13. And for the preventing the concealment of crimes and offences committed by slaves, and for the more effectual discovery and bringing slaves to condign punishment,

    Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 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 of offence whatsoever; the weight of which evidence being seriously considered, and compared with all other circumstances attending the case, shall be left to the conscience of the justices and freeholders.

14.    And whereas, slaves may be harbored and encouraged to commit offences, and concealed and received by 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 therefore further enacted by the authority aforesaid, 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,) mulattoe or mustizoe; and of all crimes and offences committed by free Negroes, Indians, (except as before excepted), mulattoes or mustizoes, shall be proceeded in, heard, tried, adjudged and determined by the justices and freeholders appointed by this Act for the trial of slave, in like manner, order and form, as is hereby directed an appointed for the proceedings and trial of crimes and offences committed by slaves; any law statue, usage or custom to the contrary notwithstanding.
slavery advertisement
15. And be it further enacted and declared by the authority aforesaid, that if any slave in this Province shall commit any crime or offence whatsoever, which, by the laws of England or of this Province now in force, is of has been made felony without the benefit of the clergy, and for which the offender by law ought to suffer death, every such slave, being duly convicted according to the directions of this Act shall suffer death; to be inflicted in such manner as the justices, by and with the advice and consent of the freeholders, who shall give judgment to the conviction of such slave, shall direct and appoint.

16.    And whereas, some crimes and offences of an enormous nature and of the most pernicious consequence, may be committed by slaves, as well as other persons, which being peculiar to the condition and situation of this Province, could not fall within the provision of the laws of England;

    Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That the several crimes and offences hereinafter particularly enumerated, are hereby declared to be felony, without the benefit of the clergy, that is to say: - if any slave, free Negro, mulattoe, Indian or mustizoe, shall willfully and maliciously set fire to, burn or destroy any sack of rice, corn or other grain, of the product, growth or manufacture of this Province, or shall willfully and maliciously set fire to, burn or destroy any tar kiln, barrels of pitch, tar turpentine or rosin, or any other the goods or commodities of the growth, produce or manufacture of this Province, or shall feloniously steal, take or carry away any slave, being the property of another, with intent to carry such slave out of this Province, or shall willfully or maliciously poison or administer any poison to any person, free man, woman, servant or slave, every such slave, free Negro, mulattoe, Indian, (except as before excepted,) and mustizoe, shall suffer death as a felon.

17.    And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that any slave who shall be guilty of homicide of any sort, upon any whiter person, except by misadventure, or in defense of his master or other person under whose care and government such slave shall be, shall, upon conviction thereof as aforesaid, suffer death; and every slave who shall raise or attempt to raise an insurrection in this Province, shall endeavor to delude or entice any slave to run away and leave this Province, every such slave and slaves, and his and their accomplices, aiders and abettors, shall, upon conviction as aforesaid, suffer death;

    Provided always, that it shall and may be lawful to and for the justices who shall pronounce sentence against such slaves, by and with the advice and consent of the freeholders as aforesaid, if several slaves shall receive sentence at one time, to mitigate and alter the sentence of any slave other than such as shall be convicted of the homicide of a whiter person, who they shall think may deserve mercy, and may inflict such corporal punishment, (other than death,) on any such slave, as they in their discretion shall think fit; anything herein contained to the contrary thereof in any wise notwithstanding;

slavery    Provided always, 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.

18.    And to the end that owners of slaves may not be tempted to conceal the crimes of their slaves to the prejudice of this public,

Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that in case any slave shall 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, apprise 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.

19.    And be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that the said justices, or any of them, are hereby authorized, empowered, and required, to summons and compel all persons whatsoever, to appear and to give evidence upon the trial of any slave; and if any person shall neglect or refuse to 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 government, 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.

continued barrister graphic