AN ORDINANCE AGAINST NEGROES IN QUAKER MEETINGS,
Sewell, William. The History of the Rise, Increase, and Progress, of the Christian People Called
Quakers. Intermixed with Several Remarkable Occurrences. Written Originally in Low Dutch,
and also Translated by Himself into English. A New Edition, to which is Appended, An
Interesting Narrative of the Sufferings of William Moore, John Philly, and Richard Seller. In
Two Volumes. Philadelphia: Uriah Hunt, 1832, Vol. II, page 142.
This Document is on The Quaker Writings Home Page.
Whereas of late, many negroes have been suffered to remain at the meetings of the Quakers, as
hearers of their doctrine, and taught in their principles, whereby safety of the island may be much
hazarded: be it enacted, that if at any time after publication hereof, any negro, or negroes, be
found wit 'the people called Quakers, at any of their meetings, as hearers of their preaching, he or
they shall be forfeited, one half to such as shall seize, or sue for him or them, if belonging to any
of the Quakers, and the other moiety to the public use of the island; provided that it' he or they be
seized, such as seize, shall bring their actions upon this statute, within three months, against
owner of the negro, or negroes: wherein the defendant having ten days summons, shall appear,
plead, and come to trial at the first court after summons, or judgment to be given by nihil dicit,
and execution immediately to issue. And if such negro, or negroes, do not belong to any of the
persons present at the same meeting, any person or persons may bring an action upon this statute,
against any of the persons present at the said meeting, at the election of the informer-, and so
recover ten pounds for every negro, or negroes, present at the said meeting as aforesaid, to be
divided as aforesaid, and in such actions proceedings to be as aforesaid. And no person
whatsoever, shall keep any school, to instruct any child in any learning, unless within one month
after the publication hereof, he first take the oaths of allegiance and supremacy, before some
justice of peace of the parish where the party lives, and have a certificate thereof, or have a special
license from the governor on pain of three months imprisonment, and forfeiture of 300 lbs. of
Muscovado sugar, the one moiety to the informer, and the other to the public use of the island, to
be recovered as aforesaid. And no person whatsoever, who is not an inhabitant and resident of
this island, and hath been so for twelve months together, shall hereafter publicly discourse, or
preach at the meeting of the Quakers, on pain of six months imprisonment, and forfeiture of 1000
lbs. Muscovado sugar, the one moiety to such as sue for it, the other to the public use of the
island, to be recovered as aforesaid: provided that all actions upon this statute, be brought within
six months after the offence.
Read, and passed the council the 21st of April, 1676, and consented to by his excellency [the
governor] the same day.
EDWARD STEED, Deputy secretary.