Mayor's Proclamation, June 17, 1828

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United Statesmap
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Published in

  • The National Gazette

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 12 Jul 1828, Sat • Page 2

This is the last document I have been able to locate regarding the kidnapping cases.

It does, however, appear that some activity must have occured following this notice as

  • Peter Hook appears in an 1847 census in Philadelphia
  • John Jacobs appears to be buried at the Alms House in Philadelphia on July 20, 1828
  • John Waters has a death certificate in Philadelphia in 1828

I find no record of the Pike County court appearance scheduled for September. Is it possible that Anthony M Perryman surrendered the boys in early July returning Peter Hook, John Jacobs, James Bayard and Jacob (William) Miller thereby negating the need for the hearing?

To the President and Members of the Select and Common Councils.

Gentlemen:—— By a resolution of councils of the 8th February, 1827, it was made the duty of the Mayor to offer a reward of five hundred dollars for the apprehension and prosecution to conviction of each and every person concerned in the kidnapping or forcible abduction of certain coioured people from this city and its suburbs. Three of the offenders have since been arrested, two of whom died in prison before trial, and the third has been condemned to a long sentence of imprisonment at hard labour. One reward only has been paid. Johnson, the well known head of the conspiracy, has not yet been apprehended.

By another resolution of Councils of the same date, the sum of five hundred dollars was placed at the disposal of the Mayor for the purpose of procuring information on the subject of this outrage upon the rights of free citizens. Pursuant to the spirit and object of these resolutions, and of my own anxious feelings in relation thereto, unceasing exertions have been made by the police of the city to bring the offenders to justice, and procure the restoration of their victims; but in these efforts we have but partially succeeded, and I regret to say that the greater number of these poor sufferers now appear to be doomed to irreclaimable bondage. —— Some few of them are dead — four of them only remain to whom I have been able to gain access, to wit:--- Peter Hook, John Jacobs, James Bayard and Jacob Miller. They are now held as the property of Anthony M. Perryman, a planter in the State of Mississippi, who has been compelled to give bond for their appearance before the Circuit Court of the County of Pike, on the 4th Monday of September next, as the only chance that will be afforded them of regaining their freedom, by ttie evidence of white persons, if such can be found to testify in their behalf. Strong intreaty has been made, and voluminous documentary proofs completely establishing their identity and right to freedom, have been already unavailingly exhibited to their holder — all of the boys being the sons of respectable coloured persons resident amongst us. The following named of those stolen away were found in the states of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and have been brought back and restored to their friends and home, viz: Enos Tilghman, Samuel Schamp, Clement Coxe, Ephraim Lawrence, Alexander Manlove, Mary Fisher. James Dailly, and Cornelius Sinclair. (Isaac Wiltbank and Sarah Nicholson, have been given up by their holders, but have not yet returned to this City.) The missing persons are Lydia Smith, Milton Trusty, Benjamin Baxter, John Waters, John Lewis, John Dorsey, William Chase, John Carr, Levin Stevins, Daniel Stevens, Matilda McGee, Isaiah Thomas, Joseph Johnston, John D. Tindle, Isaiah Sadler, John Williams, Washington Brown, Benjamin Gray, John Dunbar, (Staten and Constant, two Corn Carriers) Peter Hook, John Jacobs, James Bayard, Jacob Miller and John Richardson.

In procuring the freedom and restoration of these individuals who have been brought back, I have been greatly indebted to the zeal and extions of high constable Garrigues, who at great risk has travelled many thousand miles by sea and Iand to carry into effect my orders under the resolutions of councils, and consequently at very considerable expense, which has not only absorbed the five hundred dollars voted by councils for the special purpose, but also the 500 annually voted to the Mayor for the police purposes, leaving a deficiency at debit of appropriation No. 12, of $643.50, for which balance I hold myself responsible if such be the pleasure of Councils. But I do with confidence anticipate that the same feelings of humanity and justice that dictated the original appropriations, will place at the discretion of the Mayor such further reasonable sum as will cover this deficiency, and afford me the means of procuring the attendance of witnesses before the Court in Mississippi in the case before mentioned.

I have felt it my duty to go into detail in order that the councils of the City may be fully possessed of the extent of the outrage committed, and of the result of the means and operations I have instituted for its redress. And in conclusion have deeply to regret that the hopes I at one time strongly entertained of the restoration of most of the unfortunate victims, are now entirely prostrate, and there is the strongest probability that they are doomed to slavery for Life.

With great respect, I am your obedient servant,


Mayors Office, June 17, 1828.

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