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Petition of Sarah Robins, "a free-born Indian woman," to Governor Robert Hunter, ca. 1711

British colonial council papers, Vol. 56, p. 96

New York State Archives, NYSA_A1894-78_V056_096
Document Description
Petition of Sarah Robins, a "free born Indian woman", to Governor Robert Hunter, ca. 1711. Robins asked for the governor's protection and legal assistance. She explains her personal experience at being sold into slavery, although free born, and asks for protection so that this does not happen again.
To his Excellency Robert Hunter Esq. Captain General and Governor in chiefe in and over Her
Majestys Province of New York and New Jerseys and of all the Territorys and Tracts of Land
Depending thereon in America and Vice Admiral of the Same
The humble Petition of Sarah Robins a Free born Indian Woman
Sheweth Unto your Excellency that your Petitioner is a Native of this Her Majestys Province and was born of free parents[,] hath lived great part of her time upon Long Island with one John
Parker of Southampton[,] and by him was turned over to One John Week of Bridgehampton on
the said Island who turned her over to Captain Robert Walters of the City of New York[,] but on
what Account she knoweth not[.] The said Robert Walters upon the first day of January last
caused your Petition[er] against her will to be Transported unto the Island of Madeira in Order to be there sold for a slave [. B]ut after her arrival in the said place upon her application to the
English Consul and declaring that she was a Free subject[,] the said Consul so procured that
Captain Peter Roland[,] who brought her into the said Island[,] should bring her back again to
this Colony[,] she having before refused to be made a free woman if she would have turned to
the Roman Catholik [sic] faith and be therein baptized[.] And your Petitioner being still in fear
that she may be further Imposed on and at some time or other Craftily conveyed to some other
part of the World under the Notion of a slave[,] she Doth therefore in most humble manner pray
that the said John Parker[,] John Week[,] or the said Robert Walters may be put to prove their
Title to her as a slave[. A]nd if they fail therein Then she humbly prays your Excellencys
Protection whereby she may be suffered to live quietly and safely in this her Native Country as a Free born subject of the same[.] And she as in Duty bound shall ever pray[.]
[Undated – ca. 1711]
[Punctuation has been added to this transcription for clarity.]


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