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In Their Own Words

January 01, 1817

Proponents of Slavery in Georgia

Many proponents of slavery in Georgia were uncomfortable with the presence of free blacks in the state. And in some cases, as evidenced in this editorial in Milledgeville’s Georgia Journal, the feeling was outright opposition:

“To the nation at large, the slave holding states in particular, this subject [colonizing free blacks in Africa] is full of interest. The practicability of colonizing the blacks has been demonstrated at Sierra Leone, where thousands are said to be cultivating the soil, and civilizing the barbarous hordes that surround them. Nor will the policy if such a measure be questioned by anyone who duly estimates the danger to which our tranquility is constantly exposed by having among us a race of people, possessing neither the rights of citizens nor the protection of slaves. With the example of St. Domingo before our eyes, it is strange we should have permitted partial freedom to exist so long, especially when it is known to have the effect of making slaves discontented with their situation, and exciting them to insurrection… .”

Source: Spencer B. King, Jr., Georgia Voices: A Documentary History to 1872 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1974 reprint of 1966 original volume), p. 201.