The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America Part 36

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~1761, April 22. Pennsylvania: Prohibitive Duty Act.~

“A Supplement to an act, ent.i.tuled An Act for laying a duty on Negroes and Mulattoe slaves, imported into this province.” Continued in 1768.

Carey and Bioren, _Laws_, I. 371, 451; Bettle, _Notices of Negro Slavery_, in _Penn. Hist. Soc. Mem._ (1864), I. 388-9.

~1763, Nov. 26. Maryland: Additional 2 Duty Act.~

“An Act for imposing an additional Duty of Two Pounds per Poll on all Negroes Imported into this Province.”

— 1. All persons importing Negroes by land or water into this province, shall at the time of entry pay to the naval officer the sum of two pounds, current money, over and above the duties now payable by law, for every Negro so imported or brought in, on forfeiture of 10 current money for every Negro so brought in and not paid for. One half of the penalty is to go to the informer, the other half to the use of the county schools. The duty shall be collected, accounted for, and paid by the naval officers, in the same manner as former duties on Negroes.

— 2. But persons removing from any other of his Majesty’s dominions in order to settle and reside within this province, may import their slaves for carrying on their proper occupations at the time of removal, duty free.

— 3. Importers of Negroes, exporting the same within two months of the time of their importation, on application to the naval officer shall be paid the aforesaid duty. Bacon, _Laws_, 1763, ch. xxviii.

~1763 (circa). New Jersey: Prohibitive Duty Act.~

“An Act for laying a duty on Negroes and Mulatto Slaves Imported into this Province.” Disallowed (?) by Great Britain. _N.J. Archives_, IX.

345-6, 383, 447, 458.

~1764, Aug. 25. South Carolina: Additional 100 Duty Act.~

“An Act for laying an additional duty upon all Negroes hereafter to be imported into this Province, for the time therein mentioned, to be paid by the first purchasers of such Negroes.” Cooper, _Statutes_, IV 187.

~1766, November. Virginia: Proposed Duty Act.~

“An act for laying an additional duty upon slaves imported into this colony.”

— 1. ” … from and after the pa.s.sing of this act there shall be levied and paid … for all slaves imported or brought into this colony for sale, either by land or water from any port or place whatsoever, by the buyer or purchaser, after the rate of ten per centum on the amount of each respective purchase over and above the several duties already laid upon slaves imported or brought into this colony as aforesaid,” etc. To be suspended until the king’s consent is given, and then to continue seven years. The same act was pa.s.sed again in 1769. Hening, _Statutes_, VIII. 237, 337.

~1766. Rhode Island: Restrictive Measure (?).~

t.i.tle and text not found. Cf. _Digest_ of 1798, under “Slave Trade;”

_Public Laws of Rhode Island_ (revision of 1822), p. 441.

~1768, Feb. 20. Pennsylvania: Re-enactment of Acts of 1761.~

t.i.tles only found. Dallas, _Laws_, I. 490; _Colonial Records_ (1852), IX. 472, 637, 641.

~1769, Nov. 16. New Jersey: 15 Duty Act.~

“An Act for laying a Duty on the Purchasers of Slaves imported into this Colony.”

“Whereas Duties on the Importation of Negroes in several of the neighbouring Colonies hath, on Experience, been found beneficial in the Introduction of sober, industrious Foreigners, to settle under His Majesty’s Allegiance, and the promoting a Spirit of Industry among the Inhabitants in general: _In order therefore_ to promote the same good Designs in this Government, and that such as choose to purchase Slaves may contribute some equitable Proportion of the publick Burdens,” etc.

A duty of “_Fifteen Pounds_, Proclamation Money, is laid.” _Acts of a.s.sembly_ (Allinson, 1776), p. 315.

~1769 (circa). Connecticut: Importation Prohibited (?).~

t.i.tle and text not found. “Whereas, the increase of slaves is injurious to the poor, and inconvenient, therefore,” etc. Fowler, _Historical Status of the Negro in Connecticut_, in _Local Law_, etc., p. 125.

~1770. Rhode Island: Bill to Prohibit Importation.~

Bill to prohibit importation of slaves fails. Arnold, _History of Rhode Island_ (1859), II. 304, 321, 337.

~1771, April 12. Ma.s.sachusetts: Bill to Prevent Importation.~

Bill both houses and fails of Governor Hutchinson’s a.s.sent.

_House Journal_, pp. 211, 215, 219, 228, 234, 236, 240, 242-3.

~1771. Maryland: Additional 5 Duty Act.~

“An Act for imposing a further additional duty of five pounds current money per poll on all negroes imported into this province.” For seven years. _Laws of Maryland since 1763_: 1771, ch. vii.; cf. 1773, sess.

Nov.-Dec., ch. xiv.

~1772, April 1. Virginia: Address to the King.~

” … The importation of slaves into the colonies from the coast of Africa hath long been considered as a trade of great inhumanity, and under its _present encouragement_, we have too much reason to fear _will endanger the very existence_ of your majesty’s American dominions….

“Deeply impressed with these sentiments, we most humbly beseech your majesty to _remove all those restraints_ on your majesty’s governors of this colony, _which inhibit their a.s.senting to such laws as might check so very pernicious a commerce_.” _Journals of the House of Burgesses_, p. 131; quoted in Tucker, _Dissertation on Slavery_ (repr. 1861), p. 43.

~1773, Feb. 26. Pennsylvania: Additional 10 Duty Act.~

“An Act for making perpetual the act … [of 1761] … and laying an additional duty on the said slaves.” Dallas, _Laws_, I. 671; _Acts of a.s.sembly_ (ed. 1782), p. 149.

~1774, March, June. Ma.s.sachusetts: Bills to Prohibit Importation.~

Two bills designed to prohibit the importation of slaves fail of the governor’s a.s.sent. First bill: _General Court Records_, x.x.x. 248, 264; _Ma.s.s. Archives, Domestic Relations, 1643-1774_, IX. 457. Second bill: _General Court Records_, x.x.x. 308, 322.

~1774, June. Rhode Island: Importation Restricted.~

“An Act prohibiting the importation of Negroes into this Colony.”

“Whereas, the inhabitants of America are generally engaged in the preservation of their own rights and liberties, among which, that of personal freedom must be considered as the greatest; as those who are desirous of enjoying all the advantages of liberty themselves, should be willing to extend personal liberty to others;–

“Therefore, be it enacted … that for the future, no negro or mulatto slave shall be brought into this colony; and in case any slave shall hereafter be brought in, he or she shall be, and are hereby, rendered immediately free, so far as respects personal freedom, and the enjoyment of private property, in the same manner as the native Indians.”

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