Wednesday, March 6, 2013

How States in the USA Define Slaves

Definition of Slave
Virginia, 1650
“Act XI. All persons except Negroes are to be provided with arms and ammunition or be fined at the pleasure of the governor and council.”

Virginia, 1662
“Whereas some doubts have arisen whether children got by any Englishmen upon a Negro shall be slave or Free, Be it therefore enacted and declared by this present Grand assembly, that all children born in this country shall be held bond or free only according to the condition of the mother."

Maryland, 1664

“That whatsoever free-born [English] woman shall intermarry with any slave [...] shall serve the master of such slave during the life of her husband; and that all the issue of such free-born women, so married shall be slaves as their fathers were.”

Virginia, 1667

“Act III. Whereas some doubts have arisen whether children that are slaves by birth [...] should by virtue of their baptism be made free, it is enacted that baptism does not alter the condition to the person as to his bondage or freedom; masters freed from this doubt may more carefully propagate Christianity by permitting slaves to be admitted to that sacrament.”

Virginia, 1682
“Act I. It is enacted that all servants [...] which shall be imported into this country either by sea or by land, whether Negroes, Moors [Muslim North Africans], mulattoes or Indians who and whose parentage and native countries are not Christian at the time of their first purchase by some Christian [...] and all Indians, which shall be sold by our neighboring Indians, or any other trafficking with us for slaves, are hereby adjudged, deemed and taken to be slaves to all intents and purposes any law, usage, or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.”

Virginia, 1705
"All servants imported and brought into the Country...who were not Christians in their native Country...shall be accounted and be slaves. All Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion...shall be held to be real estate."

South Carolina, 1712

"Be it therefore enacted, by his Excellency, William, Lord Craven, Palatine.... and the rest of the members of the General Assembly, now met at Charles Town, for the South-west part of this Province, and by the authority of the same, That all negroes, mulattoes, mestizo's or Indians, which at any time heretofore have been sold, or now are held or taken to be, or hereafter shall be bought and sold for slaves, are hereby declared slaves; and they, and their children, are hereby made and declared slaves...."

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