Law Forum : Black Laws - Black Codes

Discussion in 'Law Forum - Prisons - Gun Ownership' started by Destee, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Destee

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    Black Laws

    Black Laws — What are known as the "Black Laws" in Kansas history were passed by the first territorial legislature in 1855. Holloway (p. 403) says the author of these laws were Joseph C. Anderson, afterward the prosecuting attorney that conducted the cases against the free-state men belonging to Maj. Harvey's command who were captured near Hickory Point in Sept., 1856.

    The objects of these laws were to encourage the introduction of slavery into the Territory of Kansas, and to provide severe penalties for the persons who interfered with slave property. Every one inciting an insurrection or rebellion of slaves in the territory, furnishing arms to slaves or committing "any overt act in furtherance of such rebellion or insurrection," or advising by speech, written or printed matter slaves to rebel, or who would bring into the territory for circulation any book, pamphlet or circular for the purpose of inciting insurrection should suffer the death penalty. Persons enticing slaves away from their masters, or who aided in any way in persuading slaves to leave their owners were subject to imprisonment for ten years. Advising a slave to escape or harboring a runaway slave subjected the offender to imprisonment for five years, and there were some lighter penalties for minor offenses, but the above include the principal features of the so-called "Black Laws." Persons opposed to slavery were disqualified from acting as jurors in the trial of those charged with the violation of the laws.

    http://skyways.lib.ks.us/genweb/archives/1912/b/black_laws.html

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    Black Codes

    "Negroes must make annual contracts for their labor in writing; if they should run away from their tasks, they forfeited their wages for the year. Whenever it was required of them they must present licenses (in a town from the mayor; elsewhere from a member of the board of police of the beat) citing their places of residence and authorizing them to work. Fugitives from labor were to be arrested and carried back to their employers. Five dollars a head and mileage would be allowed such negro catchers. It was made a misdemeanor, punishable with fine or imprisonment, to persuade a freedman to leave his employer, or to feed the runaway. Minors were to be apprenticed, if males until they were twenty-one, if females until eighteen years of age. Such corporal punishment as a father would administer to a child might be inflicted upon apprentices by their masters. Vagrants were to be fined heavily, and if they could not pay the sum, they were to be hired out to service until the claim was satisfied. Negroes might not carry knives or firearms unless they were licensed so to do. It was an offence, to be punished by a fine of $50 and imprisonment for thirty days, to give or sell intoxicating liquors to a negro. When negroes could not pay the fines and costs after legal proceedings, they were to be hired at public outcry by the sheriff to the lowest bidder...."

    "In South Carolina persons of color contracting for service were to be known as "servants," and those with whom they contracted, as "masters." On farms the hours of labor would be from sunrise to sunset daily, except on Sunday. The negroes were to get out of bed at dawn. Time lost would be deducted from their wages, as would be the cost of food, nursing, etc., during absence from sickness. Absentees on Sunday must return to the plantation by sunset. House servants were to be at call at all hours of the day and night on all days of the week. They must be "especially civil and polite to their masters, their masters' families and guests," and they in return would receive "gentle and kind treatment." Corporal and other punishment was to be administered only upon order of the district judge or other civil magistrate. A vagrant law of some severity was enacted to keep the negroes from roaming the roads and living the lives of beggars and thieves."


    Distinction from Jim Crow laws

    The Black Codes of the 1860s are not the same as the Jim Crow laws. The Black Codes were in reaction to the abolition of slavery and the South's defeat in the Civil War. Southern legislatures enacted them in the 1860s. The Jim Crow era began later, nearer to the end of the 19th century. The Jim Crow Laws were after Reconstruction.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Codes_(United_States)


    Destee Note : the above is from wikipedia and says that Black Codes (if that is the same as Black Laws?) were a response to the abolition of slavery, but in the first post abve, it's clear that Black Laws existed prior to 1860, and the supposed abolition of slavery.

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  3. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Black Laws of 1807 (Ohio)

    Black Laws of 1807

    The Ohio legislature passed a series of laws in 1807 to discourage African American migration to the state.

    Although slavery was not allowed in Ohio as part of the Constitution of 1803, most African Americans were not treated as equals to white people in the new state. Many Ohioans had come from Southern states that allowed slavery and were not willing to grant rights to African Americans. Other Ohioans were concerned about economic competition from free blacks who might choose to move to the state. As a result of these sentiments, as early as 1804, Ohio legislators had implemented black laws. The 1807 laws were a continuation of these earlier laws.

    Among other provisions, these laws required black people to prove that they were not slaves and to find at least two people who would guarantee a surety of five hundred dollars for the African Americans' good behavior. The laws also limited African Americans' rights to marry whites and to gun-ownership, as well as to several other freedoms that whites held. The Black Laws and other policies deterred some African Americans from settling in Ohio.

    In the late 1840s, the Black Laws became a political issue once again. Members of the Free Soil Party pushed to have the laws repealed and were partially successful in doing so in 1849. The changes in the laws were accomplished in part because Ohio Democrats backed the Black Laws' repeal in exchange for Free Soil Party support of their candidates in the state legislature.

    http://www.ohiohistorycentral.org/entry.php?rec=1505

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  4. Destee

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    Ohio Black Laws - 1804


    Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio , That from and after the first day of June next. no black or mulatto person shall be permitted to settle or reside in this state, unless he or she shall first produce a fair certificate from some court within the United States, of his or her actual freedom, which certificate shall be attested by the clerk of said court, and the seal thereof annexed thereto, by said clerk.

    Section 2. And be it further enacted , That every black or mulatto person residing within this state, on or before the fifth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and four, shall enter his or her name, together with the name or names of his or her children, in the clerk's office in the county in which he, she or they reside, which shall be entered on record by said clerk, and thereafter the clerk's certificate of such record shall be sufficient evidence of his, her or their freedom; and for every entry and certificate, the person obtaining the same shall pay to the clerk twelve and an half cents. Provided nevertheless , That nothing in this act contained shall bar the lawful claim to any black or mulatto person.

    Section 3. And be it further enacted , That no person or persons residents of this state, shall be permitted to hire, or in any way employ any black or mulatto person, unless such black or mulatto person shall have one of the certificates as aforesaid, under pain of forfeiting and paying any sum not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, at the discretion of the court, for every such offense, one-half thereof for the use of the informer and the other half for the use of the state;and shall moreover pay to the owner, if any there be, of such black or mulatto person, the sum of fifty cents for every day he, she or they shall in any wise employ, harbour or secret such black or mulatto person, which sum or sums shall be recoverable before any court having cognizance thereof.

    Section 4. And be it further enacted , That if any person or persons shall harbour or secret any black or mulatto person, the property of any person whatever, or shall in any wise hinder or prevent the lawful owner or owners from retaking and possessing his or her black or mulatto servant or servants, shall, upon conviction thereof, by indictment or information, be be fined in any sum not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, at the discretion of the court, one-half thereof for the use of the informer and the other half for the use of the state.

    Section 5. And be it further enacted , That every black or mulatto person who shall come to reside in this state with such certificate as is required in the first section of this act, shall, within two years, have the same recorded in the clerk's office, in the county in which he or she means to reside, for which he or she shall pay to the clerk twelve and an half cents, and the clerk shall give him or her a certificate of such record.

    Section 6. And be it further enacted , That in case any person or persons, his or their agent or agents, claiming any black or mulatto person that now are or hereafter may be in this state, may apply, upon making satisfactory proof that such black or mulatto person or persons is the property of him or her who applies, to any associate judge or justice of the peace within this state, the associate judge or justice is hereby empowered and required, by his precept, to direct the sheriff or constable to arrest such black or mulatto person or persons and deliver the same in the county or township where such officers shall reside, to the claimant or claimants or his or their agent or agents, for which service the sheriff or constable shall receive such compensation as they are entitled to receive in other cases for similar services.

    Section 7. And be it further enacted , That any person or persons who shall attempt to remove, or shall remove from this state, or who shall aid and assist in removing, contrary to the provisions of this act, any black or mulatto person or persons, without first proving as hereinbefore directed, that he, she or they, is or are legally entitled so to do, shall, on conviction thereof before any court having cognizance of the same, forfeit and pay the sum of one thousand dollars, one-half to the use of the informer and the other half to the use of the state, to be recovered by action of debt, qui tam , or indictment, and shall moreover be liable to the action of the party injured.

    http://afroamhistory.about.com/library/blohio_blacklaws.htm

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  5. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    South Carolina Black codes and Jim Crow Laws

    After the Civil War, white Southerners moved quickly to eliminate black people's newfound freedom. They wanted to return blacks, in effect, to their prewar status as slaves. In order to do this "legally," they passed new laws that appeared, on the surface, to be neutral and fair to all races. In actuality however, these laws were actually designed specifically to repress black people.

    At first these laws were called Black Codes, but because of their deceptive nature, they eventually came to be known as the laws of Jim Crow.

    South Carolina began to establish Black Codes immediately. The Constitution of 1865, passed only a few months after the Civil War ended, failed to grant African-Americans the right to vote. It also retained racial qualifications for the legislature. Consequently, black people had no power to combat the unfair laws. Some of the Black Codes that were passed around this time stated:

    • "No person of color shall migrate into and reside in this state, unless, within twenty days after his arrival within the same, he shall enter into a bond with two freeholders as sureties"

    • "Servants shall not be absent from the premises without the permission of the master"

    • Servants must assist their masters "in the defense of his own person, family, premises, or property"

    • No person of color could become an artisan, mechanic, or shopkeeper unless he obtained a license from the judge of the district court – a license that could cost $100 or more.


    http://www.sciway.net/afam/reconstruction/blackcodes.html

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    http://www.civilwarhome.com/blackcodes.htm

    Black Codes - Louisiana

    The Black Codes were not the result of a brief lapse in judgment on the part of Southern legislatures or the work of extremists but rose, rather, out of the famous grassroots is indicated by an ordinance passed immediately after the war in the small town of Opelousas, Louisiana; it stated that

    • No negro or freedmen shall be allowed to come within the limits of the town of Opelousas without special permission from his employers. . . . Whoever shall violate this provision shall suffer imprisonment and two days work on the public streets, or pay a fine of five dollars."

    • Any Negro found on the streets of the town after ten o'clock in the evening had to work for five days on the public streets or pay a $5 fine.

    • No negro or freedman shall be permitted to rent or keep a house within the limits of the town under any circumstances. . . .

    • No negro or freedman shall reside within the limits of the town . . . who is not in the regular service of some white person or former owner. . . .

    • No public meetings or congregations of negroes or freedmen shall be allowed within the limits of the town. . . .

    • No negro or freedman shall be permitted to preach, exhort, or otherwise declaim to congregations of colored people without a special permission from the mayor or president of the board of police.. ..

    • No freedman ... shall be allowed to carry firearms, or any kind of weapons....

    • No freedman shall sell, barter, or exchange any article of merchandise within the limits of Opelousas without permission in writing from his employer In the parish of St. Landry

    • Every negro [is] to be in the service of some white person, or former owner. ...


    A section of the Louisiana code stipulated that "every adult freed man or woman shall furnish themselves with a comfortable home and visible means of support within twenty days after the passage of this act," and anyone failing to do so "shall be immediately arrested by any sheriff or constable . . . and . . . hired out . . . to some citizen, being the highest bidder, for the remainder of the year." Laborers under contract were not allowed to keep livestock, and all time spent away from the job was to be charged against them at the rate of $2 a day, to be worked out at the end of the contract period. An earlier Louisiana law required that all agricultural workers "make contracts for labor during the first ten days of January for the entire year." In the case of sickness the laborer lost his wages for the days absent, "and where the sickness is supposed to be feigned for the purpose of idleness, double the amount shall be deducted.


    Black Codes - Alabama

    In Alabama the Black Codes stipulated that it was the duty of all "Civil officers" of a county to report "the names of all minors whose parents have not the means, or who refuse to support said minors." They (minors) might be treated in the same way, arrested, fined, and then sentenced to work off their fines. In bidding for the services of "said minor . . . the former owner . . . shall have preference."

    In Mobile unemployed blacks, those who had no "fixed residence or [could not] give a good account of themselves," were required by another section of the code "to give security for their good behavior for a reasonable time and to indemnify the city against any charge for their support In the event they could not meet this requirement, they were, again, "to be confined to labor for a limited time, not exceeding six calendar months . . . for the benefit of said city."

    Also in Alabama, municipalities were authorized to "restrain and prohibit the nightly and other meetings or disorderly assemblies of all persons and to punish for such offences by fixing penalties not exceeding fifty dollars for any one offence Again if the accused were not able to pay the fine, he or she might be sentenced to labor for a period of time not exceeding six months.


    Black Codes - Florida

    The laws of Florida resembled those of Alabama but were, if anything, more severe since a vagrant might be hired out for twelve months. No "negro, mulatto, or person of color" was allowed in Florida and most other Southern states to "keep any bowie-knife, dirk, sword, firearms, or ammunition" without a license. A black owning any weapon "of any kind" had to surrender his arm or arms to the informer, "stand in the pillory ... for one hour, and then [be] whipped with thirty-nine lashes on the bare back." The same penalty might be invoked for "any person of color . . . who shall intrude himself into any religious or other public assembly of white persons or into any railroad-car or other vehicle set apart for the accommodation of white persons."


    Black Codes - South Carolina

    The South Carolina legislature decreed that no black man "shall pursue the practice, art, trade or business of an artisan, mechanic, or shopkeeper, or any other trade or employment besides that of husbandry, or that of a servant under contract for labor, until he shall have obtained a license from the judge of the district court, which license shall be good for one year only." A black shopkeeper or peddler had to pay $100 a year for a license. If a black man under contract for his labor left or was fired before the end of his contract time, he must "forefeit his wages for that year up to the time of quitting." Moreover, any person "giving or selling to any deserting freedman, free negro, or mulatto, any food, raiment, or other things shall be guilty of a misdemeanor" punishable by a fine of up to $200, and be subject to suit by the employer. In virtually every instance the inability to pay a fine would result in a sentence to labor for a period ranging from six months to a year.

    In addition, poll taxes were imposed in every state, ranging in amount from Georgia's $1 per head on every man between the ages of twenty-one and sixty to $2 in Alabama on every person between the ages of eighteen and fifty, and to $3 in Florida. A black man could not buy or rent land except in a city. South Carolina required that a black man pay an exorbitant fee to engage in trade or open a store. Nor, in that state, could he serve on juries. Unemployment was treated as a crime, and the unemployed could be sentenced to work without pay.

    White Southerners were determined to force freed blacks to work for them on the terms and under the conditions they prescribed. They were determined to dominate their ex-slaves almost as completely as they had dominated them under the institution of slavery itself. There was nothing about the simple fact of emancipation to alter, in the slightest degree, the white image of the black man or woman.

    While the Black Codes of Virginia and North Carolina were less severe than those of the other Southern states and while in Tennessee the effort to pass such a code was defeated by Unionists, the critical point is that the South did not believe them to be in any way harsh or unfair.

    http://www.civilwarhome.com/blackcodes.htm

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  7. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Black Code

    In U.S. history, any of numerous laws enacted in the states of the former Confederacy after the American Civil War and intended to assure the continuance of white supremacy. Enacted in 1865 and 1866, the laws were designed to replace the social controls of slavery that had been removed by the Emancipation Proclamation and the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution.

    The black codes enacted immediately after the American Civil War, though varying from state to state, were all intended to secure a steady supply of cheap labour, and all continued to assume the inferiority of the freed slaves. There were vagrancy laws that declared a black to be vagrant if unemployed and without permanent residence; a person so defined could be arrested, fined, and bound out for a term of labour if unable to pay the fine. Apprentice laws provided for the “hiring out” of orphans and other young dependents to whites, who often turned out to be their former owners. Some states limited the type of property blacks could own, and in other states blacks were excluded from certain businesses or from the skilled trades. Former slaves were forbidden to carry firearms or to testify in court, except in cases concerning other blacks.

    http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/67722/black-code


    Destee Note : this is probably the first historical mention of "black orphans" i've ever seen, and based on the above, they were "hired out" to whites for free / cheap labor. We can imagine they were used for sex and all types of vile things folk could think of.

    Also, the above is from Britannica Encyclopedia and they actually use the term "white supremacy."


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  8. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Black Codes - Texas

    In Texas the Eleventh Legislature produced these codes in 1866. The intent of the legislation was to reaffirm the inferior position that slaves and free blacks held in Texas and to regulate black labor.

    The state required railroads to provide separate accommodations for blacks, thus establishing the precedent for segregation in public facilities. An education law specifically excluded blacks from sharing in the public school fund. The state's homestead law prohibited the distribution of public land to blacks.

    Laws designed to reestablish control over black workers were more complex, since the legislature faced the problem of securing this goal without restoring slavery. qv The result was a set of interrelated statutes that gave local authorities and landowners the ability to coerce free labor with the threat of forced labor.

    The first law passed to accomplish the legislature's goal was the apprentice law. This act made possible the apprenticing of minors, either with parental consent or through the order of the county court.

    http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/BB/jsb1.html

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  9. Destee

    Destee destee.com STAFF

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    Black Codes "Colonial America" 1619 - 1776

    All of colonial America was a slave society, and as such it took measures to minimize the threat of slave uprisings by keeping slaves subservient. To that end, by the early 1700s each colony had enacted laws- later referred to as Black Codes- that not only regulated the conditions of black slaves but also restricted the rights of free blacks. The middle of the 18th century found slavery to be firmly established, both physically and legally, in the American colonies.

    There were laws stipulating that slaves would serve for life, unless freed by their owner, and that any offspring of a slave woman was also a lifelong slave. Black slaves and free blacks alike could not vote, testify in court against a white person, or marry a white person. Slaves were allowed neither to carry arms nor to leave their homes without written permission.

    Since white colonial Americans considered the existence of free blacks to exert a harmful influence on their enslaved kinsmen, they enacted laws that discouraged manumission (the freeing of slaves). Some colonies required legislative approval before a slave could be freed and further ordained that any manumitted slave be required to leave the colony within six months. Slaves or free blacks faced severe punishment if any dared to challenge the authority of white colonists.

    Fascinating Fact: White colonists came to view slavery as a natural condition for blacks. Elaborate justifications for black slavery, based on Biblical as well as racial "research" would eventually be concocted by white slave owners.

    http://civilwar.bluegrass.net/SlaveryAndEmancipation/blackcodes.html

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    Mississippi Black Code

    The status of the Negro was the focal problem of Reconstruction. Slavery had been abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment, but the white people of the South were determined to keep the Negro in his place, socially, politically, and economically. This was done by means of the notorious "Black Codes," passed by several of the state legislatures.


    Apprentice Law

    Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi, that it shall be the duty of all sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other civil officers of the several counties in this state to report to the Probate courts of their respective counties semiannually, at the January and July terms of said courts, all freedmen, free Negroes, and mulattoes under the age of eighteen within their respective counties, beats, or districts who are orphans, or whose parent or parents have not the means, or who refuse to provide for and support said minors; and thereupon it shall be the duty of said Probate Court to order the clerk of said court to apprentice said minors to some competent and suitable person, on such terms as the court may direct, having a particular care to the interest of said minors:

    Provided, that the former owner of said minors shall have the preference when, in the opinion of the court, he or she shall be a Suitable person for that purpose.

    Section 2. Be it further enacted, that the said court shall be fully satisfied that the person or persons to whom said minor shall be apprenticed shall be a suitable person to have the charge and care of said minor and fully to protect the interest of said minor. The said court shall require the said master or mistress to execute bond and security, payable to the state of Mississippi, conditioned that he or she shall furnish said minor with sufficient food and clothing; to treat said minor humanely; furnish medical attention in case of sickness; teach or cause to be taught him or her to read and write, if under fifteen years old; and will conform to any law that may be hereafter passed for the regulation of the duties and relation of master and apprentice:

    Provided, that said apprentice shall be bound by indenture, in case of males until they are twenty-one years old, and in case of females until they are eighteen years old.

    Section 3. Be it further enacted, that in the management and control of said apprentices, said master or mistress shall have power to inflict such moderate corporeal chastisement as a father or guardian is allowed to inflict on his or her child or ward at common law.

    Section 9. Be it further enacted, that it shall be lawful for any freedman, free Negro, or Mulatto having a minor child or children to apprentice the said minor child or children as provided for by this act.

    Section 10. Be it further enacted, that in all cases where the age of the freedman, free Negro, or mulatto cannot be ascertained by record testimony, the judge of the county court shall fix the age.


    Penal Code

    Section 1. Be it enacted by the legislature of the state of Mississippi, that no freedman, free Negro, or mulatto not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk, or Bowie knife; and, on conviction thereof in the county court, shall be punished by fine, not exceeding $10, and pay the costs of such proceedings, and all such arms or ammunition shall be forfeited to the informer; and it shall be the duty of every civil and military officer to arrest any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto found with any such arms or ammunition, and cause him or her to be committed for trial in default of bail.

    Section 2. Be it further enacted, that any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto committing riots, routs, affrays, trespasses, malicious mischief, cruel treatment to animals, seditious speeches, insulting gestures, language, or acts, or assaults on any person, disturbance of the peace, exercising the function of a minister of the Gospel without a license from some regularly organized church, vending spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or committing any other misdemeanor t e punishment of which is not specifically provided for by law shall, upon conviction thereof in the county court, be fined not less than $10 and not more than $100, and may be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days.

    Section 3. Be it further enacted, that if any white person shall sell, lend, or give to any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto any firearms, dirk, or Bowie knife, or ammunition, or any spirituous or intoxicating liquors, such person or persons so offending, upon conviction thereof in the county court of his or her county, shall be fined not exceeding $50, and may be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days:

    Provided, that any master, mistress, or employer of any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto may give to any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto apprenticed to or employed by such master, mistress, or employer spirituous or intoxicating liquors, but not in sufficient quantities to produce intoxication.

    Section 4. Be it further enacted, that all the penal and criminal laws now in force in this state defining offenses and prescribing the mode of punishment for crimes and misdemeanors committed by slaves, free Negroes, or mulattoes be and the same are hereby reenacted and declared to be in full force and effect against freedmen, free Negroes, and mulattoes, except so far m the mode and manner of trial and punishment have been changed or altered by law.

    Section 5. Be it further enacted, that if any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto convicted of any of the misdemeanors provided against in this act shall fail-or refuse, for the space of five days after conviction, to pay the fine and costs imposed, such person shall be hired out by the sheriff or other officer, at public outcry, to any white person who will pay said fine and all costs and take such convict for the shortest time.


    http://chnm.gmu.edu/courses/122/recon/code.html


    Destee Note : again we see mention of orphans and/or minors, made available to white people, to work for free.

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