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Authors

Abstract

The following acts have been taken, complete or in part, from the published volumes of The Statutes At Large of Pennsylvania and Laws of Pennsylvania. These extracts are not all-inclusive, but do cover the years 1725/6-1847, from the province's first general statement of the legal standing of blacks, full-blooded and mixed, and the treatment to be afforded them, up to the state's rewritten and strengthened prohibition of the kidnapping of free blacks and the seizing of fugitive slaves. Included are not only acts showing the status and the protection of slaves, whether residents or sojourners, but also those requiring resident slaves' proper enumeration. Not every act shown necessarily aids in identifying slaveholders and/or slaves, the object of the foregoing study; rather, the importance lies in the chronology of the legislation, which tells the situation of blacks at important points, and in the continuing anomaly of the laws' permitting slavery to exist in the state throughout the entire period. [excerpt]