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(1804) Ohio Black Codes

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio , That from and after the first day of June next. no black or mulatto person shall be permitted to settle or reside in this state, unless he or she shall first produce a fair certificate from some court within the United States, of his or her actual freedom, which certificate shall be attested by the clerk of said court, and the seal thereof annexed thereto, by said clerk.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted , That every black or mulatto person residing within this state, on or before the fifth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and four, shall enter his or her name, together with the name or names of his or her children, in the clerk’s office in the county in which he, she or they reside, which shall be entered on record by said clerk, and thereafter the clerk’s certificate of such record shall be sufficient evidence of his, her or their freedom and for every entry and certificate, the person obtaining the same shall pay to the clerk twelve and an half cents. Provided nevertheless, That nothing in this act contained shall bar the lawful claim to any black or mulatto person.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That no person or persons residents of this state, shall be permitted to hire, or in any way employ any black or mulatto person, unless such black or mulatto person shall have one of the certificates as aforesaid, under pain of forfeiting and paying any sum not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, at the discretion of the court, for every such offense, one-half thereof for the use of the informer and the other half for the use of the state and shall moreover pay to the owner, if any there be, of such black or mulatto person, the sum of fifty cents for every day he, she or they shall in any wise employ, harbour or secret such black or mulatto person, which sum or sums shall be recoverable before any court having cognizance thereof.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted , That if any person or persons shall harbour or secret any black or mulatto person, the property of any person whatever, or shall in any wise hinder or prevent the lawful owner or owners from retaking and possessing his or her black or mulatto servant or servants, shall, upon conviction thereof, by indictment or information, be fined in any sum not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars, at the discretion of the court, one-half thereof for the use of the informer and the other half for the use of the state.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted , That every black or mulatto person who shall come to reside in this state with such certificate as is required in the first section of this act, shall, within two years, have the same recorded in the clerk’s office, in the county in which he or she means to reside, for which he or she shall pay to the clerk twelve and an half cents, and the clerk shall give him or her a certificate of such record.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted , That in case any person or persons, his or their agent or agents, claiming any black or mulatto person that now are or hereafter may be in this state, may apply, upon making satisfactory proof that such black or mulatto person or persons is the property of him or her who applies, to any associate judge or justice of the peace within this state, the associate judge or justice is hereby empowered and required, by his precept, to direct the sheriff or constable to arrest such black or mulatto person or persons and deliver the same in the county or township where such officers shall reside, to the claimant or claimants or his or their agent or agents, for which service the sheriff or constable shall receive such compensation as they are entitled to receive in other cases for similar services.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted , That any person or persons who shall attempt to remove, or shall remove from this state, or who shall aid and assist in removing, contrary to the provisions of this act, any black or mulatto person or persons, without first proving as hereinbefore directed, that he, she or they, is or are legally entitled so to do, shall, on conviction thereof before any court having cognizance of the same, forfeit and pay the sum of one thousand dollars, one-half to the use of the informer and the other half to the use of the state, to be recovered by action of debt, qui tam, or indictment, and shall moreover be liable to the action of the party injured.


“The Book of Negroes” is a series of documents listing persons of African ancestry who were evacuated from the United States at the end of the American Revolution. One copy is held with the Guy Carlton Papers in The National Archives of Great Britain in &hellip Read More (1783) The Book of Negroes

Benjamin Banneker’s Letter to Thomas Jefferson, August 19, 1791 SIR, I AM fully sensible of the greatness of that freedom, which I take with you on the present occasion a liberty which seemed to me scarcely allowable, when I reflected on that distinguished and dignified &hellip Read More (1791) Benjamin Banneker’s Letter to Thomas Jefferson


(1866) Texas Black Codes

CHAPTER LIX.
An Act to amend an Act entitled an Act to establish a Code of Criminal Procedure for the State of Texas, approved August 26th, 1866, and to repeal certain portions thereof.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That Article 143 of the above named Code, be so amended as to hereafter read as follows :
. . . 3rd. Persons of color shall not testify, except where the prosecution is against a person who is a person of color or where the offence is charged to have been committed against the person or property of a person of color. . . .

SEC. 3. That this Act take effect and be in force fro and after its passage.
Approved October 26th, 1866.

CHAPTER LXXX.
An Act regulating Contracts for Labor.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That all persons desirous of engaging as laborers for a period of one year or less, may do so under the following regulations :
All contracts for labor for a longer period than one month shall be made in writing, and in the presence of a Justice of the peace, County Judge, County Clerk, Notary Public, or two disinterested witnesses, in whose presence the contract shall be read to the laborers, and, when assented to, shall be signed in triplicate b both parties, and shall then be considered binding, for the time therein prescribed.

SEC. 2. Every laborer shall have full and perfect liberty to choose his or her employer, but when once chosen, they shall be allowed to leave their place of employment, until the fulfillment of their contract, unless by consent of their employer, or on account of harsh treatment or breach of contract on the part of the employer, and if they do so leave without cause or permission, they shall forfeit all wages earned to the time of abandonment.

SEC. 3. One copy of the contracts, above provided for, shall be deposited with the Clerk of the County Court of the county in which the employer resides and the Clerk shall endorse thereon, filed, giving the date, and signing his name officially the contract then shall have the force and effect of an authentic act, and be conclusive evidence of the intent of the parties thereto : but all disputes arising between the arties shall be decided before a court of competent jurisdiction, and said court shall have power to enforce the same.

SEC. 4. The Clerk of the County Court shall enter, in a well bond book kept for that purpose, a regular and alphabetical index to the contracts filed, showing the name of the employer, and the employed, the date of filing, and the duration of the contract, which book, together with the contracts filed, shall, at all times, be subject to the examination of every person interested, without fee. The Clerk shall be entitled to demand from the party filing such contract, a fee of twenty-five cents, which shall be full compensation of all services required under this Act.

SEC. 5. All labor contracts shall be made with the heads of families they shall embrace the labor of all the members of the family named therein, able to work, and shall be binding on all minors of said families.

SEC. 6. Wages due, under labor contracts, shall be a lien upon one-half of the crops, second only to liens for rent, and not more than one-half of the crops shall be removed from the plantation, until such wages are fully paid.

SEC. 7. All employers, willfully fully failing to comply with their contract, shall, upon conviction, be fined in amount double that due the laborer, recoverable before any court of competent jurisdiction, to be paid to the laborer, and any inhumanity, cruelty, or neglect of duty, on the part of the employer, shall be summarily punished by fines, within the discretion of the court, to be aid to the inured party provided, that this shall not be so construed as a remission of any penalty, now inflicted by law, for like offences.

SEC. 8. In case of sickness of the laborer, wages for the time lost shall be deducted, and, when the sickness is feigned, for purposes of idleness and also, on refusal to work according to contract, double the amount of wages shall be deducted for the time lost and, also, when rations have been furnished, and should the refusal to work continue beyond three days, the offender shall be reported to a Justice of the Peace or Mayor of a town or city and shall be forced to labor on roads, streets and other public works, without pay, until the offender consents to return to his labor.

SEC. 9. The labor of the employee shall be governed b the terms stipulated in the contract he shall obey all proper orders of his employer or his agent, take proper are of his work-mules, horses, oxen, stock of all character and kind also, all agricultural implements and employers shall have the right to make a reasonable deduction from laborers’ wages for injuries done to animals or agricultural implements committed to their care, or for bad or negligent work. Failing to obey reasonable orders, neglect of duty, leaving home without permission, impudence, swearing or indecent language to, or in the presence of the employer, his family or agent, or quarrelling and fighting with one another, shall be deemed disobedience. For any disobedience, a fine of one dollar shall be imposed on, and paid by the offender. For all lost time from work hours, without permission from the employer or his agent, unless in case of sickness, the laborer shall be fined twenty-five cents per hour. For all absence from home without permission, the laborer will be fined at the rate of two dollars per day fines to be denounced at the time of the delinquency. Laborers will not be required to labor on the Sabbath, except to take necessary care of stock, and other property on the plantation or to do necessary cooking or household duties, unless by special contract for work of necessity. For all thefts of the laborer from the employer, of agricultural products, hogs, sheep, poultry, or any other property of the employer, or willful destruction of property, or injury the laborer shall pay the employer double the amount of the value of the property stolen, destroyed or injured, one-half to be paid to the employer, and the other half to be placed in the general fund, provided for in this section, No live stock shall be allowed to laborers without the permission of the employer. Laborers shall not receive visitors during work hours. All difficulties arising between the employer and laborers under this section, shall be settled, and all fines imposed by the former if not satisfactory to the laborer, and appeal may be had to the nearest Justice of the Peace, and two free holders, citizens, one of said citizens to be selected by employer, and the other by the laborer and all fines imposed, and collected under this section shall be deducted from wages due, and shall be placed in a common fund to be divided among the other laborers employed on the place at the time when their wages fall due, except as herein provided and where there are no other laborers employed, the fines and penalties imposed shall be paid into the County Treasury, and constitute a fund for the relief of the indigent of the county.

SEC. 10. Laborers, in the various duties of the household, and in all the domestic duties of the family, shall, at all hours of the day or night, and on all days of the week, promptly answer all calls, and obey and execute all lawful orders and commands of the family, in whose service they are employed, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract and any failure or refusal by the laborer to obey, as herein provided, except in case of sickness, shall be deemed disobedience, within the meaning of this Act. And it is the duty of this class of laborers to be especially civil and polite to their employer, his family and guests, and they shall receive gentle and kind treatment. Employers, and their families, shall after ten o’clock at night, and on Sundays, make no calls on their laborers, nor enact any service of them which exigencies of the household or family do not make necessary or unavoidable.

SEC. 11. That for gross misconduct on the part of the laborer, such as disobedience, habitual laziness, frequent acts of violation of their contracts, or the laws of the State, they may be dismissed by their employer nevertheless the laborer shall have the right to an appeal to a Justice of the Peace, and two freeholders, citizens of the county, one of the freeholders to be selected by him or herself, and the other by his or her employer, and their decision shall be final.

SEC. 12. That all laws and parts of laws contrary to or conflicting with the provisions of this Act be, and are hereby repealed, and that this Act take effect from after its passage.
Approved November 1st, 1866.

CHAPTER LXXXII.
An Act to provide for the punishment of persons for tampering with, persuading or enticing away harboring, feeding or secreting laborers or apprentices, or for employing laborers or apprentices under contract of service to other persons.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That any person who shall persuade, or entice away from the service of an employer, any person who is under a contract of labor to such employer, or any apprentice, who is bound as such, from the service of his master, or who shall feed, harbor, or secrete, any such person under contract, or apprentice who has left the employment of employer or master, without the permission of such employer or master, the person or persons so offending shall be liable in damages to the employer or master, and shall, upon conviction, be punished by fine, in a sum not exceeding five hundred dollars, nor less than ten dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail, or house of correction, for not more than six months or by both such fine and imprisonment.

SEC. 2. Any person who shall employ any laborer or apprentice who is, at the time of such employment, under contract, for any period of time, to any other person and before such time of service shall have elapsed, so as to deprive such first employer or the master of such apprentice, of the services of such laborer or apprentice, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, before any Court of competent jurisdiction, shall be punished by a fine of not less that ten, nor more than five hundred dollars, for each and every offence, or by imprisonment in the county jail or house of correction, for a period not exceeding thirty days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and shall be liable in damages to the party injured.

SEC. 3. Any person who shall discharge from his employment any laborer or apprentice,
during the term of service agreed upon between such employer and such laborer or apprentice, or, at the expiration of such term of service shall, upon the request of such laborer or apprentice, give to him or her a written certificate of discharge an, upon refusal to do so, shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one hundred dollars.

SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the Judges of the District Courts to give this Act specially in charge to the Grand Jury at each term of their respective Courts.
Approved November 1st, 1866.

An Act establishing a General Apprentice Law, and defining the obligations of Master or Mistress and Apprentice.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That it shall be lawful for any minor to be bound as an apprentice, by his or her father, mother or guardian, with their consent, entered of record in the office of the Clerk of the county of which the minor is a resident, or without such consent, if the minor, being fourteen years of age, agree in open Court to be so apprenticed Provided, There be no opposition thereto by the father or mother of said minor.

SEC. 2. It shall be the duty of all Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, and other civil officers of the several counties of the State, to report to the Judge of the County Court of their respective counties, at any time, al indigent or vagrant minors, within their respective counties or precincts, and, also, all minors whose parent or parents have not the means, or who refuse to support said minors and thereupon, it shall be the duty of the County Judge to apprentice said minor to some suitable or competent person, on such terms as the Court may direct, having particular care to the interest of said minor.

SEC. 3. All indentures of apprenticeship shall be approved by the County Judge and entered of record in the office of the County Clerk of the county of which the minor apprenticed is a resident and the County Judge shall have exclusive jurisdiction of all causes of action growing out of the relation of master or mistress and apprentice.

SEC. 4. The term of apprenticeship of every minor, under this Act, shall be until the minor attains the age of twenty-one years, unless sooner married Provided, That in all cases where the age of the minor cannot be ascertained by record, or other satisfactory testimony, the Judge of the County Court shall fix the same.

SEC. 5. It shall be the duty of the County Judge, upon making the order of apprenticeship, to require the master or mistress to give bond, in such sum as he may direct, with one or more good and sufficient sureties, payable to the County Judge and his successors in office, conditioned that he or she shall furnish said minor sufficient food and clothing—to treat said minor humanely—to teach or cause to be taught him or her some specified trade or occupation—to furnish medical attendance in case of sickness, and for general and faithful compliance with the terms stipulated in the indentures as to education, &c. and, in default of the master o mistress to comply with the stipulations of his or her bond suit may be instituted by the father, mother or guardian of the
minor or by the County Judge, upon the same, for all damages sustained and such damages , when recorded, shall be applied to the use and benefit of the apprentice, under such regulations as may be prescribed by the County Judge.

SEC. 6. That in the management and control of an apprentice, the master or mistress shall have power to inflict such moderate corporeal chastisement as may be necessary and proper.

SEC. 7. That if any apprentice shall run away from, or leave the employ of his master or mistress, without permission, said master or mistress may pursue and recapture said apprentice, and bring him before any Justice of the Peace of the county, whose duty it shall be to remand said apprentice to the service of his master or mistress and, in the event of a refusal on the part of said apprentice to return, then said Justice shall commit said apprentice to the county jail, on failure to give bond for appearance, at the next term of the County Court and it shall be the duty of the County Judge, at the next regular term thereafter, to investigate said cause, and, if the Court shall be of opinion that said apprentice left the employment of his master or mistress without good and sufficient cause, to order him to receive such punishment as may be provided by the vagrant laws then in force, until said apprentice agrees to return to his employment Provided, That the Court may grant continuances, as in other cases And further provided, That if the Court shall be of opinion that said apprentice has god cause to quit said employment, the Court shall discharge said apprentice from his indentures of apprenticeship.

SEC. 8. That in case any master or mistress of any apprentice may desire, he or she shall have the privilege to summon his or her apprentice to appear before the County Court of the county in which the parties may reside, and, on good and sufficient cause being shown to said Court, and on proof that said apprentice will not be injured thereby, shall be released from all liability, as a master or mistress of such apprentice, and his bond canceled.

SEC. 9. It shall not be lawful for any apprentice, bound under the provisions of this Act, to reside out of the county, in the office of which, the terms of indenture are required to be recorded, without the written order of the County Judge, entered of record in the Clerk’s office of the County Court of such county when such leave is obtained, a certified copy of the order, authorizing the same, shall be filed for record in the office of the Clerk of the County Court of the county wherein the residence is to be and the County Judge of that county shall have plenary power to hear and adjudicate al causes of action between the said master or mistress and apprentice, as fully as the County Judge of the county wherein the indentures of apprenticeship were originally recorded.

SEC. 10. Any apprentice who shall be removed out of the bounds of the county having original jurisdiction of the same, by his master or mistress, or with his knowledge or consent, without leave first obtained from the County Judge, and shall be retained thereout for a longer period than thirty days, shall be retained thereout for a longer period than thirty days, shall not be held liable for a further compliance with his indentures, and can only be retained by the master or mistress at the pleasure of said apprentice.

SEC. 11. Any person who shall, knowing and willfully, entice away an apprentice, or conceal or harbor a deserving apprentice, shall upon conviction thereof, pay to the master or mistress, five dollar ($5.00) per day, for each day said apprentice is so absent, or concealed from his master or mistress, and shall likewise be held liable for all damages proved to have been sustained by the master or mistress, on account of such willful concealing, harboring or enticing away, to be recovered by suit, before any Court having jurisdiction of the same.

SEC. 12. The County Judge shall have power to hear and determine and grant all orders and decrees, as herein provided, as well in vacation as in term time Provided, That, in all applications for apprenticeship, ten days public notice, as in case of guardianship, shall be given, and no minor shall be apprenticed except at a regular term of said Court.
Approved October 27th, 1866.

CHAPTER XCII.
An Act to prohibit the carrying of Fire-Arms on premises or plantations of any citizen without the consent of the owner.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That it shall not be lawful for any person or persons to carry fire-arms on the enclosed premises or plantation of any citizen without the consent of the owner or proprietor other than in the lawful discharge of a civil or military duty and any person or persons so offending shall be fined a sum not less than one nor more than ten dollars or imprisonment in the county jail not less than one day nor more than ten days, or both, in the discretion of the Court or jury before whom the trial is had.
Approved November 6, 1866.

CHAPTER CIII.
An Act requiring Railroad Companies to provide convenient accommodations for Freedmen.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That from and after the passage of this act, every Railroad Company heretofore incorporated, or which may hereafter be incorporated, by the Legislature of this State, shall be required to attach to each passenger train run by said Company, one car for the special accommodation of Freedmen.
Approved November 6, 1866.

CHAPTER CXXVIII.
An Act to define and declare the rights of persons lately known as Slaves, and Free Persons of Color.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That all persons heretofore known as slaves, and free persons of color, shall have the right to make and enforce contracts, to sue and be sued, to inherit, purchase, lease, hold, sell, and convey real, personal and mixed estate to make wills and testaments, and to have and enjoy the rights of personal security, liberty, and private property, and all remedies and proceedings for the protection and enforcement of the same and there shall be no discrimination against such persons in the administration of the criminal laws of this State.

SEC. 2. That all laws and parts of laws relating to persons lately held as slaves, or free persons of color, contrary to, or in conflict with, the provisions of this act, be and the same are herby repealed Provided, nevertheless, that nothing herein shall be so construed as to repeal any law prohibiting the inter-marriage of the white and black races, nor to permit any other than white men to serve on juries, hold office, vote at any election, State, county, or municipal Provided, further, that nothing herein contained shall be so construed as to allow them to testify, except in such cases and manner as is prescribed in the Constitution of the State.
Approved November 10th, 1866.

CHAPTER CLXVI.
An Act authorizing the Board of Managers of the Lunatic Asylum to purchase from David L. Cross certain land therein name for the use of said Institution for the benefit of Insane Negroes.

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That the Board of Managers of the Lunatic Asylum, be, and they are hereby authorized to purchase fro David L. Cross twenty-six acres of land, with the improvements thereon, on which is situated the residence of said Cross, contiguous to said Asylum, which may be used for the accommodation of insane persons of African descent—if, in the judgment of said Board of Managers, it is expedient to make said purchase, and so to use the same for the purposes herein provided.

SEC. 2. That the sum of ten thousand dollars is hereby appropriated out of any money in the Treasury not otherwise appropriated, for the purchase as aforesaid, and for the making of the necessary improvements and changes in the buildings on said grounds, to adapt the same to the purposes herein intended to be expended under the supervision and direction of the Board of Managers.

SEC. 3. That this Act take effect from its passage.
Approved November 12th, 1866.

CHAPTER CLXXXVI.
An Act to revive and amend an Act entitled “An Act to provide for the organization of the Militia of the State of Texas.”

SECTION 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Texas, That every able-bodied free white male inhabitant of this State between the ages of eighteen and forty-five years, shall be liable to perform military duty . . . .
Approved November 13th, 1866.


Contents

International and trade context Edit

Codes governing slavery had been established in many European colonies in the Americas, such as the Barbados Slave Code. At this time in the Caribbean, Jews were mostly active in the Dutch colonies, so their presence was seen as an unwelcome Dutch influence in French colonial life. Furthermore, the majority of the population in French colonies in the Americas were enslaved. Plantation owners largely governed their land and holdings in absentia, with subordinate workers dictating the day-to-day running of the plantations. Because of their enormous population, in addition to the harsh conditions facing slaves (for example, Saint Domingue has been described as one of the most brutally efficient colonies of the era [ citation needed ] ), small-scale slave revolts were common. Despite some well-intended provisions, the Code Noir was never effectively or strictly enforced, in particular regarding protection for slaves and limitations on corporal punishment.

Legal context Edit

Leonard Oppenheim, [5] Alan Watson [6] or Hans W. Baade [7] were wrong to consider Roman law was the basis of this new law. In fact, this new law is based on the codification of previously applicable usages, decisions and rules used at that time in the Antilles.

This was shown by a Vernon Valentine Palmer study [8] which described the process which led to the Edict of 1685: 4 years, with draft and preliminary reports and the project of 52 articles , and king's instructions, known by documents in public French archives. [9]

In 1681 the king ordered the creation of a legal status for black people in the American islands, and asked Jean-Baptiste Colbert to write it. Colbert delegated this task to the Martinique intendant, Jean-Baptiste Patoulet, replaced in July 1682 by Michel Bégon, and the governor-general of the Antilles, Charles de Courbon, count of Blenac (1622–1696).

A royal memorandum to Colbert, dated 30 April 1681, shows the need of an Antilles-specific ordinance when there were no slaves in metropolitan France, due to a decision of 11 July 1315 by Louis X.

At this time, there were still at least two common law status applicable in Martinique: French status, the Custom of Paris, and aliens one. [ clarification needed ] Soldiers, nobles, and clergy had specific status. Additionally, the Edict of 28 May 1664 established the French West India Company which applied to American islands which superseded the Compagnie de Saint-Christophe (1626-1635) and the Company of the American Islands (1635–1664).

Native people known as Indiens caraïbes had French status with the same rights as French people, although only after their baptism into the Catholic religion. It was forbidden to enslave them.

Two sources of people were planned for: native people and people of French origin. The 1664 edict did not plan for either slaves or the import of Black people.

After the West India Company went bankrupt in 1674, its insular territories reverted to the Crown lands.

Decisions of Martinique's sovereign council remedied the absence of law related to slavery: in 1652, it extended the probition on requiring domestic workers to work on Sundays also apply to slaves in 1664, it required them to be baptised and given religious education. [10]

The edict of 1685 recognized those slavery practices incompatible with both (metropolitan) French laws [11] and Canon law. [12]

Origins Edit

In his 1987 analysis of the Code Noir's significance, Louis Sala-Molins claimed that its two primary objectives were to assert French sovereignty in its colonies and to secure the future of the cane sugar plantation economy. Central to these goals was control of the slave trade. The Code aimed to provide a legal framework for slavery, to establish protocols governing the conditions of inhabitants of the colonies, and to end the illegal slave trade. Religious morals also governed the crafting of the Code Noir it was in part a result of the influence of the influx of Catholic leaders arriving in Martinique between 1673 and 1685.

Versions and territories of application Edit

The Code Noir was one of the many laws inspired by Jean-Baptiste Colbert, who began to prepare the first (1685) version. After Colbert's 1683 death, his son, the Marquis de Seignelay, completed the document. It was ratified by Louis XIV and adopted by the Saint-Domingue sovereign council in 1687 after it was rejected by the parliament. It was then applied in the West Indies in 1687, Guyana in 1704, Réunion in 1723, and Louisiana in 1724.

The second and third versions of the code were passed by Louis XV at age 13 in 1723 and 1724.

In Canada, slavery received legal foundation from the king from 1689 to 1709. The Code Noir was not intended for or applied in New France's Canadian colony. In Canada, there never was legislation regulating slavery, no doubt because of the small number of slaves. Nevertheless, the intendant Raudot issued an ordinance in 1709 that legalized slavery. [13] [ full citation needed ]

From the 18th century, Code noir referred to codification of related texts.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Carl H. Moneyhon, &ldquoBlack Codes,&rdquo Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/black-codes.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


An Act to Punish Certain Offenses Herein Named, and for Other Purposes

Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Mississippi, That no freedman, free Negro, or mulatto not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry firearms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk, or Bowie knife . . . .

Sec 2. Be it further enacted, That any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto committing riots, routs, affrays, trespasses, malicious mischief, cruel treatment to animals, seditious speeches, insulting gestures, language, or acts, or assaults on any person, disturbance of the peace, exercising the function of a minister of the Gospel, without a license from some regularly organized church, vending spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or committing any other misdemeanor the punishment of which is not specifically provided for by law shall, upon conviction thereof in the county court, be fined not less than ten dollars and not more than one hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days.

Sec 4. Be it further enacted, that all the penal and criminal laws now in force in this State, defining offenses and prescribing the mode of punishment for crimes and misdemeanors committed by slaves, free negroes or mulattoes, be and the same re-enacted, and declared to be in full force and effect, against freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes, except so far as the mode and manner of trial and punishment have been changed or altered by law.

Sec 5. Be it further enacted, That if any freedman, free Negro, or mulatto convicted of any of the misdemeanors provided against in this act shall fail or refuse, for the space of five days after conviction, to pay the fine and costs imposed, such person shall be hired out by the sheriff or other officer . . . to any white person who will pay said fine and all costs and take such convict for the shortest time. . . .

Study Questions

A. Describe the various ways that freedom for freed slaves is compromised under the black codes of Mississippi. How is life under the black codes different from slavery?

B. Would the 13 th Amendment help to limit the powers of the state to pass black codes? Under what reading of the 13 th Amendment would it be of help to freed slaves? What vision of federal power would be necessary to prevent states from passing and enforcing Black Codes (consider The Act to Protect All Persons in the United States in Their Civil Rights, Congressional Debate on the 14th Amendment, and The Enforcement Acts)? What might explain why black codes arose in these states (consider Senator Carl Schurz “Plea for Amnesty”)?


(1866) Mississippi Black Codes

Sec.1. Be it enacted,… That all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes may sue and be sued, implead and be impleaded, in all the courts of law and equity of this State, and may acquire personal property, and choses in action, by descent or purchase, and may dispose of the same in the same manner and to the same extent that white persons may: Provided, That the provisions of this section shall not be so construed as to allow any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to rent or lease any lands or tenements except in incorporated cities or towns, in which places the corporate authorities shall control the same….

Sec. 3….All freedmen, free negroes, or mulattoes who do now and have herebefore lived and cohabited together as husband and wife shall be taken and held in law as legally married, and the issue shall be taken and held as legitimate for all purposes that it shall not be lawful for any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to intermarry with any white person nor for any white person to intermarry with any freedman, free negro, or mulatto and any person who shall so intermarry, shall be deemed guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof shall be confined in the State penitentiary for life and those shall be deemed freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes who are of pure negro blood, and those descended from a negro to the third generation, inclusive, though one ancestor in each generation may have been a white person.

Sec. 4….In addition to cases in which freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes are now by law competent witnesses, freedmen, free negroes, or mulattoes shall be competent in civil cases, when a party or parties to the suit, either plaintiff or plaintiffs, defendant or defendants, and a white person or white persons, is or are the opposing party or parties, plaintiff or plaintiffs, defendant or defendants. They shall also be competent witnesses in all criminal prosecutions where the crime charged is alleged to have been committed by a white person upon or against the person or property of a freedman, free negro, or mulatto: Provided, that in all cases said witnesses shall be examined in open court, on the stand except, however, they may be examined before the grand jury, and shall in all cases be subject to the rules and tests of the common law as to competency and credibility….

Sec. 6….All contracts for labor made with freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes for a longer period than one month shall be in writing, and in duplicate, attested and read to said freedman, free negro, or mulatto by a beat, city or county officer, or two disinterested white persons of the county in which the labor is to be performed, of which each party shall have one and said contracts shall be taken and held as entire contracts, and if the laborer shall quit the service of the employer before the expiration of his term of service, without good cause, he shall forfeit his wages for that year up to the time of quitting.

Sec. 7….Every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman, free negro, or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer before the expiration of his or her term of service without good cause and said officer and person shall be entitled to receive for arresting and carrying back every deserting employe aforesaid the sum of five dollars, and ten cents per mile from the place of arrest to the place of delivery and the same shall be paid by the employer, and held as a set-off for so much against the wages of said deserting employe: Provided, that said arrested party, after being so returned, may appeal to the justice of the peace or member of the board of police of the county, who, on notice to the alleged employer, shall try summarily whether said appellant is legally employed by the alleged employer, and has good cause to quit said employer either party shall have the right of appeal to the county court, pending which the alleged deserter shall be remanded to the alleged employer or otherwise disposed of, as shall be right and just and the decision of the county court shall be final….

Sec. 9….If any person shall persuade or attempt to persuade, entice, or cause any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to desert from the legal employment of any person before the expiration of his or her term of service, or shall knowingly employ any such deserting freedman, free negro, or mulatto, or shall knowingly give or sell to any such deserting freedman, free negro, or mulatto, any food, raiment, or other thing, he or she shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction, shall be fined not less than twenty-five dollars and not more than two hundred dollars and the costs and if said fine and costs shall not be immediately paid, the court shall sentence said convict to not exceeding two months’ imprisonment in the county jail, and he or she shall moreover be liable to the party injured in damages: Provided, if any person shall, or shall attempt to, persuade, entice, or cause any freedman, free negro, or mulatto to desert from any legal employment of any person, with the view to employ said freedman, free negro, or mulatto without the limits of this State, such person, on conviction, shall be fined not less than fifty dollars, and not more than five hundred dollars and costs and if said fine and costs shall not be immediately paid, the court shall sentence said convict to not exceeding six months imprisonment in the county jail….

2. MISSISSIPPI APPRENTICE LAW

Sec. 1….It shall be the duty of all sheriffs, justices of the peace, and other civil officers of the several counties in this State, to report to the probate courts of their respective counties semi-annually, at the January and July terms of said courts, all freedmen, free negroes, and mulattoes, under the age of eighteen, in their respective counties, beats or districts, who are orphans, or whose parent or parents have not the means or who refuse to provide for and support said minors and thereupon it shall be the duty of said probate court to order the clerk of said court to apprentice said minors to some competent and suitable person, on such terms as the court may direct, having a particular care to the interest of said minor: Provided, that the former owner of said minors shall have the preference when, in the opinion of the court, he or she shall be a suitable person for that purpose.

Sec. 2….The said court shall be fully satisfied that the person or persons to whom said minor shall be apprenticed shall be a suitable person to have the charge and care of said minor, and fully to protect the interest of said minor. The said court shall require the said master or mistress to execute bond and security, payable to the State of Mississippi, conditioned that he or she shall furnish said minor with sufficient food and clothing to treat said minor humanely furnish medical attention in case of sickness teach, or cause to be taught, him or her to read and write, if under fifteen years old, and will conform to any law that may be hereafter passed for the regulation of the duties and relation of master and apprentice….

Sec. 3….In the management and control of said apprentice, said master or mistress shall have the power to inflict such moderate corporal chastisement as a father or guardian is allowed to inflict on his or her child or ward at common law: Provided, that in no case shall cruel or inhuman punishment be inflicted.

Sec. 4….If any apprentice shall leave the employment of his or her master or mistress, without his or her consent, said master or mistress may pursue and recapture said apprentice, and bring him or her before any justice of the peace of the county, whose duty it shall be to remand said apprentice to the service of his or her master or mistress and in the event of a refusal on the part of said apprentice so to return, then said justice shall commit said apprentice to the jail of said county, on failure to give bond, to the next term of the county court and it shall be the duty of said court at the first term thereafter to investigate said case, and if the court shall be of opinion that said apprentice left the employment of his or her master or mistress without good cause, to order him or her to be punished, as provided for the punishment of hired freedmen, as may be from time to time provided for by law for desertion, until he or she shall agree to return to the service of his or her master or mistress: …if the court shall believe that said apprentice had good cause to quit his said master or mistress, the court shall discharge said apprentice from said indenture, and also enter a judgment against the master or mistress for not more than one hundred dollars, for the use and benefit of said apprentice….

3. MISSISSIPPI VAGRANT LAW

Sec. 1. Be it enacted, etc.,…That all rogues and vagabonds, idle and dissipated persons, beggars, jugglers, or persons practicing unlawful games or plays, runaways, common drunkards, common night-walkers, pilferers, lewd, wanton, or lascivious persons, in speech or behavior, common railers and brawlers, persons who neglect their calling or employment, misspend what they earn, or do not provide for the support of themselves or their families, or dependents, and all other idle and disorderly persons, including all who neglect all lawful business, habitually misspend their time by frequenting houses of ill-fame, gaming-houses, or tippling shops, shall be deemed and considered vagrants, under the provisions of this act, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars, with all accruing costs, and be imprisoned at the discretion of the court, not exceeding ten days.

Sec. 2….All freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes in this State, over the age of eighteen years, found on the second Monday in January, 1866, or thereafter, with no lawful employment or business, or found unlawfully assembling themselves together, either in the day or night time, and all white persons so assembling themselves with freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes, or usually associating with freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes, on terms of equality, or living in adultery or fornication with a freed woman, free negro or mulatto, shall be deemed vagrants, and on conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding, in the case of a freedman, free negro or mulatto, fifty dollars, and a white man two hundred dollars, and imprisoned at the discretion of the court, the free negro not exceeding ten days, and the white man not exceeding six months….

Sec. 7….If any freedman, free negro, or mulatto shall fail or refuse to pay any tax levied according to the provisions of the sixth section of this act, it shall be prima facie evidence of vagrancy, and it shall be the duty of the sheriff to arrest such freedman, free negro, or mulatto or such person refusing or neglecting to pay such tax, and proceed at once to hire for the shortest time such delinquent tax-payer to any one who will pay the said tax, with accruing costs, giving preference to the employer, if there be one….

4. PENAL LAWS OF MISSISSIPPI

Sec. 1. Be it enacted,…That no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife, and on conviction thereof in the county court shall be punished by fine, not exceeding ten dollars, and pay the costs of such proceedings, and all such arms or ammunition shall be forfeited to the informer and it shall be the duty of every civil and military officer to arrest any freedman, free negro, or mulatto found with any such arms or ammunition, and cause him or her to be committed to trial in default of bail.

2….Any freedman, free negro, or mulatto committing riots, routs, affrays, trespasses, malicious mischief, cruel treatment to animals, seditious speeches, insulting gestures, language, or acts, or assaults on any person, disturbance of the peace, exercising the function of a minister of the Gospel without a license from some regularly organized church, vending spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or committing any other misdemeanor, the punishment of which is not specifically provided for by law, shall, upon conviction thereof in the county court, be fined not less than ten dollars, and not more than one hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days.

Sec. 3….If any white person shall sell, lend, or give to any freedman, free negro, or mulatto any fire-arms, dirk or bowie knife, or ammunition, or any spirituous or intoxicating liquors, such person or persons so offending, upon conviction thereof in the county court of his or her county, shall be fined not exceeding fifty dollars, and may be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days….

Sec. 5….If any freedman, free negro, or mulatto, convicted of any of the misdemeanors provided against in this act, shall fail or refuse for the space of five days, after conviction, to pay the fine and costs imposed, such person shall be hired out by the sheriff or other officer, at public outcry, to any white person who will pay said fine and all costs, and take said convict for the shortest time.


Black pioneers in computer science history

Annie Easley

One of the first African-Americans computer scientists at NASA. Leading member of the team that developed the software for the Centaur rocket stage.

Clarence "Skip" Ellis

First African-American to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science. A pioneer in groupware and technology that enables real-time collaborative editing of documents.

Dorothy Vaughn

Mathematician and "human computer" at NACA then NASA. The first African-American woman group supervisor at the Langley Research Center. Awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2019.

Evelyn Boyd Granville

Second African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mathematics from an American University. Wrote programs at IBM that helped analyze satellite orbits and later worked on NASA's Apollo program.

Jerry Lawson

Electronic engineer that lead the team at Fairchild that pioneered the commercial video game cartridge. Dubbed by some as the "Father of Modern Gaming."

Katherine Johnson

35-year career at NACA/NASA, working on Project Mercury, the Apollo program, the Space Shuttle program, and plans for mission to Mars. Awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015.

Mark Dean

Computer engineer who led a design team for making a one-gigahertz computer processor chip. Holds three of nine patents as the co-creator of the IBM PC released in 1981.

Melba Roy Mouton

Assistant. Chief of Research Programs at NASA's Trajectory and Geodynamics Division in the 1960s. Head Computer Programmer and then Program Production Section Chief at Goddard Space Flight Center.

Roy Clay Sr

Founding member of the computer division at Hewlett-Packard, leading the team that created the HP 2116A. Founder and CEO of ROD-L Electronics. Member Silicon Valley Engineering Council's Hall of Fame.


Mississippi Black Codes (1865)

Section 3: . . . [I]t shall not be lawful for any freedman, free negro or mulatto to intermarry with any white person nor for any person to intermarry with any freedman, free negro or mulatto and any person who shall so intermarry shall be deemed guilty of felony, and on conviction thereof shall be confined in the State penitentiary for life and those shall be deemed freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes who are of pure negro blood, and those descended from a negro to the third generation, inclusive, though one ancestor in each generation may have been a white person.

Section 5: . . . Every freedman, free negro and mulatto shall, on the second Monday of January, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-six, and annually thereafter, have a lawful home or employment, and shall have written evidence thereof . . .

Section 6: . . . All contracts for labor made with freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes for a longer period than one month shall be in writing, and a duplicate, attested and read to said freedman, free negro or mulatto by a beat, city or county officer . . . and if the laborer shall quit the service of the employer before the expiration of his term of service, without good cause, he shall forfeit his wages for that year up to the time of quitting.

Section 7: . . . Every civil officer shall, and every person may, arrest and carry back to his or her legal employer any freedman, free negro, or mulatto who shall have quit the service of his or her employer before the expiration of his or her term of service without good cause . . .

VAGRANT LAW

Section 1: . . . That all rogues and vagabonds, idle and dissipated persons, beggars, jugglers, or persons practicing unlawful games or plays, runaways, common drunkards, common night-walkers, pilferers, lewd, wanton, or lascivious persons, in speech or behavior, common railers and brawlers, persons who neglect their calling or employment, misspend what they earn, or do not provide for the support of themselves or their families, or dependents, and all other idle and disorderly persons, including all who neglect all lawful business, habitually misspend their time by frequenting houses of ill-fame, gaming-houses, or tippling shops, shall be deemed and considered vagrants, under the provisions of this act, and upon conviction thereof shall be fined not exceeding one hundred dollars, with all accruing costs, and be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding ten days.

Section 2: . . . All freedmen, free negroes and mulattoes in this State, over the age of eighteen years, found on the second Monday in January, 1866, or thereafter, with no lawful employment or business, or found unlawful assembling themselves together, either in the day or night time, and all white persons assembling themselves with freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes, or usually associating with freedmen, free negroes or mulattoes, on terms of equality, or living in adultery or fornication with a freed woman, freed negro or mulatto, shall be deemed vagrants, and on conviction thereof shall be fined in a sum not exceeding, in the case of a freedman, free negro or mulatto, fifty dollars, and a white man two hundred dollars, and imprisonment at the discretion of the court, the free negro not exceeding ten days, and the white man not exceeding six months . . .

Section 5: . . . All fines and forfeitures collected by the provisions of this act shall be paid into the county treasury of general county purposes, and in case of any freedman, free negro or mulatto shall fail for five days after the imposition of any or forfeiture upon him or her for violation of any of the provisions of this act to pay the same, that it shall be, and is hereby, made the duty of the sheriff of the proper county to hire out said freedman, free negro or mulatto, to any person who will, for the shortest period of service, pay said fine and forfeiture and all costs . . .

CERTAIN OFFENSES OF FREEDMEN

Section 1: . . . That no freedman, free negro or mulatto, not in the military service of the United States government, and not licensed so to do by the board of police of his or her county, shall keep or carry fire-arms of any kind, or any ammunition, dirk or bowie knife, and on conviction thereof in the county court shall be punished by fine . . .
Section 2: . . . Any freedman, free negro, or mulatto committing riots, routs, affrays, trespasses, malicious mischief, cruel treatment to animals, seditious speeches, insulting gestures, language, or acts, or assaults on any person, disturbance of the peace, exercising the function of a minister of the Gospel without a license from some regularly organized church, vending spirituous or intoxicating liquors, or committing any other misdemeanor, the punishment of which is not specifically provided for by law, shall, upon conviction thereof in the county court, be fined not less than ten dollars, and not more than one hundred dollars, and may be imprisoned at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days.
Section 3: . . . If any white person shall sell, lend, or give to any freedman, free negro, or mulatto any fire-arms, dirk or bowie knife, or ammunition, or any spirituous or intoxicating liquors, such person or persons so offending, upon conviction thereof in the county court of his or her county, shall be fined not exceeding fifty dollars, and may be imprisoned, at the discretion of the court, not exceeding thirty days . . . 1



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