The abolitionist movement began in Oneida County in the 1830s when anti-slavery societies were formed and the Underground Railroad made its way to the region. Petitions from the citizens of Oneida County’s townships to the United States government protest the continuation and expansion of slavery. From 1834 to 1854, these local petitions called for the end of slavery, the slave trade, and the institution’s expansion into the newly acquired Nebraska, Florida, and Texas territories. Additionally, the petitioners called for the reinstatement of the Missouri Compromise after its 1854 repeal in favor of the Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854). The Emancipation Proclamation and ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 formally abolished slavery.
Scope of Collection
This collection includes digitized copies of petitions from the towns of Annsville, Augusta, Ava, Camden, Clinton, Deerfield, Florence, Floyd, Holland Patent, Kirkland, Lee, Marcy, Marshall, New Hartford, New York Mills, Oneida, Paris, Rome, Sangerfield, Steuben, Trenton, Utica, Vernon, Verona, Vienna, Western, and Whitestown. The original documents may be found at the National Archives in Washington D.C.