The Suppression of the African Slave Trade to the United States of America Part 38

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“An Act for the gradual abolition of slavery.”

— 5. All slaves to be registered before Nov. 1.

— 10. None but slaves “registered as aforesaid, shall, at any time hereafter, be deemed, adjudged, or holden, within the territories of this commonwealth, as slaves or servants for life, but as free men and free women; except the domestic slaves attending upon Delegates in Congress from the other American States,” and those of travellers not remaining over six months, foreign ministers, etc., “provided such domestic slaves be not aliened or sold to any inhabitant,” etc.

— 11. Fugitive slaves from other states may be taken back.

— 14. Former duty acts, etc., repealed. Dallas, _Laws_, I. 838. Cf.

_Penn. Archives_, VII. 79; VIII. 720.

~1783, April. Confederation: Slave-Trade in Treaty of 1783.~

“To the earnest wish of Jay that British ships should have no right under the convention to carry into the states any slaves from any part of the world, it being the intention of the United States entirely to prohibit their importation, Fox answered promptly: ‘If that be their policy, it never can be competent to us to dispute with them their own regulations.'” Fox to Hartley, June 10, 1783, in Bancroft, _History of the Const.i.tution_, I. 61. Cf. Sparks, _Diplomatic Correspondence_, X.

154, June, 1783.

~1783. Maryland: Importation Prohibited.~

“An Act to prohibit the bringing slaves into this state.”

” … it shall not be lawful, after the pa.s.sing this act, to import or bring into this state, by land or water, any negro, mulatto, or other slave, for sale, or to reside within this state; and any person brought into this state as a slave contrary to this act, if a slave before, shall thereupon immediately cease to be a slave, and shall be free; provided that this act shall not prohibit any person, being a citizen of some one of the United States, coming into this state, with a _bona fide_ intention of settling therein, and who shall actually reside within this state for one year at least, … to import or bring in any slave or slaves which before belonged to such person, and which slave or slaves had been an inhabitant of some one of the United States, for the s.p.a.ce of three whole years next preceding such importation,” etc. _Laws of Maryland since 1763_: 1783, sess. April–June, ch. xxiii.

~1783, Aug. 13. South Carolina: 3 and 20 Duty Act.~

“An Act for levying and collecting certain duties and imposts therein mentioned, in aid of the public revenue.” Cooper, _Statutes_, IV. 576.

~1784, February. Rhode Island: Manumission.~

“An Act authorizing the manumission of negroes, mulattoes, and others, and for the gradual abolition of slavery.” Persons born after March, 1784, to be free. Bill framed pursuant to a pet.i.tion of Quakers.

_Colonial Records_, X. 7-8; Arnold, _History of Rhode Island_, II. 503.

~1784, March 26. South Carolina: 3 and 5 Duty Act.~

“An Act for levying and collecting certain Duties,” etc. Cooper, _Statutes_, IV. 607.

~1785, April 12. New York: Partial Prohibition.~

“An Act granting a bounty on hemp to be raised within this State, and imposing an additional duty on sundry articles of merchandise, and for other purposes therein mentioned.”

” … _And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid_, That if any negro or other person to be imported or brought into this State from any of the United States or from any other place or country after the first day of June next, shall be sold as a slave or slaves within this State, the seller or his or her factor or agent, shall be deemed guilty of a public offence, and shall for every such offence forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds lawful money of New York, to be recovered by any person,” etc.

“_And be it further enacted_ … That every such person imported or brought into this State and sold contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act shall be freed.” _Laws of New York, 1785-88_ (ed. 1886), pp.


~1785. Rhode Island: Restrictive Measure (?).~

t.i.tle and text not found. Cf. _Public Laws of Rhode Island_ (revision of 1822), p. 441.

~1786, March 2. New Jersey: Importation Prohibited.~

“An Act to prevent the importation of Slaves into the State of New Jersey, and to authorize the Manumission of them under certain restrictions, and to prevent the Abuse of Slaves.”

“Whereas the Principles of Justice and Humanity require that the barbarous Custom of bringing the unoffending African from his native Country and Connections into a State of Slavery ought to be discountenanced, and as soon as possible prevented; and sound Policy also requires, in order to afford ample Support to such of the Community as depend upon their Labour for their daily Subsistence, that the Importation of Slaves into this State from any other State or Country whatsoever, ought to be prohibited under certain Restrictions; and that such as are under Servitude in the State ought to be protected by Law from those Exercises of Wanton Cruelty too often practiced upon them; and that every unnecessary Obstruction in the Way of freeing Slaves should be removed; therefore,

— 1. “_Be it Enacted by the Council and General a.s.sembly of this State, and it is hereby Enacted by the Authority of the same_, That from and after the Publication of this Act, it shall not be lawful for any Person or Persons whatsoever to bring into this State, either for Sale or for Servitude, any Negro Slave brought from Africa since the Year Seventeen Hundred and Seventy-six; and every Person offending by bringing into this State any such Negro Slave shall, for each Slave, forfeit and Pay the Sum of Fifty Pounds, to be sued for and recovered with Costs by the Collector of the Township into which such Slave shall be brought, to be applied when recovered to the Use of the State.

— 2. “_And be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid_, That if any Person shall either bring or procure to be brought into this State, any Negro or Mulatto Slave, who shall not have been born in or brought from Africa since the Year above mentioned, and either sell or buy, or cause such Negro or Mulatto Slave to be sold or remain in this State, for the s.p.a.ce of six Months, every such Person so bringing or procuring to be brought or selling or purchasing such Slave, not born in or brought from Africa since the Year aforesaid, shall for every such Slave, forfeit and pay the Sum of Twenty Pounds, to be sued for and recovered with Costs by the Collector of the Township into which such Slave shall be brought or remain after the Time limited for that Purpose, the Forfeiture to be applied to the Use of the State as aforesaid.

— 3. “_Provided always, and be it further Enacted by the Authority aforesaid_, That Nothing in this Act contained shall be construed to prevent any Person who shall remove into the State, to take a settled Residence here, from bringing all his or her Slaves without incurring the Penalties aforesaid, excepting such Slaves as shall have been brought from Africa since the Year first above mentioned, or to prevent any Foreigners or others having only a temporary Residence in this State, for the Purpose of transacting any particular Business, or on their Travels, from bringing and employing such Slaves as Servants, during the Time of his or her Stay here, provided such Slaves shall not be sold or disposed of in this State.” _Acts of the Tenth General a.s.sembly_ (Tower Collection of Laws).

~1786, Oct. 30. Vermont: External Trade Prohibited.~

“An act to prevent the sale and transportation of Negroes and Molattoes out of this State.” 100 penalty. _Statutes of Vermont_ (ed. 1787), p.


~1786. North Carolina: Prohibitive Duty.~

“An act to impose a duty on all slaves brought into this state by land or water.”

“Whereas the importation of slaves into this state is productive of evil consequences, and highly impolitic,” etc. A prohibitive duty is imposed.

The exact text was not found.

— 6. Slaves introduced from States which have pa.s.sed emanc.i.p.ation acts are to be returned in three months; if not, a bond of 50 is to be forfeited, and a fine of 100 imposed.

— 8. Act to take effect next Feb. 1; repealed by Act of 1790, ch. 18.

Martin, _Iredell’s Acts of a.s.sembly_, I. 413, 492.

~1787, Feb. 3. Delaware: Exportation Prohibited.~

“An Act to prevent the exportation of slaves, and for other purposes.”

_Laws of Delaware_ (ed. 1797), p. 884, ch. 145 b.

~1787, March 28. South Carolina: Total Prohibition.~

“An Act to regulate the recovery and payment of debts and for prohibiting the importation of negroes for the time therein mentioned.”

t.i.tle only given. Grimke, _Public Laws_, p. lxviii, No. 1485.

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