowa as a free state.

Price: $1,500.00

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