34. And whereas, several owners of slaves have permitted them to keep canoes, and to breed and raise horses, neat cattle and hogs, and to traffic and barter in several parts of this Province, for the particular and peculiar benefit of such slaves, by which means they have not only and opportunity of receiving and concealing stolen goods, but to plot and confederate together, and form conspiracies dangerous to the peace and safety of the whole Province;
Be it therefore enacted by the authority aforesaid, That it shall not be lawful for any slave so to buy, sell, trade, traffic, deal, or barter for any goods or commodities, (except as before excepted,) nor shall any slave be permitted to keep any boat, perriauger or canoe, or to raise and breed, for the use and benefit of such slave, any horses, mares, neat cattle, sheep or hogs, under pain of forfeiting all the goods and commodities which shall be so bought, sold traded, trafficked, dealt or bartered for, by any slave, and of all the boats, perriaugers, or canoes, cattle, sheep or hogs, which any slave shall keep, raise or breed for the peculiar use, benefit and profit of such slave; and it shall and may be lawful for any person of persons whatsoever, to seize and take away from any slave, all such goods, commodities, boats perriaugers, canoes, horses, mares, neat cattle, sheep or hogs, and to deliver the same into the hands of any one of his Majesty's justices of the peace, nearest to the place where the seizure shall be made;
And such justice shall take the oath of such person who shall make any such seizure, concerning the manner of seizing and taking the same, and if the said justice shall be satisfied that such seizure hath been made according to the directions of this Act, he shall pronounce and declare the goods so seized, to be forfeited, and shall order the same to be sold at public outcry; and the monies arising by such sale shall be disposed of and applied as is hereinafter directed; provided, that if any goods shall be seized which come to the possession of any slave by theft, finding or otherwise, without the knowledge, privity, consent or connivance of the person who have a right to the property or lawful custody of any such goods, all such goods shall be restored, on such person's making an oath before any justice as aforesaid, who is hereby empowered to administer such oath, to the effect or in the following words:
I, X, do sincerely swear, that I have a just and lawful right or title to certain goods seized and taken by Y, out of the possession of a slave named S; and I do sincerely swear and declare, that I did not, directly or indirectly, permit or suffer the said slave, or any other slave whatsoever, to use, keep or employ the said goods for the use, benefit or profit of any slave whatsoever, or to sell, barter or give away the same; but that the same goods were in the possession of the said slave by theft, finding or otherwise, or to be kept bona fide for my use, or for the use of Z, a free person, and not for the use or benefit of any slave whatsoever. So help me God.
That oath shall be taken mutates mutandis, as the case shall happen; provided also, that it shall be lawful for any person, being the owner of having the care or government of any slave who resides or is usually employed in any part of this Province, without the limits of Charlestown, to elsewhere, within this Province, the goods or commodities with which such slave shall be instructed, be particularly and distinctly set down and specified, and signed by the owner or other person having the charge and government of such slave, or by some other person by his, her or their order and direction.
35. Provided also, and be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that this Act shall not extend or be constructed to extend to debar and of the inhabitants of Charlestown from sending any of their slaves resided therein, to sell in open market, any sort of provisions whatever, which the owner of such slave shall have received and brought from his or her state in the country, to be sold at the first hand;
Nor shall such slaves be debarred from buying any kind of provisions for the use and consumption of their masters and mistresses of their families, and for which such slave or slaves shall have a license or permit from the master of mistress, or some other person under whose care such slave shall be; anything in this, or any other Act, to the contrary notwithstanding.
36. And for that as it is absolutely necessary to the safety of this Province, that all due care be taken to restrain the wanderings and meetings of Negroes and other slaves, at all times, and more especially on Saturday nights, Sundays, and other holidays, and their using and carrying wooden swords, and other mischievous and dangerous weapons, or using or keeping of drums, horns, or other loud instruments, which may call together or give sign or notice to one another of their wicked designs and purposes; and that all masters, overseers and others may be enjoined, diligently and carefully to prevent the same,
Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that it shall be lawful for all masters, overseers and other persons whosoever, to apprehend and take up any Negro or other slave that shall be found out of the plantation of his or their master or owner, at any time, especially on Saturday nights, Sundays or other holiday, not being on lawful business, and with a letter from their master, or a ticket, or not having a white person with them; and the said Negro or other slave or slaves, met or found out of the plantation of his or their master or mistress, though with a letter or ticket, if he or they be armed with such offensive weapons aforesaid, him or them to disarm, take up and whip.
And whatsoever master, owner or overseer shall permit or suffer his or their Negro or other slave or slaves, at any time hereafter, to beat drums, blow horns, or use any other loud instruments or whosoever shall suffer and countenance any public meeting or feastings of strange Negroes or slaves in their plantations, shall forfeit ten pounds, current money, for every such offence, upon conviction or proof as aforesaid; provided , an information or other suit be commenced within one month after forfeiture thereof for the same.
37. And whereas, cruelty is not only highly unbecoming those who profess themselves Christians, but is odious in the eyes of all men who have any sense of virtue of humanity; therefore, to restrain and prevent barbarity being exercised towards slaves,
Be it enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any person of persons whosoever, shall willfully murder his own slave, or the slave of any other person, every such person, shall, upon conviction thereof, forfeit and pay the sum of seven hundred pounds, current money, and shall be rendered, and is hereby declared altogether and forever incapable of holding, exercising, enjoying or receiving the profits of any office, place or employment, civil or military, within this Province.
And in case any such person shall not be able to pay the penalty and forfeitures hereby inflicted an imposed, every such person shall be sent to any of the frontier garrisons of this Province, or committed to the work house in Charlestown, there to remain for the space of seven years, and to serve or to be kept at hard labor.
And in case the slave murdered shall be the property of any other person, than the offender, the pay usually allowed by the public to the soldiers of such garrison, or the profits of the labor of the offender, if committed to the work house in Charlestown, shall be paid to the owner of the slave murdered.
And if any person shall, on sudden heat or passion, or by undue correction, kill his own slave, or the slave of any other person, he shall forfeit the sum of three hundred and fifty pounds, current money.
And in case any person or persons shall willfully cut out the tongue, put out the eye, castrate, or cruelly scald, burn, or deprive any slave of any 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.