Le Roi de Petitval
Réflexions sur les Travaux auxquels peut et doit se livrer la Société des Amis des Noirs
Abolition Campaigns
Collection Chatillon, Archives Départementales de la Gironde, Bordeaux.
Reflections Work Aims Society Amis Noirs France Abolition
This is the longest and most detailed of three plans of action for the French abolitionist 'Amis des Noirs' society,which were drawn up and read to the Committee by three of its members - Le Roi de Petitval, the Duc de Charost & Montcloux in 1789. Petitval suggests in his report that the moral iniquity of slavery having been established, the society should focus on the political and economic question, and particularly on demonstrating the advantages of free labour. He suggests that there is a growing "general trend" (6) of abolitionism, in Spain, England and the United States, and that the same "caprice" or "fashion" (5) might inspire French public opinion to call for the abolition of the slave trade at any moment. Petitval also stresses the need for the society to find correspondents who had witnessed the slave trade first hand, perhaps former slave ship captains in Nantes or Le Havre.
See also: Discours sur la nécessité d'un plan de travail à suivre par la Société des Amis des Noirs, sur l’Abolition de la traite et de l’esclavage des Négres, read to the Committee by the Duc de Charost (1789), and Observations sur la nature du travail que peuvent et doivent s'occuper les Amis de la Société des Noirs [sic], read by M. Montcloux (1789). Both plans stress the importance of further research into the slave trade, and Montcloux gives a detailed review of the recently published La Cause des Esclaves Nègres by Benjamin Frossard. Manuscripts held by the Archives Départementales de la Gironde in Bordeaux.