Virginia Slave Codes

1123 WordsOct 15, 20135 Pages
Virginia Slave Codes The Virginia Slave Codes date all the way to early 1600s. During the 17th century, indentured servants, who decided to work for an affirmed amount of time in replace for their means of access to the "New World", were a handy resource of manual labor for the American colonies. Both blacks and whites served under the system (Goldenburg 1). White servants, after working out their time of agreement, often progressed to appreciated places in the society. On the other hand, their black correspondents, who totaled to about 2,000 in Virginia in 1670, were rarely given the same treatment. By the middle of the century, they were usually regarded as servants for life. In the late 1650s, laws referring to slaves started to…show more content…
"It declared that slaves needed written authorization to leave their plantation, that slaves found accountable of murder or rape would be hanged, that for robbing or any other major offence, the slave would receive sixty lashes and be placed in stocks, where his or her ears would be cut off, and that for minor offences, such as associating with whites, slaves would be whipped, branded, or maimed."(Henning 1) Black slaves were forbidden from carrying firearms by a 1639 Virginia law, which prearranged 20 lashes for violations of the law. "There was one exception: with his master’s permission, a slave could bear firearms to defend against Indian raids."(Goldenburg 2) For the 17th century slave in Virginia, disagreements with a master could be result before a court for judgment. A slave owner who wanted to stop the most defiant of slaves could now do so, aware any punishment he or she imposed, could include death and would not outcome in even the smallest amount slap on the wrist. In 1705, Virginia law began to define more clearly the status of slaves as property. Slaves could be used both as collateral for borrowing money and as assets in the payment of debts. (Goldenburg 3) At the time of the American Revolutionary War, what was later called the "peculiar institution" of slavery was an unsettled subject among the 13 Colonies. However, the basic basis for its end was put down by the country 's founding fathers in
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