Black History Fact Of The Day: The Fugitive Slave Law

Red, Black & Green Elsie Law LogoOn this day, February 12, in 1793, The United States Congress passed the first fugitive slave law to be added to the Constitution. This law allowed any slave owner to appear before a magistrate and declare that their slave had escaped. The slave owner could make this declaration orally or in writing, and an order would be issued for the arrest of the slave. Upon capture, the “slave” would not be allowed to deny the “owner’s” claims, or attempt to prove that he or she had “earned their freedom.” They would just be punished and enslaved.

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Elsie Law’s Dose Of The Law: Slave Trade Act of 1788

PhotobucketAccording to Wikipedia, “The Slave Trade Act 1788, also known as Dolben’s Act, was an Act of Parliament which placed limitations of the number of people that British slave ships could transport. Dutch ships were not subject to restrictions on the number of slaves they could carry.”

The fact that the slave trade was “legally” regulated internationally is further proof of how complicit governments were in the slave trade. A clear argument for reparations.

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Elsie Law’s Dose Of The Law: The Code Noir

Photobucket“The French empire in the West Indies was built on sugar production and the labor of enslaved Africans. The Code Noir, a French legal code, regulated slavery in the West Indies. Though it was never made law in Canada, New France’s slaveholders applied the Code Noir when they thought it necessary. In 1685, when the Code was applied to the French West Indies, the governor of New France, the Marquis de Denonville, thought it might as well be applied in New France. Canada’s colonial officials therefore used the Code Noir to give legal foundation to slavery. Under the Code Noir, slaves were declared “movable,” that is, personal property, in the same category as livestock, furniture, and trade goods. The Code Noir regulated other aspects of slave life, such as relations between master and slave, the status of slave children, slave marriages, and so forth.

An important clause of the Code was that all slaves were to be baptized and instructed in the Catholic faith.” -From, “The Hanging of Angelique” By: Afua Cooper

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