This monograph was begun during my residence as Rogers Memorial Fellow at Harvard University, and is based mainly upon a study of the sources, i.e., national, State, and colonial statutes, Congressional documents, reports of societies, personal narratives, etc. The collection of laws available for this research was, I think, nearly complete; on the other hand, facts and statistics bearing on the economic side of the study have been difficult to find, and my conclusions are consequently liable to modification from this source.
The question of the suppression of the slave-trade is so intimately connected with the questions as to its rise, the system of American slavery, and the whole colonial policy of the eighteenth century, that it is difficult to isolate it, and at the same time to avoid superficiality on the one hand, and unscientific narrowness of view on the other. While I could not hope entirely to overcome such a difficulty, I nevertheless trust that I have succeeded in rendering this monograph a small contribution to the scientific study of slavery and the American Negro.
I desire to express my obligation to Dr. Albert Bushnell Hart, of Harvard University, at whose suggestion I began this work and by whose kind aid and encouragement I have brought it to a close; also I have to thank the trustees of the John F. Slater Fund, whose appointment made it possible to test the conclusions of this study by the general principles laid down in German universities.
W.E. BURGHARDT Du BOIS.
1641. Massachusetts: Limitations on Slavery.
"Liberties of Forreiners & Strangers": 91. "There shall never be any bond slaverie villinage or Captivitie amongst vs, unles it be lawfull Captives taken in iust warres, & such strangers as willingly selle themselves or are sold to us. And those shall have all the liberties & Christian usages wch ye law of god established in Jsraell concerning such p/sons doeth morally require. This exempts none from servitude who shall be Judged there to by Authoritie."
"Capitall Laws": 10. "If any man stealeth aman or mankinde, he shall surely be put to death" (marginal reference, Exodus xxi. 16). Re-enacted in the codes of 1649, 1660, and 1672. Whitmore, Reprint of Colonial Laws of 1660, etc. (1889), pp. 52, 54, 71117.
1642, April 3. New Netherland: Ten per cent Duty.
"Ordinance of the Director and Council of New Netherland, imposing certain Import and Export Duties." O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland (1868), p. 31.
1642, Dec. 1. Connecticut: Man-Stealing made a Capital Offence.
"Capitall Lawes," No. 10. Re-enacted in Ludlow's code, 1650. Colonial Records, I. 77.
1646, Nov. 4. Massachusetts: Declaration against Man-Stealing.
Testimony of the General Court. For text, see above, page 37. Colonial Records, II. 168; III. 84.
1652, April 4. New Netherland: Duty of 15 Guilders.
"Conditions and Regulations" of Trade to Africa. O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, pp. 81, 127.
1652, May 1820. Rhode Island: Perpetual Slavery Prohibited.
For text, see above, page 40. Colonial Records, I. 243.
1655, Aug. 6. New Netherland: Ten per cent Export Duty.
"Ordinance of the Director General and Council of New Netherland, imposing a Duty on exported Negroes." O'Callaghan, Laws of New Netherland, p. 191.
1664, March 12. Duke of York's Patent: Slavery Regulated.
"Lawes establisht by the Authority of his Majesties Letters patents, granted to his Royall Highnes James Duke of Yorke and Albany; Bearing Date the 12th Day of March in the Sixteenth year of the Raigne of our Soveraigne Lord Kinge Charles the Second." First published at Long Island in 1664.
"Bond slavery": "No Christian shall be kept in Bond-slavery villenage or Captivity, Except Such who shall be Judged thereunto by Authority, or such as willingly have sould, or shall sell themselves," etc. Apprenticeship allowed. Charter to William Penn, and Laws of the Province of Pennsylvania (1879), pp. 3, 12.
1672, October. Connecticut: Law against Man-Stealing.
"The General Laws and Liberties of Conecticut
"Capital Laws": 10. "If any Man stealeth a Man or Man kinde, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall be put to death. Exod. 21. 16." Laws of Connecticut, 1672 (repr. 1865), p. 9.
1676, March 3. West New Jersey: Slavery Prohibited (?).
"The Concessions and Agreements of the Proprietors, Freeholders and Inhabitants of the Province of West New-Jersey, in America."
Chap. XXIII. "That in all publick Courts of Justice for Tryals of Causes, Civil or Criminal, any Person or Persons, Inhabitants of the said Province, may freely come into, and attend the said Courts, ... that all and every Person and Persons Inhabiting the said Province, shall, as far as in us lies, be free from Oppression and Slavery." Leaming and Spicer, Grants, Concessions, etc., pp. 382, 398.
1688, Feb. 18. Pennsylvania: First Protest of Friends against Slave-Trade.
"At Monthly Meeting of Germantown Friends." For text, see above, pages 2829. Fac-simile Copy (1880).
1695, May. Maryland: 10s. Duty Act.
"An Act for the laying an Imposition upon Negroes, Slaves, and White Persons imported into this Province." Re-enacted in 1696, and included in Acts of 1699 and 1704. Bacon, Laws, 1695, ch. ix.; 1696, ch. vii.; 1699, ch. xxiii.; 1704, ch. ix.
1696. Pennsylvania: Protest of Friends.
"That Friends be careful not to encourage the bringing in of any more negroes." Bettle, Notices of Negro Slavery, in Penn. Hist. Soc. Mem. (1864), I. 383.
1698, Oct. 8. South Carolina: White Servants Encouraged.
"An Act for the Encouragement of the Importation of White Servants."
"Whereas, the great number of negroes which of late have been imported into this Collony may endanger the safety thereof if speedy care be not taken and encouragement given for the importation of white servants."
§ 1. £13 are to be given to any ship master for every male white servant (Irish excepted), between sixteen and forty years, whom he shall bring into Ashley river; and £12 for boys between twelve and sixteen years. Every servant must have at least four years to serve, and every boy seven years.
§ 3. Planters are to take servants in proportion of one to every six male Negroes above sixteen years.
§ 5. Servants are to be distributed by lot.
§ 8. This act to continue three years. Cooper, Statutes, II. 153.
1699, April. Virginia: 20s. Duty Act.
"An act for laying an imposition upon servants and slaves imported into this country, towards building the Capitoll." For three years; continued in August, 1701, and April, 1704. Hening, Statutes, III. 193, 212, 225.
1703, May 6. South Carolina: Duty Act.
"An Act for the laying an Imposition on Furrs, Skinns, Liquors and other Goods and Merchandize, Imported into and Exported out of this part of this Province, for the raising of a Fund of Money towards defraying the publick charges and expenses of this Province, and paying the debts due for the Expedition against St. Augustine." 10s. on Africans and 20s. on others. Cooper, Statutes, II. 201.
1704, October. Maryland: 20s. Duty Act.
"An Act imposing Three Pence per Gallon on Rum and Wine, Brandy and Spirits; and Twenty Shillings per Poll for Negroes; for raising a Supply to defray the Public Charge of this Province; and Twenty Shillings per Poll on Irish Servants, to prevent the importing too great a Number of Irish Papists into this Province." Revived in 1708 and 1712. Bacon, Laws, 1704, ch. xxxiii.; 1708, ch. xvi.; 1712, ch. xxii.
1705, Jan. 12. Pennsylvania: 10s. Duty Act.
"An Act for Raising a Supply of Two pence half penny per Pound & ten shillings per Head. Also for Granting an Impost & laying on Sundry Liquors & negroes Imported into this Province for the Support of Governmt., & defraying the necessary Publick Charges in the Administration thereof." Colonial Records (1852), II. 232, No. 50.
1705, October. Virginia: 6d. Tax on Imported Slaves.
"An act for raising a publick revenue for the better support of the Government," etc. Similar tax by Act of October, 1710. Hening, Statutes, III. 344, 490.
1705, October. Virginia: 20s. Duty Act.
"An act for laying an Imposition upon Liquors and Slaves." For two years; re-enacted in October, 1710, for three years, and in October, 1712. Ibid., III. 229, 482; IV. 30.
1705, Dec. 5. Massachusetts: £4 Duty Act.
"An act for the Better Preventing of a Spurious and Mixt Issue," etc.
§ 6. On and after May 1, 1706, every master importing Negroes shall enter his number, name, and sex in the impost office, and insert them in the bill of lading; he shall pay to the commissioner and receiver of the impost £4 per head for every such Negro. Both master and ship are to be security for the payment of the same.
§ 7. If the master neglect to enter the slaves, he shall forfeit £8 for each Negro, one-half to go to the informer and one-half to the government.
§ 8. If any Negro imported shall, within twelve months, be exported and sold in any other plantation, and a receipt from the collector there be shown, a drawback of the whole duty will be allowed. Like drawback will be allowed a purchaser, if any Negro sold die within six weeks after importation. Mass. Province Laws, 17056, ch. 10.
1708, February. Rhode Island: £3 Duty Act.
No title or text found. Slightly amended by Act of April, 1708; strengthened by Acts of February, 1712, and July 5, 1715; proceeds disposed of by Acts of July, 1715, October, 1717, and June, 1729. Colonial Records, IV. 34, 1315, 138, 143, 1913, 225, 4234.
1709, Sept. 24. New York: £3 Duty Act.
"An Act for Laying a Duty on the Tonnage of Vessels and Slaves." A duty of £3 was laid on slaves not imported directly from their native country. Continued by Act of Oct. 30, 1710. Acts of Assembly, 16911718, pp. 97, 125, 134; Laws of New York, 16911773, p. 83.
1710, Dec. 28. Pennsylvania: 40s. Duty Act.
"An impost Act, laying a duty on Negroes, wine, rum and other spirits, cyder and vessels." Repealed by order in Council Feb. 20, 1713. Carey and Bioren, Laws, I. 82; Bettle, Notices of Negro Slavery, in Penn. Hist. Soc. Mem. (1864), I. 415.
1710. Virginia: £5 Duty Act.
"Intended to discourage the importation" of slaves. Title and text not found. Disallowed (?). Governor Spotswood to the Lords of Trade, in Va. Hist. Soc. Coll., New Series, I. 52.
1711, July-Aug. New York: Act of 1709 Strengthened.
"An Act for the more effectual putting in Execution an Act of General Assembly, Intituled, An Act for Laying a Duty on the Tonnage of Vessels and Slaves." Acts of Assembly, 16911718, p. 134.
1711, December. New York: Bill to Increase Duty.
Bill for laying a further duty on slaves. Passed Assembly; lost in Council. Doc. rel. Col. Hist. New York, V. 293.
1711. Pennsylvania: Testimony of Quakers.
" ... the Yearly Meeting of Philadelphia, on a representation from the Quarterly Meeting of Chester, that the buying and encouraging the importation of negroes was still practised by some of the members of the society, again repeated and enforced the observance of the advice issued in 1696, and further directed all merchants and factors to write to their correspondents and discourage their sending any more negroes." Bettle, Notices of Negro Slavery, in Penn. Hist. Soc. Mem. (1864), I. 386.
1712, June 7. Pennsylvania: Prohibitive (?) Duty Act.
"A supplementary Act to an act, entituled, An impost act, laying a duty on Negroes, rum," etc. Disallowed by Great Britain, 1713. Carey and Bioren, Laws, I. 87, 88. Cf. Colonial Records (1852), II. 553.
1712, June 7. Pennsylvania: Prohibitive Duty Act.
"An act to prevent the Importation of Negroes and Indians into this Province."
"Whereas Divers Plots and Insurrections have frequently happened, not only in the Islands, but on the Main Land of America, by Negroes, which have been carried on so far that several of the Inhabitants have been thereby barbarously Murthered, an instance whereof we have lately had in our neighboring Colony of New York. And whereas the Importation of Indian Slaves hath given our Neighboring Indians in this Province some umbrage of Suspicion and Dis-satisfaction. For Prevention of all which for the future,
"Be it Enacted ..., That from and after the Publication of this Act, upon the Importation of any Negro or Indian, by Land or Water, into this Province, there shall be paid by the Importer, Owner or Possessor thereof, the sum of Twenty Pounds per head, for every Negro or Indian so imported or brought in (except Negroes directly brought in from the West India Islands before the first Day of the Month called August next) unto the proper Officer herein after named, or that shall be appointed according to the Directions of this Act to receive the same," etc. Disallowed by Great Britain, 1713. Laws of Pennsylvania, collected, etc. (ed. 1714), p. 165; Colonial Records (1852), II. 553; Burge, Commentaries, I. 737, note; Penn. Archives, I. 162.
1713, March 11. New Jersey: £10 Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a Duty on Negro, Indian and Mulatto Slaves, imported and brought into this Province."
"Be it Enacted ..., That every Person or Persons that shall hereafter Import or bring in, or cause to be imported or brought into this Province, any Negro Indian or Mulatto Slave or Slaves, every such Person or Persons so importing or bringing in, or causing to be imported or brought in, such Slave or Slaves, shall enter with one of the Collectors of her Majestie's Customs of this Province, every such Slave or Slaves, within Twenty Four Hours after such Slave or Slaves is so Imported, and pay the Sum of Ten Pounds Money as appointed by her Majesty's Proclamation, for each Slave so imported, or give sufficient Security that the said Sum of Ten Pounds, Money aforesaid, shall be well and truly paid within three Months after such Slave or Slaves are so imported, to the Collector or his Deputy of the District into which such Slave or Slaves shall be imported, for the use of her Majesty, her Heirs and Successors, toward the Support of the Government of this Province." For seven years; violations incur forfeiture and sale of slaves at auction; slaves brought from elsewhere than Africa to pay £10, etc. Laws and Acts of New Jersey, 17031717 (ed. 1717), p. 43; N.J. Archives, 1st Series, XIII. 516, 517, 520, 522, 523, 527, 532, 541.
1713, March 26. Great Britain and Spain: The Assiento.
"The Assiento, or Contract for allowing to the Subjects of Great Britain the Liberty of importing Negroes into the Spanish America. Signed by the Catholick King at Madrid, the 26th Day of March, 1713."
Art. I. "First then to procure, by this means, a mutual and reciprocal advantage to the sovereigns and subjects of both crowns, her British majesty does offer and undertake for the persons, whom she shall name and appoint, That they shall oblige and charge themselves with the bringing into the West-Indies of America, belonging to his catholick majesty, in the space of the said 30 years, to commence on the 1st day of May, 1713, and determine on the like day, which will be in the year 1743, viz. 144000 negroes, Piezas de India, of both sexes, and of all ages, at the rate of 4800 negroes, Piezas de India, in each of the said 30 years, with this condition, That the persons who shall go to the West-Indies to take care of the concerns of the assiento, shall avoid giving any offence, for in such case they shall be prosecuted and punished in the same manner, as they would have been in Spain, if the like misdemeanors had been committed there."
Art. II. Assientists to pay a duty of 33 pieces of eight (Escudos) for each Negro, which should include all duties.
Art. III. Assientists to advance to his Catholic Majesty 200,000 pieces of eight, which should be returned at the end of the first twenty years, etc. John Almon, Treaties of Peace, Alliance, and Commerce, between Great-Britain and other Powers (London, 1772), I. 83107.
1713, July 13. Great Britain and Spain: Treaty of Utrecht.
"Treaty of Peace and Friendship between the most serene and most potent princess Anne, by the grace of God, Queen of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, Defender of the Faith, &c. and the most serene and most potent Prince Philip V the Catholick King of Spain, concluded at Utrecht, the 2/13 Day of July, 1713."
Art. XII. "The Catholick King doth furthermore hereby give and grant to her Britannick majesty, and to the company of her subjects appointed for that purpose, as well the subjects of Spain, as all others, being excluded, the contract for introducing negroes into several parts of the dominions of his Catholick Majesty in America, commonly called el Pacto de el Assiento de Negros, for the space of thirty years successively, beginning from the first day of the month of May, in the year 1713, with the same conditions on which the French enjoyed it, or at any time might or ought to enjoy the same, together with a tract or tracts of Land to be allotted by the said Catholick King, and to be granted to the company aforesaid, commonly called la Compania de el Assiento, in some convenient place on the river of Plata, (no duties or revenues being payable by the said company on that account, during the time of the abovementioned contract, and no longer) and this settlement of the said society, or those tracts of land, shall be proper and sufficient for planting, and sowing, and for feeding cattle for the subsistence of those who are in the service of the said company, and of their negroes; and that the said negroes may be there kept in safety till they are sold; and moreover, that the ships belonging to the said company may come close to land, and be secure from any danger. But it shall always be lawful for the Catholick King, to appoint an officer in the said place or settlement, who may take care that nothing be done or practised contrary to his royal interests. And all who manage the affairs of the said company there, or belong to it, shall be subject to the inspection of the aforesaid officer, as to all matters relating to the tracts of land abovementioned. But if any doubts, difficulties, or controversies, should arise between the said officer and the managers for the said company, they shall be referred to the determination of the governor of Buenos Ayres. The Catholick King has been likewise pleased to grant to the said company, several other extraordinary advantages, which are more fully and amply explained in the contract of the Assiento, which was made and concluded at Madrid, the 26th day of the month of March, of this present year 1713. Which contract, or Assiento de Negros, and all the clauses, conditions, privileges and immunities contained therein, and which are not contrary to this article, are and shall be deemed, and taken to be, part of this treaty, in the same manner as if they had been here inserted word for word." John Almon, Treaties of Peace, Alliance, and Commerce, between Great-Britain and other Powers, I. 16880.
1714, Feb. 18. South Carolina: Duty on American Slaves.
"An Act for laying an additional duty on all Negro Slaves imported into this Province from any part of America." Title quoted in Act of 1719, §30, q.v.
1714, Dec. 18. South Carolina: Prohibitive Duty.
"An additional Act to an Act entitled 'An Act for the better Ordering and Governing Negroes and all other Slaves.'"
§9 "And whereas, the number of negroes do extremely increase in this Province, and through the afflicting providence of God, the white persons do not proportionally multiply, by reason whereof, the safety of the said Province is greatly endangered; for the prevention of which for the future,
"Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all negro slaves from twelve years old and upwards, imported into this part of this Province from any part of Africa, shall pay such additional duties as is hereafter named, that is to say:that every merchant or other person whatsoever, who shall, six months after the ratification of this Act, import any negro slaves as aforesaid, shall, for every such slave, pay unto the public receiver for the time being, (within thirty days after such importation,) the sum of two pounds current money of this Province." Cooper, Statutes, VII. 365.
1715, Feb. 18. South Carolina: Duty on American Negroes.
"An additional Act to an act entitled an act for raising the sum of £2000, of and from the estates real and personal of the inhabitants of this Province, ratified in open Assembly the 18th day of December, 1714; and for laying an additional duty on all Negroe slaves imported into this Province from any part of America." Title only given. Grimkι, Public Laws, p. xvi, No. 362.
1715, May 28. Pennsylvania: £5 Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a Duty on Negroes imported into this province." Disallowed by Great Britain, 1719. Acts and Laws of Pennsylvania, 1715, p. 270; Colonial Records (1852), III. 756; Chalmers, Opinions, II. 118.
1715, June 3. Maryland: 20s. Duty Act.
"An Act laying an Imposition on Negroes ...; and also on Irish Servants, to prevent the importing too great a Number of Irish Papists into this Province." Supplemented April 23, 1735, and July 25, 1754. Compleat Collection of the Laws of Maryland (ed. 1727), p. 157; Bacon, Laws, 1715, ch. xxxvi. §8; 1735, ch. vi. §§13; Acts of Assembly, 1754, p. 10.
1716, June 30. South Carolina: £3 Duty Act.
"An Act for laying an Imposition on Liquors, Goods and Merchandizes, Imported into and Exported out of this Province, for the raising of a Fund of Money towards the defraying the publick charges and expences of the Government." A duty of £3 was laid on African slaves, and £30 on American slaves. Cooper, Statutes, II. 649.
1716. New York: 5 oz. and 10 oz. plate Duty Act.
"An Act to Oblige all Vessels Trading into this Colony (except such as are therein excepted) to pay a certain Duty; and for the further Explanation and rendring more Effectual certain Clauses in an Act of General Assembly of this Colony, Intituled, An Act by which a Duty is laid on Negroes, and other Slaves, imported into this Colony." The act referred to is not to be found. Acts of Assembly, 16911718, p. 224.
1717, June 8. Maryland: Additional 20s. Duty Act.
"An Act for laying an Additional Duty of Twenty Shillings Current Money per Poll on all Irish Servants, ... also, the Additional Duty of Twenty Shillings Current Money per Poll on all Negroes, for raising a Fund for the Use of Publick Schools," etc. Continued by Act of 1728. Compleat Collection of the Laws of Maryland (ed. 1727), p. 191; Bacon, Laws, 1728, ch. viii.
1717, Dec. 11. South Carolina: Prohibitive Duty.
"A further additional Act to an Act entitled An Act for the better ordering and governing of Negroes and all other Slaves; and to an additional Act to an Act entitled An Act for the better ordering and governing of Negroes and all other Slaves."
§ 3. "And whereas, the great importation of negroes to this Province, in proportion to the white inhabitants of the same, whereby the future safety of this Province will be greatly endangered; for the prevention whereof,
"Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all negro slaves of any age or condition whatsoever, imported or otherwise brought into this Province, from any part of the world, shall pay such additional duties as is hereafter named, that is to say:that every merchant or other person whatsoever, who shall, eighteen months after the ratification of this Act, import any negro slave as aforesaid, shall, for every such slave, pay unto the public receiver for the time being, at the time of each importation, over and above all the duties already charged on negroes, by any law in force in this Province, the additional sum of forty pounds current money of this Province," etc.
§ 4. This section on duties to be in force for four years after ratification, and thence to the end of the next session of the General Assembly. Cooper, Statutes, VII. 368.
1718, Feb. 22. Pennsylvania: Duty Act.
"An Act for continuing a duty on Negroes brought into this province." Carey and Bioren, Laws, I. 118.
1719, March 20. South Carolina: £10 Duty Act.
"An Act for laying an Imposition on Negroes, Liquors, and other Goods and Merchandizes, imported, and exported out of this Province, for the raising of a Fund of Money towards the defraying the Publick Charges and Expences of this Government; as also to Repeal several Duty Acts, and Clauses and Paragraphs of Acts, as is herein mentioned." This repeals former duty acts (e.g. that of 1714), and lays a duty of £10 on African slaves, and £30 on American slaves. Cooper, Statutes, III. 56.
1721, Sept. 21. South Carolina: £10 Duty Act.
"An Act for granting to His Majesty a Duty and Imposition on Negroes, Liquors, and other Goods and Merchandize, imported into and exported out of this Province." This was a continuation of the Act of 1719. Ibid., III. 159.
1722, Feb. 23. South Carolina: £10 Duty Act.
"An Act for Granting to His Majesty a Duty and Imposition on Negroes, Liquors, and other Goods and Merchandizes, for the use of the Publick of this Province."
§ 1. " ... on all negro slaves imported from Africa directly, or any other place whatsoever, Spanish negroes excepted, if above ten years of age, ten pounds; on all negroes under ten years of age, (sucking children excepted) five pounds," etc.
§ 3. "And whereas, it has proved to the detriment of some of the inhabitants of this Province, who have purchased negroes imported here from the Colonies of America, that they were either transported thence by the Courts of justice, or sent off by private persons for their ill behaviour and misdemeanours, to prevent which for the future,
"Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, That all negroes imported in this Province from any part of America, after the ratification of this Act, above ten years of age, shall pay unto the Publick Receiver as a duty, the sum of fifty pounds, and all such negroes under the age of ten years, (sucking children excepted) the sum of five pounds of like current money, unless the owner or agent shall produce a testimonial under the hand and seal of any Notary Publick of the Colonies or plantations from whence such negroes came last, before whom it was proved upon oath, that the same are new negroes, and have not been six months on shoar in any part of America," etc.
§ 4. "And whereas, the importation of Spanish Indians, mustees, negroes, and mulattoes, may be of dangerous consequence by inticing the slaves belonging to the inhabitants of this Province to desert with them to the Spanish settlements near us,
"Be it therefore enacted That all such Spanish negroes, Indians, mustees, or mulattoes, so imported into this Province, shall pay unto the Publick Receiver, for the use of this Province, a duty of one hundred and fifty pounds, current money of this Province."
§ 19. Rebate of three-fourths of the duty allowed in case of re-exportation in six months.
§ 31. Act of 1721 repealed.
§ 36. This act to continue in force for three years, and thence to the end of the next session of the General Assembly, and no longer. Cooper, Statutes, III. 193.
1722, May 12. Pennsylvania: Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a duty on Negroes imported into this province." Carey and Bioren, Laws, I. 165.
1723, May. Virginia: Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a Duty on Liquors and Slaves." Title only; repealed by proclamation Oct. 27, 1724. Hening, Statutes, IV. 118.
1723, June 18. Rhode Island: Back Duties Collected.
Resolve appointing the attorney-general to collect back duties on Negroes. Colonial Records, IV. 330.
1726, March 5. Pennsylvania: £10 Duty Act.
"An Act for the better regulating of Negroes in this province." Carey and Bioren, Laws, I. 214; Bettle, Notices of Negro Slavery, in Penn. Hist. Soc. Mem. (1864), I. 388.
1726, March 5. Pennsylvania: Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a duty on Negroes imported into this province." Carey and Bioren, Laws, I. 213.
1727, February. Virginia: Prohibitive Duty Act (?).
"An Act for laying a Duty on Slaves imported; and for appointing a Treasurer." Title only found; the duty was probably prohibitive; it was enacted with a suspending clause, and was not assented to by the king. Hening, Statutes, IV. 182.
1728, Aug. 31. New York: £2 and £4 Duty Act.
"An Act to repeal some Parts and to continue and enforce other Parts of the Act therein mentioned, and for granting several Duties to His Majesty, for supporting His Government in the Colony of New York" from Sept. 1, 1728, to Sept. 1, 1733. Same duty continued by Act of 1732. Laws of New York, 16911773, pp. 148, 171; Doc. rel. Col. Hist. New York, VI. 32, 33, 34, 37, 38.
1728, Sept. 14. Massachusetts: Act of 1705 Strengthened.
"An Act more effectually to secure the Duty on the Importation of Negroes." For seven years; substantially the same law re-enacted Jan. 26, 1738, for ten years. Mass. Province Laws, 17289, ch. 16; 17389, ch. 27.
1729, May 10. Pennsylvania: 40s. Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a Duty on Negroes imported into this Province." Laws of Pennsylvania (ed. 1742), p. 354, ch. 287.
1732, May. Rhode Island: Repeal of Act of 1712.
"Whereas, there was an act made and passed by the General Assembly, at their session, held at Newport, the 27th day of February, 1711 [O.S., N.S. = 1712], entitled 'An Act for laying a duty on negro slaves that shall be imported into this colony,' and this Assembly being directed by His Majesty's instructions to repeal the same;
"Therefore, be it enacted by the General Assembly ... that the said act ... be, and it is hereby repealed, made null and void, and of none effect for the future." If this is the act mentioned under Act of 1708, the title is wrongly cited; if not, the act is lost. Colonial Records, IV. 471.
1732, May. Virginia: Five per cent Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a Duty upon Slaves, to be paid by the Buyers." For four years; continued and slightly amended by Acts of 1734, 1736, 1738, 1742, and 1745; revived February, 1752, and continued by Acts of November, 1753, February, 1759, November, 1766, and 1769; revived (or continued?) by Act of February, 1772, until 1778. Hening, Statutes, IV. 317, 394, 469; V. 28, 160, 318; VI. 217, 353; VII. 281; VIII. 190, 336, 530.
1734, November. New York: Duty Act.
"An act to lay a duty on Negroes & a tax on the Slaves therein mentioned during the time and for the uses within mentioned." The tax was 1s. yearly per slave. Doc. rel. Col. Hist. New York, VI. 38.
1734, Nov. 28. New York: £2 and £4 (?) Duty Act.
"An Act to lay a Duty on the Goods, and a Tax on the Slaves therein mentioned, during the Time, and for the Uses mentioned in the same." Possibly there were two acts this year. Laws of New York, 16911773, p. 186; Doc. rel. Col. Hist. New York, VI. 27.
1735. Georgia: Prohibitive Act.
An "act for rendering the colony of Georgia more defensible by prohibiting the importation and use of black slaves or negroes into the same." W.B. Stevens, History of Georgia, I. 311; [B. Martyn], Account of the Progress of Georgia (1741), pp. 910; Prince Hoare, Memoirs of Granville Sharp (London, 1820), p. 157.
1740, April 5. South Carolina: £100 Prohibitive Duty Act.
"An Act for the better strengthening of this Province, by granting to His Majesty certain taxes and impositions on the purchasers of Negroes imported," etc. The duty on slaves from America was £150. Continued to 1744. Cooper, Statutes, III. 556. Cf. Abstract Evidence on Slave-Trade before Committee of House of Commons, 179091 (London, 1791), p. 150.
1740, May. Virginia: Additional Five per cent Duty Act.
"An Act, for laying an additional Duty upon Slaves, to be paid by the Buyer, for encouraging persons to enlist in his Majesty's service: And for preventing desertion." To continue until July 1, 1744. Hening, Statutes, V. 92.
1751, June 14. South Carolina: White Servants Encouraged.
"An Act for the better strengthening of this Province, by granting to His Majesty certain Taxes and Impositions on the purchasers of Negroes and other slaves imported, and for appropriating the same to the uses therein mentioned, and for granting to His Majesty a duty on Liquors and other Goods and Merchandize, for the uses therein mentioned, and for exempting the purchasers of Negroes and other slaves imported from payment of the Tax, and the Liquors and other Goods and Merchandize from the duties imposed by any former Act or Acts of the General Assembly of this Province."
"Whereas, the best way to prevent the mischiefs that may be attended by the great importation of negroes into this Province, will be to establish a method by which such importation should be made a necessary means of introducing a proportionable number of white inhabitants into the same; therefore for the effectual raising and appropriating a fund sufficient for the better settling of this Province with white inhabitants, we, his Majesty's most dutiful and loyal subjects, the House of Assembly now met in General Assembly, do cheerfully give and grant unto the King's most excellent Majesty, his heirs and successors, the several taxes and impositions hereinafter mentioned, for the uses and to be raised, appropriated, paid and applied as is hereinafter directed and appointed, and not otherwise, and do humbly pray his most sacred Majesty that it may be enacted,
§ 1. "And be it enacted, by his Excellency James Glen, Esquire, Governor in chief and Captain General in and over the Province of South Carolina, by and with the advice and consent of his Majesty's honorable Council, and the House of Assembly of the said Province, and by the authority of the same, That from and immediately after the passing of this Act, there shall be imposed on and paid by all and every the inhabitants of this Province, and other person and persons whosoever, first purchasing any negro or other slave, hereafter to be imported, a certain tax or sum of ten pounds current money for every such negro and other slave of the height of four feet two inches and upwards; and for every one under that height, and above three feet two inches, the sum of five pounds like money; and for all under three feet two inches, (sucking children excepted) two pounds and ten shillings like money, which every such inhabitant of this Province, and other person and persons whosoever shall so purchase or buy as aforesaid, which said sums of ten pounds and five pounds and two pounds and ten shillings respectively, shall be paid by such purchaser for every such slave, at the time of his, her or their purchasing of the same, to the public treasurer of this Province for the time being, for the uses hereinafter mentioned, set down and appointed, under pain of forfeiting all and every such negroes and slaves, for which the said taxes or impositions shall not be paid, pursuant to the directions of this Act, to be sued for, recovered and applied in the manner hereinafter directed."
§ 6. "And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the said tax hereby imposed on negroes and other slaves, paid or to be paid by or on the behalf of the purchasers as aforesaid, by virtue of this Act, shall be applied and appropriated as followeth, and to no other use, or in any other manner whatever, (that is to say) that three-fifth parts (the whole into five equal parts to be divided) of the net sum arising by the said tax, for and during the term of five years from the time of passing this Act, be applied and the same is hereby applied for payment of the sum of six pounds proclamation money to every poor foreign protestant whatever from Europe, or other poor protestant (his Majesty's subject) who shall produce a certificate under the seal of any corporation, or a certificate under the hands of the minister and church-wardens of any parish, or the minister and elders of any church, meeting or congregation in Great Britain or Ireland, of the good character of such poor protestant, above the age of twelve and under the age of fifty years, and for payment of the sum of three pounds like money, to every such poor protestant under the age of twelve and above the age of two years; who shall come into this Province within the first three years of the said term of five years, and settle on any part of the southern frontier lying between Pon Pon and Savannah rivers, or in the central parts of this Province," etc. For the last two years the bounty is £4 and £2.
§ 7. After the expiration of this term of five years, the sum is appropriated to the protestants settling anywhere in the State, and the bounty is £2 13s. 4d., and £1 6s. 8d.
§ 8. One other fifth of the tax is appropriated to survey lands, and the remaining fifth as a bounty for ship-building, and for encouraging the settlement of ship-builders.
§ 14. Rebate of three-fourths of the tax allowed in case of re-exportation of the slaves in six months.
§ 16. "And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, That every person or persons who after the passing this Act shall purchase any slave or slaves which shall be brought or imported into this Province, either by land or water, from any of his Majesty's plantations or colonies in America, that have been in any such colony or plantation for the space of six months; and if such slave or slaves have not been so long in such colony or plantation, the importer shall be obliged to make oath or produce a proper certificate thereof, or otherwise every such importer shall pay a further tax or imposition of fifty pounds, over and besides the tax hereby imposed for every such slave which he or they shall purchase as aforesaid." Actual settlers bringing slaves are excepted.
§ 41. This act to continue in force ten years from its passage, and thence to the end of the next session of the General Assembly, and no longer. Cooper, Statutes, III. 739.
1753, Dec. 12. New York: 5 oz. and 10 oz. plate Duty Act.
"An Act for granting to His Majesty the several Duties and Impositions, on Goods, Wares and Merchandizes imported into this Colony, therein mentioned." Annually continued until 1767, or perhaps until 1774. Laws of New York, 175262, p. 21, ch. xxvii.; Doc. rel. Col. Hist. New York, VII. 907; VIII. 452.
1754, February. Virginia: Additional Five per cent Duty Act.
"An Act for the encouragement and protection of the settlers upon the waters of the Mississippi." For three years; continued in 1755 and 1763; revived in 1772, and continued until 1778. Hening, Statutes, VI. 417, 468; VII. 639; VIII. 530.
1754, July 25. Maryland: Additional 10s. Duty Act.
"An Act for his Majesty's Service." Bacon, Laws, 1754, ch. ix.
1755, May. Virginia: Additional Ten per cent Duty Act.
"An act to explain an act, intituled, An act for raising the sum of twenty thousand pounds, for the protection of his majesty's subjects, against the insults and encroachments of the French; and for other purposes therein mentioned."
§ 10. " ... from and after the passing of this act, there shall be levied and paid to our sovereign lord the king, his heirs and successors, for all slaves imported, or brought into this colony and dominion for sale, either by land or water, from any part [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 on slaves, imported as aforesaid, by an act or acts of Assembly, now subsisting, and also over and above the duty laid by" the Act of 1754. Repealed by Act of May, 1760, § 11, " ... inasmuch as the same prevents the importation of slaves, and thereby lessens the fund arising from the duties upon slaves." Hening, Statutes, VI. 461; VII. 363. Cf. Dinwiddie Papers, II. 86.
1756, March 22. Maryland: Additional 20s. Duty Act.
"An Act for granting a Supply of Forty Thousand Pounds, for his Majesty's Service," etc. For five years. Bacon, Laws, 1756, ch. v.
1757, April. Virginia: Additional Ten per cent Duty Act.
"An Act for granting an aid to his majesty for the better protection of this colony, and for other purposes therein mentioned."
§ 22. " ... from and after the ninth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and fifty-eight, during the term of seven years, there shall be paid for all slaves imported into this colony, for sale, either by land or water, from any port or place whatsoever, by the buyer or purchaser thereof, 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, as aforesaid, by any act or acts of Assembly now subsisting in this colony," etc. Repealed by Act of March, 1761, § 6, as being "found very inconvenient." Hening, Statutes, VII. 69, 383.
1759, November. Virginia: Twenty per cent Duty Act.
"An Act to oblige the persons bringing slaves into this colony from Maryland, Carolina, and the West-Indies, for their own use, to pay a duty."
§ 1. " ... from and after the passing of this act, there shall be paid ... for all slaves imported or brought into this colony and dominion from Maryland, North-Carolina, or any other place in America, by the owner or importer thereof, after the rate of twenty per centum on the amount of each respective purchase," etc. This act to continue until April 20, 1767; continued in 1766 and 1769, until 1773; altered by Act of 1772, q.v. Ibid., VII. 338; VIII. 191, 336.
1760. South Carolina: Total Prohibition.
Text not found; act disallowed by Great Britain. Cf. Burge, Commentaries, I. 737, note; W.B. Stevens, History of Georgia, I. 286.
1761, March 14. Pennsylvania: £10 Duty Act.
"An Act for laying a duty on Negroes and Mulattoe slaves, imported into this province." Continued in 1768; repealed (or disallowed) in 1780. Carey and Bioren, Laws, I. 371, 451; Acts of Assembly (ed. 1782), p. 149; Colonial Records (1852), VIII. 576.
1761, April 22. Pennsylvania: Prohibitive Duty Act.
"A Supplement to an act, entituled 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. 3889.
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. 3456, 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 passing 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 passed again in 1769. Hening, Statutes, VIII. 237, 337.
1766. Rhode Island: Restrictive Measure (?).
Title 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.
Titles 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 Assembly (Allinson, 1776), p. 315.
1769 (circa). Connecticut: Importation Prohibited (?).
Title 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. Massachusetts: Bill to Prevent Importation.
Bill passes both houses and fails of Governor Hutchinson's assent. House Journal, pp. 211, 215, 219, 228, 234, 236, 240, 2423.
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 assenting 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 Assembly (ed. 1782), p. 149.
1774, March, June. Massachusetts: Bills to Prohibit Importation.
Two bills designed to prohibit the importation of slaves fail of the governor's assent. First bill: General Court Records, XXX. 248, 264; Mass. Archives, Domestic Relations, 16431774, IX. 457. Second bill: General Court Records, XXX. 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."
"Provided that the slaves of settlers and travellers be excepted.
"Provided, also, that nothing in this act shall extend, or be deemed to extend, to any negro or mulatto slave brought from the coast of Africa, into the West Indies, on board any vessel belonging to this colony, and which negro or mulatto slave could not be disposed of in the West Indies, but shall be brought into this colony.
"Provided, that the owner of such negro or mulatto slave give bond to the general treasurer of the said colony, within ten days after such arrival in the sum of £100, lawful money, for each and every such negro or mulatto slave so brought in, that such negro or mulatto slave shall be exported out of the colony, within one year from the date of such bond; if such negro or mulatto be alive, and in a condition to be removed."
"Provided, also, that nothing in this act shall extend, or be deemed to extend, to any negro or mulatto slave that may be on board any vessel belonging to this colony, now at sea, in her present voyage." Heavy penalties are laid for bringing in Negroes in order to free them. Colonial Records, VII. 2513.
[1784, February: "It is voted and resolved, that the whole of the clause contained in an act of this Assembly, passed at June session, a.d. 1774, permitting slaves brought from the coast of Africa into the West Indies, on board any vessel belonging to this (then colony, now) state, and who could not be disposed of in the West Indies, &c., be, and the same is, hereby repealed." Colonial Records, X. 8.]
1774, October. Connecticut: Importation Prohibited.
"An Act for prohibiting the Importation of Indian, Negro or Molatto Slaves."
" ... no indian, negro or molatto Slave shall at any time hereafter be brought or imported into this Colony, by sea or land, from any place or places whatsoever, to be disposed of, left or sold within this Colony." This was re-enacted in the revision of 1784, and slaves born after 1784 were ordered to be emancipated at the age of twenty-five. Colonial Records, XIV. 329; Acts and Laws of Connecticut (ed. 1784), pp. 2334.
1774. New Jersey: Proposed Prohibitive Duty.
"A Bill for laying a Duty on Indian, Negroe and Molatto Slaves, imported into this Colony." Passed the Assembly, and was rejected by the Council as "plainly" intending "an intire Prohibition," etc. N.J. Archives, 1st Series, VI. 222.
1775, March 27. Delaware: Bill to Prohibit Importation.
Passed the Assembly and was vetoed by the governor. Force, American Archives, 4th Series, II. 1289.
1775, Nov. 23. Virginia: On Lord Dunmore's Proclamation.
Williamsburg Convention to the public: "Our Assemblies have repeatedly passed acts, laying heavy duties upon imported Negroes, by which they meant altogether to prevent the horrid traffick; but their humane intentions have been as often frustrated by the cruelty and covetousness of a set of English merchants." ... The Americans would, if possible, "not only prevent any more Negroes from losing their freedom, but restore it to such as have already unhappily lost it." This is evidently addressed in part to Negroes, to keep them from joining the British. Ibid., III. 1387.
1776, June 29. Virginia: Preamble to Frame of Government.
Blame for the slave-trade thrown on the king. See above, page 21. Hening, Statutes, IX. 1123.
1776, Aug.-Sept. Delaware: Constitution.
"The Constitution or system of Government agreed to and resolved upon by the Representatives in full Convention of the Delaware State," etc.
§ 26. "No person hereafter imported into this State from Africa ought to be held in slavery on any pretence whatever; and no Negro, Indian, or Mulatto slave ought to be brought into this State, for sale, from any part of the world." Force, American Archives, 5th Series, I. 11749.
1777, July 2. Vermont: Slavery Condemned.
The first Constitution declares slavery a violation of "natural, inherent and unalienable rights." Vermont State Papers, 177986, p. 244.
1777. Maryland: Negro Duty Maintained.
"An Act concerning duties."
" ... no duties imposed by act of assembly on any article or thing imported into or exported out of this state (except duties imposed on the importation of negroes), shall be taken or received within two years from the end of the present session of the general assembly." Laws of Maryland since 1763: 1777, sess. Feb.-Apr., ch. xviii.
1778, Sept. 7. Pennsylvania: Act to Collect Back Duties.
"An Act for the recovery of the duties on Negroes and Mulattoe slaves, which on the fourth day of July, one thousand seven hundred and seventy-six, were due to this state," etc. Dallas, Laws, I. 782.
1778, October. Virginia: Importation Prohibited.
"An act for preventing the farther importation of Slaves.
§ 1. "For preventing the farther importation of slaves into this commonwealth, Be it enacted by the General Assembly, That from and after the passing of this act no slave or slaves shall hereafter be imported into this commonwealth by sea or land, nor shall any slaves so imported be sold or bought by any person whatsoever.
§ 2. "Every person hereafter importing slaves into this commonwealth contrary to this act shall forfeit and pay the sum of one thousand pounds for every slave so imported, and every person selling or buying any such slaves shall in like manner forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred pounds for every slave so sold or bought," etc.
§ 3. "And be it farther enacted, That every slave imported into this commonwealth, contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, shall, upon such importation become free."
§ 4. Exceptions are bona fide settlers with slaves not imported later than Nov. 1, 1778, nor intended to be sold; and transient travellers. Re-enacted in substance in the revision of October, 1785. For a temporary exception to this act, as concerns citizens of Georgia and South Carolina during the war, see Act of May, 1780. Hening, Statutes, IX. 471; X. 307; XII. 182.
1779, October. Rhode Island: Slave-Trade Restricted.
"An Act prohibiting slaves being sold out of the state, against their consent." Title only found. Colonial Records, VIII. 618; Arnold, History of Rhode Island, II. 449.
1779. Vermont: Importation Prohibited.
"An Act for securing the general privileges of the people," etc. The act abolished slavery. Vermont State Papers, 177986, p. 287.
1780. Massachusetts: Slavery Abolished.
Passage in the Constitution which was held by the courts to abolish slavery: "Art. I. All men are born free and equal, and have certain, natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties," etc. Constitution of Massachusetts, Part I., Art. 1; prefixed to Perpetual Laws (1789).
1780, March 1. Pennsylvania: Slavery Abolished.
"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 Constitution, 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 passing 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 space of three whole years next preceding such importation," etc. Laws of Maryland since 1763: 1783, sess. AprilJune, 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 petition of Quakers. Colonial Records, X. 78; 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, 178588 (ed. 1886), pp. 12021.
1785. Rhode Island: Restrictive Measure (?).
Title 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 Assembly 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 Space 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 Assembly (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. 105.
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 passed emancipation 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 Assembly, 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." Title only given. Grimkι, Public Laws, p. lxviii, No. 1485.
1787, March 28. South Carolina: Importation Prohibited.
"An Ordinance to impose a Penalty on any person who shall import into this State any Negroes,contrary to the Instalment Act."
1. "Be it ordained, by the honorable the Senate and House of Representatives, met in General Assembly, and by the authority of the same, That any person importing or bringing into this State a negro slave, contrary to the Act to regulate the recovery of debts and prohibiting the importation of negroes, shall, besides the forfeiture of such negro or slave, be liable to a penalty of one hundred pounds, to the use of the State, for every such negro or slave so imported and brought in, in addition to the forfeiture in and by the said Act prescribed." Cooper, Statutes, VII. 430.
1787, October. Rhode Island: Importation Prohibited.
"An act to prevent the slave trade and to encourage the abolition of slavery." This act prohibited and censured trade under penalty of £100 for each person and £1,000 for each vessel. Bartlett, Index to the Printed Acts and Resolves, p. 333; Narragansett Historical Register, II. 2989.