Front Page Titles (by Subject) GRANVILLE SHARP TO THE PRESIDENT, 1 VICE-PRESIDENT, AND TREASURER OF THE SOCIETY ESTABLISHED IN NEW YORK FOR THE MANUMISSION OF SLAVES. - The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793)
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GRANVILLE SHARP TO THE PRESIDENT, 1 VICE-PRESIDENT, AND TREASURER OF THE SOCIETY ESTABLISHED IN NEW YORK FOR THE MANUMISSION OF SLAVES. - John Jay, The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, vol. 3 (1782-1793) 
The Correspondence and Public Papers of John Jay, ed. Henry P. Johnston, A.M. (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890-93). Vol. 3 (1782-1793).
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GRANVILLE SHARP TO THE PRESIDENT,1 VICE-PRESIDENT, AND TREASURER OF THE SOCIETY ESTABLISHED IN NEW YORK FOR THE MANUMISSION OF SLAVES.
London, May 1, 1788.
We received your favour of the 28th of Feby. last which afforded us much satisfaction, and we have now the pleasure of informing you that our cause is daily gaining ground in this Country. Our opponents have long urged the supposed incapacity of the black people to enjoy the blessings of freedom and civilization, as a plea for Slavery; but they now seem to be sensible of its futility.—Their Arguments, or rather insinuations, have lately been more particularly confined to the impolicy of abolishing the Slave trade, on which they would have it believed that the existance of the Plantations and the consequent revenue of this Kingdom essentially depends. On the other hand it is contended, and we trust on much better authority, that neither injury to the Plantations nor defalcation of revenue would eventually ensue.—
To the doubts industriously suggested by some who are interested in favouring the former Opinion we may partly attribute the prayers of some of the numerous petitions which have already been presented to the House of Commons requesting the mere regulation of a Commerce which no possible modification can rectify. But we are enclined to believe that many of them were so expressed from inadvertance, or the want of a thorough knowledge of the subject.
Remembering the declarations of the American Congress so frequently repeated during the contention with Britain we could not but flatter ourselves that the late Convention would have produced more unequivocal proofs of a regard to consistency of character than an absolute prohibition of Federal Government from complying with the acknowledged obligations of humanity and justice, for the term of twenty-one years.
What may be the event of the Parliamentary discussion of this important business is yet uncertain at present; the prospect is encouraging and though we are aware how liable those expectations are to fail, which depend upon simple and honest principles when opposed by the intrigues of wealth and power, yet we can scarcely avoid flattering ourselves with the hope arising from the number and respectability of the patrons of this undertaking that it will at length be successful.—Our adversaries, who had till lately, been remarkably quiet, probably because they held our endeavours in contempt, have now taken the alarm, and use every artifice of Sophistry and misrepresentation to defeat our purpose. One of their most plausible Allegations is that, if the British Nation should lay down the trade, other Nations will take it up; and therefore that the situation of the Africans would not be improved, though England would sustain a considerable loss. The reply is obvious; that this Nation ought to do what is right, let others do as they please; and we have a strong persuasion that, on the whole, the African Trade is a losing one to this Country. It is however our fervent wish, that an Appeal might be made to the humanity of other Countries and Governments; and for this purpose we some time ago commenced a Correspondence in France. A Society is now forming there, whose object it will be to diffuse the knowledge of this traffic and shew it in its true colours.—It may perhaps be in your power to assist our views in thus extending the sphere of action. The Privy Council is now engaged in enquiries into the Slave Trade, and the Colonial Slavery; and we expect the Subject will shortly be investigated in Parliament. The University of Cambridge has expressed its sense of it, in a very forcible Petition to the House of Commons, and the Clergy of the established Church in many other parts have equally testified their zeal in the Common Cause. Many Counties, Cities, and Towns have sent up Petitions. Amongst the Cities we have the satisfaction to enumerate Bristol, one capital Seat of the African Trade. The Presbyterians, Independants, and Baptists have petitioned collectively; and the religious Society called Quakers have repeated their applications on the occasion. More petitions are expected from various quarters. The attempt to retrieve the National Character and assert the common rights of our Nature has awakened the attention, and excited the good wishes of people of all descriptions. It was only necessary that the torch of truth should be lighted to flash conviction in the face of humanity. But Avarice is wilfully blind. One solitary petition is come up against us from the town of Liverpool; yet we are not without well wishers and even Advocates in that Summary of Slave traders. We shall herewith send you some copies of this committee’s report to our Society at large, as also such other of the tracts lately published here on the Subject as we can collect; some of these you may think it proper to republish and we shall be obliged by any returns of the same kind you may be able to make. Referring you to our report for further information respecting our proceeedings we have only to repeat our sincere wishes that yours may meet with the success they deserve. I am, with great respect, Gentlemen,
Your most obedient and most humble Servant,
[1 ]To Jay as President of the Society. See his letters to the French Society, June, 1788, and to Lafayette and Sharp, September 1st following.