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sons, as well negroes and mulattoes as others, who shall be born within this State from and after the passing of this act shall not be deemed and considered as servants for life or slaves; and that all servitude for life or slavery of children in consequence of the slavery of their mothers, in the case of all children born within this State from and after the passing of this act as aforesaid, shall be and hereby is utterly taken away, extinguished, and forever abolished." 4. Provides that negro and mulatto children born after this act, shall be servants until twenty-eight years of age, to be in the condition of servants bound by indenture. 5. Requires all slaves to be registered.* 6. Owners liable for support, unless emancipating before they arrive at twenty-eight years. 7. Negroes to be tried like other inhabitants. 8. Slave sentenced to death to be appraised. 9. Reward for taking runaway negroes the same as in case of white servants. 10. None to be deemed slaves but those registered," and "except the domestic slaves attending upon Del
by removing as much as possible the sorrows of those who have lived in undeserved bondage, and from which, by the assumed authority of the kings of Great Britain, no effectual legal ief could be obtained. Weaned, by a long course of experience from those narrow prejudices and partialities we had imbibed, we find our hearts enlarged with kindness and benevolence towards men of all conditions and nations; and we conceive ourselves at this particular moment extraordinarily called upon, by the blessings which we have received, to manifest the sincerity of our profession and to give a substantial proof of our gratitude."
Sec. 2. "And whereas the condition of those persons who have heretofore been denominated negro and mulatto slaves has been attended with circumstances which not only deprived them of the common blessings that they were by nature entitled to, but has cast them into the deepest afflictions, by an unnatural separation and sale of husband and wife from each other and from their children, an injury the greatness of which can only be conceived by supposing that we were in the same unhappy case. In justice, therefore, to persons so unhappily circumstanced, and who, having no prospect before them whereon they may rest their sorrows and their hopes, have no reasonable inducement to render their services to society, which they otherwise might, and also in grateful commemoration of our own happy deliverance from that state of unconditional submission to which we were doomed by the tyranny of Britain," &c., &c.
1 Kauffman v. Oliver (1849), 10 Barr, 516, per Coulter, J., "From that time [the passage of this act] Pennsylvania has been deemed and taken as a free State, and as such assented to the compact of Union."
2 Respublica v. Negro Betsy, 1 Dallas, 469.
* Miller v. Dwilling, 14 S. & R. 422. The child of a servant until the age of twenty-eight years cannot be held to servitude for the same period and on the same conditions as its mother, who was the daughter of a registered slave. Comm. v. Holloway, 2 S. & R. 305, the child born in Pennsylvania of a woman slave, fugitive from another State, is free-born and not liable to service for the twenty-eight years.
egates in Congress from the other American States, foreign ministers and consuls, and persons passing through or sojourning in this State and not becoming resident therein, and seamen employed in ships not belonging to any inhabitant of this State nor employed in any ship owned by any such inhabitant. Provided, such domestic slaves be not aliened or sold to any inhabitant nor (except in the case of members of Congress, foreign ministers and consuls) retained in this State longer than six months." 11. Provided, that this act "shall not give any relief or shelter to any absconding or runaway negro or mulatto slave or servant who has absented himself or shall absent himself from his or her owner, master or mistress residing in any other State or country, but such owner, &c., shall have like right and aid to demand, claim, and take away his slave or servant as he might have had in case this act had not been made." (Repealed by law of 1826.) 12, 13. To prevent evasions of this act by bringing in negroes to serve for long terms, enacts that no covenant of service be good for more than seven years, &c. 14. Repeals the colonial acts of 1705, for the trial of negroes; of 1725, for the regulating, &c.; of 1761 and 1773, for laying duties on negroes imported.
An exception to the operation of this act as made by an act of 1781 (Carey & Bioren, ch. 942), relating to persons compelled by the enemy to take refuge within the State; and another by act of 1782, as to registry in certain border counties."
1785.-An act relating to German servants imported and their indentures, 3 Carey & Bioren, c. 1151.'
1788.-An act to explain and amend the act of 1780. 3 Carey & Bioren, c. 1334, reciting abuses, provides, sec. 1, that slaves brought in by persons intending to reside shall be free.
1 Comm. ex. rel. Lewis v. Holloway, 2 Binney 213, the privilege in the case of members of Congress is not limited to the time in which Congress is in session.
* Pennsyl. v. Blackmore (1796), Addison's R. 283, noteworthy as showing the temper of the time; a case under this statute.
In Resp. v. Keppel, 2 Dallas, 197, S. C., 1 Yeates, 233, the difference between the condition of indentured servants and apprentices is laid down by the court, holding that a resident minor cannot be bound out to serve generally, without reference to his learning some trade. See also the distinction in Altemus v. Ely, 3 Rawle, 305.
* In Belt v. Dalby (1786), 1 Dallas, 167, the court maintained the slavery of one
2. Slaves or servants not to be removed out of the State without their consent, testified by two justices, under penalty. 3. Persons having children liable to serve until twenty-eight years must make entry. 5. Vessels employed in the slave trade declared liable to forfeiture. Penalty for building, &c., for that trade. 6. Parents and children, husbands and wives, being slaves or servants for years, not to be separated more than ten miles. Penalty for forcibly carrying away a servant or slave.' (This sec. repealed by act of 1826.)
1790.—A new Constitution, art. III. sec. 1. "In elections by the citizens, every freeman of the age," &c., shall enjoy the right of an elector. Art. IX. is a Bill of Rights, in the same terms as in the first Constitution.
1820.-An act to prevent kidnapping. Bioren's laws, c. 4858. Sec. 1. Declares that the offence of taking away or seducing, &c., to places out of this Commonwealth, &c., “any negro or mulatto," with intent to keep, &c., such person "as a slave, or servant for years," shall be a felony punishable by fine and imprisonment. 2. Declares the offence of selling such with intent, &c. 3. "That no alderman or justice of the peace of this Commonwealth shall have jurisdiction or take cognizance of the case of any fugitive from labor from any of the United States or Territories, under a certain act of Congress," &c. (referring to the act of 1793), "nor shall any alderman or justice of the peace of this Commonwealth issue or grant any certificate or warrant of removal of any such fugitive from labor as aforesaid upon the application, affidavit, or testimony of any person or persons whatsoever, under the said act of Congress or under
who had been brought into the State in 1784, after the act for the gradual abolition of slavery. This case is important as explaining the legal basis of slavery in Pennsylvania. A poor-law act of 1803, Bioren's L. c. 2357, contains provisions as to the settlement of slaves and servants. An act of 1821, Bioren's ed. c. 5071, that a person bringing in an indentured black or colored servant above twentyeight years shall be liable for the maintenance. Similar is sec, 26 of a poor-law of 1836. Dunlop's Dig. c. 444.
1 Respublica v. Richards (1795), 2 Dallas, 224, the defendant was indicted for forcibly removing a negro brought from Virginia by his owner. The court held that the enactment did not apply to persons in that position. A fortiori, it would not include fugitive slaves. But it is to be noticed that this case was decided in view of the local law alone (act of 1780, § 10), which then recognized the right of
any other law, authority, or act of the Congress of the United States." Any alderman or justice so acting, declared guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fine. 4. That it shall be the duty of any judge or recorder of any court of record of the Commonwealth, when he grants or issues any certificate or warrant of removal of any negro or mulatto claimed to be a fugitive from labor, to the State or territory from which he or she fled-referring to the act of Congresshe shall make a record to be filed in the "office of the clerk of the General Quarter Sessions of the peace," &c.
1825-6, Sess. L. c. 50. An act to give effect to the provisions of the Constitution of the United States relative to fugitives from labor, for the protection of free people of color, and to prevent kidnapping. Sec. 1, 2, are re-enactments of sec. 1 and 2 of the foregoing. 3. Directing the mode of proceeding to recover persons claimed as fugitives, directs issuing of a warrant by any judge, justice of the peace or alderman, returnable before the judge, if issued by one; returnable, if issued by a justice of the peace or alderman, before “ a judge of the court of Common Pleas or of the District Court, as the case may be, of your proper county, or recorder of a city." 4. Of the evidence necessary when application for a warrant is made by an agent. 5. Duty of the judge, &c., to make a record of the application and file the same. 6. The judge before whom the warrant is returnable, may, on being shown to his satisfaction that the person claimed is, &c., give a certificate, which shall be a warrant to remove him. Provided "that the oath of the owner or owners or other persons interested shall in no case be received in evidence." 7. Fugitive to be committed to jail, when party not prepared for trial. 8. Fees. 9. Forbids aldermen and justices of the peace to take jurisdiction of these cases under the law of Congress. 10. Requires the record to be filed as in the preceding act. 11. Declares sec. 11 of the act of 1780, and sec. 7 of the act of 1788, to be supplied and repealed by this act."
1 The words of the writ prescribed by this statute.
* This act, with those of 1780, 1788, are given in the special verdict in Prigg's case, 16 Peters, 543-556, where this statute was held to be unconstitutional.
1826-7, Sess. L. No. 196. An act to prevent certain abuses of the laws relative to fugitives from labor, recites that persons alleged to be slaves of persons in other States are sold here as slaves, &c., enacts that all sales hereafter made of any fugitives from service or labor, being at the time of sale in this State, shall be void, and that if any person under pretence of such sale shall seize or remove from the State any fugitive so sold, it shall be punishable by fine of $500.'
1838. An amended Constitution. Art. III. sec. 1, "In elections by the citizens every white freeman of the age," &c. (and no mention is made of any others), shall be entitled to vote. Art. IX. is a Bill of Rights like the former.
1847, March 3. An act to prevent kidnapping, preserve the public peace, prohibit the exercise of certain powers heretofore exercised by judges, justices of the peace, aldermen, and jailors in this Commonwealth, and to repeal certain slave laws. Sec. 1. Declares the punishment of the offence of taking, &c., away from the State by fraud or violence, or enticing by fraud or false pretence, any negro, &c. 2. Re-enacts the act of 1826-7, also declaring such sale punishable by fine and imprisonment. 3. Forbids any alderman or justice of the peace to act under the law of 1793, and declares any so acting guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by fine and removal. 4. That "if any person or persons claiming any negro or mulatto as fugitive from servitude or labor shall under any pretence of authority whatsoever, violently and tumultuously
1 In Kauffman v. Oliver (1849), 10 Barr, 516, error from the Common Pleas; held that an action at common law does not lie in this State for harboring runaway slaves or for aiding them to escape from their owners; that on the authority of Prigg's case the State law of 1826-7, so far as it applies to fugitive slaves, is inoperative, and the State judges should not act under the law of Congress, such action being contrary to the policy of the State as indicated by its legislation.
2 In Hobbs v. Fogg, 6 Watts, 553, on a negro's claim to vote in 1835, held that the term freeman" is used in a political sense in this clause, and does not designate one who is free of condition merely; that a negro cannot be in Pennsylvania a freeman in this sense. Chief Justice Gibson delivering the opinion, credits the report of a decision in 1795, that negroes could not vote. He also seemed to think that their capacity in this respect might be affected by the Constitution of the United States, p. 560:-" Yet it is proper to say that sec. 2 of art. 4 of the Federal Constitution presents an obstacle to the political freedom of the negro which seems to be insuperable. It is to be remembered that citizenship as well as freedom is a constitutional qualification, and how it could be conferred so as to overbear the laws imposing countless disabilities on him in other States is a problem of difficult solution." See remark on this case post in Ch. xxIII.