Resolution by the Washington, D.C., City Council

[Washington, D.C.  April, 1862]

Council No 59.
In Board of Alderman
Joint Resolution of Instruction

Be it Resolved by the Board of Aldermen and Board of Common Council of the City of Washington, That these councils, disclaiming any desire improperly to interfere with the business of the National Legislature, deem it not impertinent respectfully to express the opinion that the sentiment of a large majority of the people of this community is adverse to the unqualified abolition of slavery in this district at the present critical Juncture in our national affairs.

And be it further resolved, That the Joint Committee representing the interests of this Corporation before Congress be and are hereby instructed to urge respectfully upon the members of that honorable body as the constitutional guardians of the interests and rights of the people of this District, the expediency and the Justice of so shaping any legislation affecting the african race here as to provide Just and proper safe-guards against converting this city, located as it is between two Slaveholding States, into an asylum for free negroes, a population undesirable in every american community, and which it has been deemed necessary to exclude altogether from some even of the non-Slaveholding States.

K Richards
W T. Dove

Joint Resolution by the Washington, D.C., City Council, Apr. [1?] 1862, 37A-J4, Senate Committee on the District of Columbia, Petitions & Memorials, series 547, 37th Congress, U.S. Senate, Record Group 46, National Archives. Richards signed as president of the Board of Common Council; Dove, as president of the Board of Aldermen. Mayor Richard Wallach endorsed the resolution, “Approved.” The resolution was presented on the floor of the U.S. Senate on April 2, 1862.

Published in The Destruction of Slavery, p. 178, and in Free at Last, pp. 37–38.