Petition for freedom (manuscript copy) to the Massachusetts Council and the House of Representatives,  January 1777
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In this petition, "A Great Number of Blackes" of Massachusetts state their case for freedom, suggesting that such is the natural right of all people. This is a manuscript copy of a petition. The official copy that was submitted to the legislature (and is part of the Massachusetts Archives) dated 13 January 1777 has been attributed to Prince Hall (1735-1807) and signed by Hall and seven other free black men. It is possible that this document was based on an earlier draft petition (see online display of Petition for freedom to Governor Hutchinson).