Queries respecting the Introduction, progress & abolition
of Slavery in Massachusetts.

1. The first Introduction of Negroes or other slaves in Massts?

2. Whether the African trade was carried on thither? at what
Period it commenced? to what extent it was carried on?
When it began to decline? & When it was wholly discontinued?

3. Whether it was carried on by European or American adven-
turers? by what means its declension first began? whe-
ther from legislative discouragement or other causes? &
to what causes its abolition is to be ascribed?

4. The State of Slavery in the Massachusetts when slaves were
most numerous? Their number when most numerous?
their proportion to the Number of white persons at that period?

5. The mode by which Slavery hath been abolished there?
Whether by a general & simultaneous Emancipation? or
at different Periods? or whether by declaring all persons
born after a particular period free?

6. At what Period slavery was wholly abolished? what
were their numbers & proportion to the whites at that period?

7. What is the condition of emancipated Negroes? Is any &
what provision made for their Education & maintenance,
during infancy, or in a state of decrepitude, age, or

8. What are their political rights or disabilities? if there
be any discrimination between them and white persons ?

9th. Is there any perceptible difference between the general
moral or social conduct of emancipated persons or their
descendants and others?

10 Are intermarriages frequent between blacks and
whites? If so, are such alliances more frequent be-
tween black men & white women, or the contrary?

11. Does harmony in general prevail between the blacks
and white citizens? Do they associate freely together?
or is there a preeminence claimed by the one, and
either avowedly or tacitly admitted by the other?

[Draft letter by Jeremy Belknap to potential respondents:]


The above queries were sent to me, by a Gentleman in Virginia,
Whose view appears to be to assist in removing the difficulties,
which attend the question of a general emancipation of slaves
in that State.

The above queries are sent to me be a Gentleman in Virginia
Being desirous of collecting the best information in answer
to them, for him, I beg leave to submit the Queries to your Considera-
tion, asking the favour of you to furnish me, as soon
as may be, with your sentiments on any of them which
it is in your power to answer.

Yr most obedt Servt

Boston Feby 17. 1795.

30.5 cm x 18.6 cm

From the Jeremy Belknap papers