Slave Codes of Maryland in year 1671



Slave codes of Maryland as recorded in Blake's History of Slavery, 1857.

In 1663, the subject of slavery also attracted the notice of the Maryland legislature. It was provided, by the first section of an act now passed, that "all negroes and other slaves within this province, and all negroes and other slaves to be hereafter imported into this province, shall serve during life; and all children born of any negro or other slave, shall be slaves, as their fathers were, for the term of their lives."

Fugitive Slaves Fleeing from the Maryland Coast to an Underground Railroad Depot in Delaware, 1850

Fugitive Slaves Fleeing from the Maryland Coast to an Underground Railroad Depot in Delaware, 1850
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The second section recited that "divers free-born English women, forgetful of their free condition, and to the disgrace of our nation, do intermarry with negro slaves;" and for deterring from such "shameful matches," it enacts that, during their husbands' life, white women so intermarrying shall be servants to the masters of their husbands, and that the issue of such marriages shall be slaves for life.

In 1671 as act passed by Maryland encouraging the importation of slaves.

Tall Ship the Kalmar Nyckel, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA

Tall Ship the Kalmar Nyckel, Chesapeake Bay, Maryland, USA
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The attempt in Maryland to prevent the intermarriage of whites and black seems not to have proved very successful. The preamble to a new act on this subject recited that such matches were often brought about the the "instigation, procurement, or connivance of the master or mistress," who thus availed themselves of the provisions of the former law to prolong the servitude of their female servants, and , at the same time, to raise up a new brood of slaves. To remedy this evil, all white female servants intermarrying with negro slaves were to be declared free at once, and their children also; but the minister celebrating the marriage, and the master or mistress promoting or conniving at it, were subjected to a fine of ten thousands pounds of tobacco.

More state codes in right hand column.

Read Massachusetts code after slave codes of Maryland.







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