« PreviousContinue »
COMMUTATION OF PUNISIMENT. ACT of May 10, 1740. Grimke's Public Laws, 167. 385. Sec. XVI. Be it enacted, &c. That it shall and may be whe lawful to and for the justices who shall pronounce sentence gistrate may against such slaves, by and with the advice and consent of the pital freeholders as aforesaid, * if several slaves shall receive sentence ment at one time, to mitigate and alter the sentence of any slave, other than such as shall be convicted of the homicide of a white person, who they shall think may deserve mercy, and may inflct such corporal punishment (other than death) on any such slave, as *See No. 379, they in their discretion shall think fit, any thing herein contained cas to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding.
Provided, That one or more of the said slaves who shall be convicted of the crimes or offences aforesaid, where several are concerned, shall be executed for example, to deter others from offending in the like kind.
> Slave executa
COMPENSATION FOR SLAVE EXECUTED. ACT of May 10, 1740. Grimke's Public Laws, 167. 386. Sec. XVIII. And to the end that owners of slaves may not be tempted to conceal the crimes of their slaves, to the preju- ed to be dice of the public; Be it enacted, That in case any slave shall previously be put to death, in pursuance of the sentence of the justices and freeholders aforesaid, (except slaves guilty of murder, and slaves taken in actual rebellion) the said justices, or one of them, with the advice and consent of any two of the freeholders, shall, before they award and order their sentence to be executed, appraise and value the said negroes so to be put to death, at any sum not exceeding two hundred pounds current money, and shall certify such appraisement to the public treasurer of this province, who is hereby authorized and required to pay the same; one moiety thereof at least to the owner of such slave, or to his order, and the other moiety, or such part thereof as such justices and freeholders shall direct, to the person injured by such offence for which such slave shall suffer death.
who shall conceal any
CONCEALING SLAVES ACCUSED. ACT of May 10, 1740. Grimke's Public Laws, 168. 387. Sec. xx. In case the master or other person having Any person charge or government of any slave who shall be accused of any of capital crine, shall conceal or convey away any such slave, so slave, accus. that he cannot be brought to trial and condign punishment, tal crime, 'to every master or other person so offending, shall forfeit the sum forfeit, &ć. of £250 current money, if such slave be accused of a capital crime as aforesaid ; but if such slave shall be accused of a crime not capital, then such master or other person, shall only forfeit the sum of fifty pounds current money.
ed of a capi.
cution of all
orders of justices on
ACT of May 10, 1740. Grimke's Public Laws, 168. 388. Sec. XXI. And be it further enacted, That all and every
the constable and constables in the several parishes within this Constables province, where any slave shall be sentenced to suffer death, or to cause exe- other punishment, shall cause execution to be done of all the sentences, or orders, warrants, precepts and judgments of the justices hereby
appointed to try such slaves; for the charge and trouble of trial of which the said constable or constables, respectively shall be paid,
unless in such cases as shall appear to the said justices and freeholders to be malicious or groundless prosecutions, in which cases the said charges shall be paid by the prosecutors, for whipping or other corporal punishment not extending to life, the sum of twenty shillings, and for any punishment extending to life, the sum of five pounds current money, and such other charges for keeping and maintaining such slaves, as are allowed to the warden of the work-house in Charleston, for keeping and maintaining any slave committed to his custody; for the levying of which charges against the prosecutor, the justice or justices are hereby empowered to issue their warrant. And that po delay may happen in causing execution to be done upon such offending
slave or slaves, the constable who shall be directed to cause exeEmpowered cution to be done, shall be and is hereby empowered to press one
or more slave or slaves, in or near the place where such whipping or other corporal punishment shall be inflicted, to whip or inflict such other corporal punishment upon the offender or offenders; and such slave or slaves so pressed shall be obedient to and observe all the orders and directions of the constable, in and about the premises, upon pain of being punished by the said constable, by whipping on the bare back not exceeding twenty lashes; which punishment the said constable is hereby authorized and empowered to inflict; and the constable shall, if he presses a negro, pay the said negro five shillings, out of his fee, for doing the said execution.
389. Sec. Li. If any constable or other person directed or
required to do or perform any matter or thing required, comConstable or manded or enjoined by this act,* who shall know or be credibly other person informed of any offence which shall be committed against this not giving information act, within his parish, precincts or limits, and shall not give
information thereof to some justice of the peace, and endeavour the conviction of the offenders, according to his duty ; but such constable or other person as aforesaid, or any person lawfully called in aid of the constable, or such other person as aforesaid, shall wilfully and wittingly omit the performance of his duty in
the execution of this act, and shall be thereof convicted, he shall Grimke's... forfeit for every such offence the suin of twenty pounds current
to press slaves.
Public Laws, 163.
CRUELTY TO SLAVES, ÀCT of May 10, 1740. Grimke's Public Laws, 173. 390. Sec. XXXVII. And be it enacted, &c. And in case any Penalty for person or persons shall wilfully cut out the tongue, put out the any cruelly eye, castrate, or cruelly scald, burn, or deprive any slave of any slaves. limb or member, or shall inflict any other cruel punishment, other than by whipping or beating with a horse-whip, cow-skin, switch or small stick, or by putting irons on, or confining or imprisoning such slave: every such person shall for every such offence, forfeit the sum of one hundred pounds current money.
391, Sec. XXXIX. And whereas by reason of the extent and distance of plantations in this province, the inhabitants are far removed from each other; and many cruelties may be committed on slaves, because no white person may be present to give evidence of the same, unless some method be provided for the better discovery of such offence; and as slaves are under the government, so they ought to be under the protection of masters and managers of plantations; Be it further enacted, That if any slave shall suffer in life, limb or member, or shall be maimed, beaten or abused, contrary to the directions and true intent and when meaning of this act, when no white person shall be present, or white person being present shall neglect or refuse to give evidence, or be exa- preseat. mined upon oath concerning the same; in every such case, the owner or other person who shall have the care and government of such slave, and in whose possession or power such slave shall be, shall be deemed, taken, reputed and adjudged to be guilty of such offence, and shall be proceeded against accordingly, without further proof; unless such owner or other person as aforesaid, can make the contrary appear by good and sufficient evidence, or shall by his own oath, clear and exculpate himself; which oath every court where such offence shall be tried, is hereby empowered to administer, and to acquit the offender accordingly, if clear proof of the offence be not made by two witnesses at least; any law, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding
392. Sec. 1. Be it enacted, That from and after the passing of this act, it shall and may not be lawful for any person what- fawn to be soever, to shoot or kill any doe or fawn between the first day of killed be.
tween the 1st January and the last day of July, which shall be in any year ; January and nor to shoot or kill any buck, between the first day of Septem- last o ber and the last day of October, and between the first day of March and the last day of April, in any year. [The act pro- be killed beceeds to make the penalty for so killing any buck, doe or fawn, a tween 1st
su September & sum of two pounds proclamation money.] And if any servant last of Oct. or slave, by command of his or her master, mistress or overseer, and last day shall so shoot or kill any deer as aforesaid, the party giving such of April. command, shall be liable to the like penalties respectively : And
No huck to
& 1st March Penalty,
if such servant or slave, cannot prove such command (by a white person ticket in writing from his or her master, mistress or overseer) he offending. or she shall receive, by order of such justice of the peace, for
every such offence, twenty lashes on the bare back, unless secuoffending, rity be given for the payment of the fine, within one month after punishment. such conviction.* (See No. 405.]
393. Sec. 1. Be it therefore enacted, &c. That no slave shall Legislature hereafter be emancipated, but by act of the Legislature. [See emancipate. No. 406.
EVIDENCE ON TRIAL OF SLAVES AND FREE PER
SONS OF COLOUR. ACT of May 10, 1740. Grimke's Public Laws, 166. Evidence of 394. SEC. Xuli. And for the preventing the concealment of and slaves crimes and offences committed by slaves, and for the more effect
th: ual discovery and bringing slaves to condign punishment, Be it
enacted, that not only the evidence of all free Indians without oath, but the evidence of any slave without oath shall be allowed and admitted, in all causes whatsoever, for or against another slave accused of any crime or offence whatsoever, the weight of which evidence being seriously considered, and compared with
without oath, against slave
* This act being intended to put a stop to the dangerous and wasteful practice of killing deer, merely for the skins, leaving the carcases to perish, provides in the other parts of the above clause that its penalties shall not affect persons killing deer at any time in their own inclosed premises, or for their necessary subsistence.
+ This act wholly prohibits the emancipation of slaves. But as questions are daily arising as to the freedom of slaves, it is necessary to state generally the previously existing condition, of such persons and the mode of emancipation previously admitted. The act of 1740 acknowledges the freedom of certain persons, therein, specially referred to. It also prescribes, (See claiming Freedom,) the mode in which the right of freedom shall be claimed and established. But it says nothing as to the power of owners to emancipate their slaves. On this point, therefore, we are brought down to the 7th, 8th and 9th clauses of the Act of Assembly, 1800, Šee Faust's Collection, vol. 2, pp. 355, 6 and 7,) which prescribes the following form, &c. to be observed, viz. “ That every owner wishing to emancipate a slave, shall signify his intention to a justice of the quorum, who shall summon to his assistance five indifferent freeholders of the neighbourhood, which court so formed, shall have the slave brought before them, and examine the master personally upon oath, as to the character of the said slave, and his or her ability to gain an honest livelihood, and upon the satisfaction of the said court, as to the affirmative of these questions, it shall give a certificate thereof; and that the deed of emancipation, and the certificate afore. said, attested by the clerk of the court of the district, shall be recorded in the office of the said clerk, within six months, and a copy thereof be delivered in ten days after execution to the person so manumitted, otherwise to be of no effect." This provision, however, is declared, to be of no effect upon manumissions by Will.
all other circumstances attending the case, shall be left to the conscience of the justices and freeholders.
395. Sec. xiv. And whereas slaves may be harboured and encouraged to commit offences, and concealed and received by Against free
negroes, &c. free negroes; and such free negroes may escape the punishment due to their crimes, for want of sufficient and legal evidence against them: Be it enacted, that the evidence of any free Indian or slave without oath, shall in like manner be allowed and admitted in all cases, against any free negroes, Indians, (free Indians in amity with this government only excepted) mulatto or mustizo, and all crimes and offences committed by free negroes, Indians, (except as hefore excepted) mulattoes or mustizos, shall be proceeded in, heard, tried, adjudged and determined by the justices and freeholders appointed by this act for the trial of slaves, in like manner, order and form as is hereby directed and appointed for the proceedings and trial of crimes and offences committed by slaves, any law, statute, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
396. Sec. xix. And the said justices, or any of them, are hereby authorised, empowered and required to summon and compel Magistrates
to compel at all persons whatsoever, to appear and give evidence upon the tendance of trial of any slave; and if any person shall neglect or refuse to w
witnesses. appear, or appearing, shall refuse to give evidence, or if any master or other person who has the care and government of any slave, shall prevent or hinder any slave under his charge or goyernment, from appearing or giving evidence in any matter depending before the justices and freeholders aforesaid, the said justices may, and they are hereby fully empowered and required to bind every such person offending as aforesaid, by recognizance, with one or more sufficient sureties, to appear at the next general sessions, to answer such their offences and contempt, and for default of finding sureties, to commit such offender to prison.
EXECUTION OF SLAVES. · 397. [See Nos. 388, 389.]
FINES AND PENALTIES. ACT of May 10, 1740. Grimke's Public Laws, 174. 398. Sec. LI. And in case any justice of peace, warden of the work-house, or freeholder, shall wilfully or wittingly omit Justice of the performance of his duty in the execution of this act, every holder and such justice of the peace and warden of the work-house shall for feit the sum of £40 current money, and every such freeholder neglecting shall forfeit the sum of £15 current money ; which several penalties shall be recovered and disposed of as hereafter is directed. And moreover, the judges and justices of the court of general sessions of the peace, oyer and terminer, assize and general gaol delivery, are hereby commanded and required to give the offences against this act in charge, in open court; and all grand juries,
warden of work house