Address to the people of Maryland

Dublin Core


Address to the people of Maryland




The book containing the “Address to the people of Maryland” contains works from several different writers or people of power during the 18th Century such as Granville Sharp. Granville Sharp’s letter features at the end of the article but Granville Sharp could be seen as one of those men who influenced the British’s hand in the slave trade and in slavery itself. Although Sharp was never against slavery he was against planter power in the Caribbean and thought this issue arose from slavery.

The image above is a page from the extract of his letter which Granville Sharp wrote to encourage people in Maryland to abolish slavery. The idea of the letter written by Granville Sharp can be derived by his title itself “A letter to the people of Maryland for promoting the abolition of Slavery.” Throughout the letter Granville Sharp confers with different laws of Britain and how Maryland should look at them and use them to abolish slavery. Despite, the whole letter being filled with laws, and different arguments. I felt the idea on the first page was the most important to Granville Sharp’s argument.

On the first page, Granville Sharp discusses how a slave who was once freed from their master cannot be oppressed again into slavery. This idea was extremely important as it was the same reasoning used by Judge Mansfield to gain James Somerset his freedom. The freedom of James Somerset was the first mark that slaves in fact could be freed from their masters and this began the first push for abolitionism. Granville Sharp himself had a massive role in the freedom of James Somerset, alongside this he also talks about his will to provide slaves who escaped their masters legal protection such as in the case of Somerset.

The letter of Granville Sharp links directly to the roles of Black Britons for two different reasons. Not only was Granville Sharp active in helping slaves gain their freedom in Britain(and elsewhere) as seen through this letter. But he was also able to help Somerset gain his freedom which resulted in the beginning of the push for the emancipation of slavery in Briton and is extremely important to know about for Black Britons.


Grenville Sharp


Letter from Granville sharp esp. of London to the Maryland Society for promoting the abolition of slavery and the relief off negroes and other, unlawfully held in bondage


Philadelphia: John Fenno




Karan Saraogi


USC Archives & Special Collections: Call # E173 .T46 v.34


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Grenville Sharp, “Address to the people of Maryland,” Black Britons in USC Archives & Special Collections, accessed September 19, 2017,