Letter from Henry Lewis to his master, William Jarvis

page one of letter from Henry Lewis to William Jarvis

Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe passed a law to abolish slavery in 1793. The Act Against Slavery provided for gradual abolition: no new slaves could be imported, and no one could be born into slavery, but the law did not free those who were already enslaved. In this heartfelt plea, Henry Lewis asks to purchase his freedom, including a plan on how he will make his payments. His request was eventually granted.

Letter from Henry Lewis to his master, William Jarvis
Niagara-on-the-Lake, Schenectady, May 3, 1798
William Jarvis Papers

page two of letter from Henry Lewis to William Jarvis

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