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4to, p. 105. "Whereas by the Constitution of this State, all the subjects of this Commonwealth, of whatever color, are equally entitled to the inestimable blessings of freedom, unless they have forfeited the same by the commission of some crime, and the idea of slavery is expressly and totally exploded from our free government. And, whereas instances have happened of the former owners of negro slaves in this Commonwealth making sale of such persons as slaves, notwithstanding their being liberated by the Constitution, and attempts been made to transport such persons to foreign parts in open violation of the laws of the land," prohibits, under penalty in money for the benefit of the party. This act does not appear in the Digest of 1808. It appears to have been repealed with the revision of the laws at the admission of the State,' being supposed to conflict with the fugitive-slave provision. See Tyler, J., in Selectmen of Windsor v. Jacob, 2 Tyler's Vt. R. 199.
1797.-Nov. 4. An act adopting the common law of England and declaring that all persons shall be equally entitled to the benefit and privilege of law and justice. Dig. of 1808, p. 51. Sec. 1. Adopts the common law, so far as applicable, &c. 2. "All the citizens of the United States shall within this State, or Commonwealth, be equally entitled to the privileges of law and justice with the citizens of this State." 3. "That no person's body shall be restrained or imprisoned unless by authority of law." R. S. of 1840, p. 177.
1828. Constitution amended by the declaration," No person who is not already a freeman of this State shall be entitled to exercise the privileges of a freeman, unless he be a natural born citizen of this or some one of the United States, or until he shall have been naturalized, agreeably to the acts of Congress."
1840, c. 8. An act to extend the right of trial by jury. Sec. 1. "Whenever an alleged fugitive from service or labor to which he is held under the laws of other States, shall have escaped into this State, the claim to the services of such alleged
1 Acts of Congress, Feb. 18, 1791. An act for the admission of the State of Vermont into this Union, 1 Stat. U. S. 191. 2 B. & D. 193, and Mar. 2, 1791, an act giving effect to the Laws of the United States within the State of Vermont, 1 Stat. U. S. 197. 2 B. & D. 201.
fugitive, his identity and the fact of his having escaped from another of the United States into this State shall be determined by a jury." 2-4. Proceedings: and that on verdict for the claimant a certificate shall be granted. 5. If the verdict be against the claimant, the alleged fugitive shall not be again arrested on the same claim, and to remove him shall be kidnapping. 6. State's attorney to advise and assist the alleged fugitive. 7. Who shall have subpoenas at public expense. 8. Bond required of the claimant before making the arrest. 9, 10. To remove contrary to this act is made a misdemeanor; under penalty. 11. Declared not to apply to master and apprentice. This act is repealed by the act of 1843.
1843, c. 15. An act for the protection of personal liberty. Sec. 1. Courts and magistrates acting under the authority of the State are forbidden to act under sec. 3 of the act of Congress of Feb. 12, 1793. 2. Officers and citizens are prohibited from aiding in seizing, or detaining in any State or county jail, any person claimed as a fugitive slave. 3. Sheriffs, &c., forbidden to assist in the removal of any fugitive slave. 4, 5. Penalty on judge, sheriff, &c., for violation of these provisions, in a fine not exceeding $1,000, or imprisonment not exceeding five years. Proviso, that this shall not extend to judges, marshals, &c., of the United States. 6. Repeals the act of 1840.1
1850, c. 16. An act relating to the writ of habeas corpus, to persons claimed as fugitive slaves, and the right of trial by jury. Sec. 1 and 7. Enlarging the jurisdiction of the circuit judges. 2. State's attorneys directed to defend fugitive slaves. 3. Issuing of writ regulated. 4. All judicial and executive officers required to give notice to State's attorney of any expected arrest. 5. Appeal to county court from judge in vacation. 6. The court to allow a trial by jury of all facts at issue between the parties on application of either party.
These two statutes are in ch. 101 of Compiled Laws, entitled Rights of persons claimed as fugitive slaves.
By R. S. of 1840, p. 177, §§ 72-74; and Compiled St. of 1850, 232, §§ 17-19, any two justices of the peace may issue warrant to apprehend and convey to the State line, to be delivered up, a person against whom criminal process may have been issued in another State. No special power appears to have been given to the Executive.
1854, c. 52. An act for the defence of liberty and for the punishment of kidnapping. Sec. 1. "Every person who shall falsely and maliciously declare, represent, or pretend that any free person within the State is a slave or owes service or labor to any person or persons with intent to procure, or to aid or assist in procuring, the forcible removal of such free person from this State as a slave," is declared punishable by fine and imprisonment. Claim of apprenticeship for time not included. 2. Declaration of slavery "shall not be deemed proved except by testimony of at least two credible witnesses testifying to facts directly leading to establish the truth of," &c. Declares false representations, &c., punishable by fine and imprisonment. 3. Depositions not to be received on trial. 4. Punishment for resisting the enforcement of this act.
1858, c. 37. An act to secure freedom to all persons within this State. Sec. 1. "No person within this State shall be considered as property, or subject as such to sale, purchase or delivery; nor shall any person within the limits of this State at any time be deprived of liberty or property without due process of law. 2. Due process of law mentioned in the preceding section of this act shall in all cases be defined to mean the usual process and form in force by the laws of this State, and issued by the courts thereof; and under such process such person shall be entitled to a trial by jury. 3. Whenever any person in this State shall be deprived of liberty, arrested or detained, on the ground that such person owes service or labor to another person not an inhabitant of this State, either party may claim a trial by jury; and in such case challenges shall be allowed to the defendant," agreeably, &c. 4. Every person who shall deprive or, &c., any other person of his or her liberty, contrary to these provisions, declared punishable by fine and imprisonment. 5. African descent no disqualification from citizenship of the State. 6. "Every person, who may have been held as a slave, who shall come or be brought or be in this State, with or without the consent of his or her master or mistress, or who shall come or be brought or be involuntarily, in any way, in this State shall be free." 7. "Every person who shall hold or attempt to hold, in this State, in slavery or as a
slave, any person mentioned as a slave in the sixth section of this act, or any free person, in any form, for any time, however short, under the pretence that such person is or has been a slave, shall, on conviction thereof, be imprisoned in the State prison for a term not less than one year nor more than fifteen years, and be fined not exceeding two thousand dollars."
$549. LEGISLATION OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT.'
1777, Oct. An act discharging owners, emancipating slaves, from liability for their support in certain cases. See Rev. of 1808, p. 625.
1784.—In a revision of the laws, edited at this date, after the colonial charter of Charles II., the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation, is "An act containing an abstract and declaration of the rights and privileges of the people of this State, and securing the same." In this, after a preamble, which is in the nature of public constitutional law, it is further enacted, "that no man's life shall," &c., &c., as in the Fundamentals; and also, "that all the free inhabitants of this or any other of the United States of America, and foreigners in amity with this State, shall enjoy the same justice and law within this State which is general for the State, in all cases proper for the cognizance of the civil authority and courts of judicature within the same, and that without partiality or delay."
In the same revision, p. 9, under title, Arrests and impris onments, the law respecting the disposing of debtors in service
See vol. I., p. 273.
* This preamble is as follows:-The people of this State, being by the Providence of God free and independent, have the sole and exclusive right of governing themselves as a free, sovereign and independent State; and having from their ancestors derived a free and excellent Constitution of government, whereby the legislature depends on the free and annual election of the people, they have the best security for the preservation of their civil and religious rights and liberties, “and for as much as the free fruition," &c. (as in the colonial Fundamentals, ante, I. 258, 268). But, enacted and declared by the governor, council and representatives in general court assembled and by the authority of the same, that the ancient form of civil government contained in the charter from Charles the Second, king of England, and adopted by the people of this State, shall be and remain the civil Constitution of this State under the sole authority of the people thereof, independent of any king or prince whatever; and that this republic is and shall forever be and remain a free, sovereign and independent State, by the name of the State of Connecticut." Laws, folios 1784-1793, T. Green, New London.
is modified by a provision that the "court shall have power to
In declaring who shall be freemen, no distinction of
1788. An act to prevent the slave trade. Sec. 1. Provides
The same revision, p. 110.-An act respecting persons who have committed crimes in other States and, to escape from justice, flee into this State. "That if any person or persons that have been convicted of crime in any other State, for which facts corporal punishment might be inflicted if committed in this State, and (before he or they have received condign punishment) shall escape and flee into this State, or having committed any such crime, and being pursued by the order of authority to bring him or them to justice, such offenders may be apprehended by order of the authority, and if on examination before lawful authority and inquiry into the matter it shall appear that such person or persons have been convicted and have escaped, or are flying from prosecution as aforesaid, he or they may be remanded back and delivered to the authority or officers of the State from which such escape is made, in order," &c.