Memorial of Peter Pratt to the Connecticut General Assembly
To the Honourable the General Court or Assembly of His Majesty’s Colony of Connecticut Convened at Hartford
May AD 1721
The memorial of Peter Pratt of Hartford humbly sheweth unto Your Honours that diverse children of both Peter of the Indian Natives of Mount Hope had been taken captives by the English in their war with the people and the same dispersed into servitude in diverse places in this Colony. That diverse of the females of them, before enlargement and freedom by any means obtained have born children in the service of their respective masters. That whither those children, so born, are holden as proper slaves, there is no law nor usage of this Colony sufficient to determine.
Pleaseth it Your Honours, therefore, to resolve, namely, whither the said children, so born, as aforesaid ought to be deemed slaves as the Negroes or as the Spanish or other Indians of the foreign nations imported here from beyond the seas or whither they ought to be deemed free at the age of thirty years or some other certain age. Your Honours will please to consider that the said children ought not to be slaves at their masters’ pleasure, not free at their own, but that a rule of righteousness by the wisdom of a Protestant Christian commonwealth ought to be the standard of the duty and privilege of both.
For which now wait upon Your Honours, the humble prayer of
Hartford, May 17, 1722
Endorsement: Prayer of Peter Pratt, May 1721 / Peter Pratt’s Prayer