Ideas of Race in Early America - Oxford Research Encyclopedia of American History
When slavery was abolished making Slave Codes obsolete, Black Codes and then Jim Crow will then discuss the promulgation of racial laws premised solely on this fear. .. law's effective date, through (McCormick ). . Negative past encounters, statistical data, and black typification are poor . Illinois Press. Because Illinois is a northern state and the former home of Abraham Lincoln, it isn't While Illinois' black codes didn't directly relate to slavery, they to southern slave states, the legacy of slavery is interwoven in racist. Latest Date stamped below. Theft, mutilation, and . slave codes were obsolete, the few lav/s in existence per- taining to . Violent encounters between the races occurred necessary: first, a recognition of the freedom of the race as a fact, the .
At the time, nine hundred slaves lived in the territory, although the French would take at least three hundred with them as they left the state for lands west of the Mississippi River. The first legislation against slavery was the Northwest Ordinance ofwhich forbade slavery in the Northwest Territory. However, territorial laws and practices allowed human bondage to continue in various forms. Territorial governors Arthur St.
Clair and Charles Willing Byrd supported slavery and did not enforce the ordinance. When the Indiana Territory was split from the Northwest Territory inresidents petitioned the United States Senate to allow slaves. A proposal offered emancipation to Illinois-born male slaves at age thirty-one and female slaves at age twenty-eight.
Illinois Issues: Slave State | NPR Illinois
Southern-born slaves were to be slaves for life. No response to the proposal was ever issued. Furthermore, free blacks could be kidnapped and sold in St. Louis in Missouri Territory or states where such sales were legal. A similar predominance of women as captives can be found in New France in the north and New Spain in the south. While male captives were more likely to be executed, their female counterparts were more likely to be adopted into tribes because of their potential as reproductive, household, and domestic laborers.
Women also predominated among free black populations in the upper south and cities like New Orleans, where urban markets allowed them to sell goods or services and purchase their manumission with the proceeds. Across most of early North America, African slaves and their descendants inherited their enslaved status from their mothers.
Although the number of laws governing slavery—and enslaved women—accumulated over the course of the colonial period, the legal doctrine of partus sequitur ventrem—progeny follows the womb—was one of the first, and it inextricably bound racial slavery to maternal identity.
The doctrine first established the inheritability, and hence the permanence, of slavery as a legal status. For instance, Jennifer L. Moreover, very much unlike their southern counterparts, northern slave owners in the colonial period did not prize fertility in their female slaves; since their children were likely sold—and sometimes infants were given away—because owners did not want the burden of supporting them, enslaved women may have attempted to avoid pregnancy.
The law did not penalize owners who raped or otherwise sexually coerced their enslaved women. On occasions, masters sued those who had harmed, sexually or otherwise, their enslaved women in order to regain lost value.
While enslaved women transferred their status to their progeny, other laws stripped them of their legal identity, leaving them no standing under the law. Enslaved women had no recourse for sexual harm, regardless of the status of the perpetrator, although the earliest colonial statutes universally instructed masters to provide adequate provisioning and reasonable treatment to their enslaved subjects. Rape and sexual coercion were difficult crimes even for a free woman to establish and gain convictions for in the colonial courts.
Enslaved women endured coerced sex with masters, overseers, and other white authorities, but indictments were exceptionally uncommon and practically nonexistent, although theory it was possible to charge and convict a white man for raping an enslaved woman.
In New Spain and New France, masters appear to have been more accountable to their slaves under the law. These jurisprudential codes were enforced but were also subject to local custom and influence, in which the Catholic Church and its ecclesiastical courts played a significant role.
Beyond the stipulation that masters provide adequate food, clothing, and religious instruction, in New Spain the codes bore directly on women by requiring masters to honor marriage vows between slaves and keep enslaved couples together. For instance, the Code Noir stipulated that masters could not force slaves to marry against their will, sell wives and husbands away from one another, or separate parents from children.
Women, Race, and the Law in Early America
In addition, it provided a mechanism by which some enslaved women gained freedom through intermarriage, although it expressly prohibited marriage between enslaved women and free men. Such marriages remained relatively rare in the French period but gained recognition under Spanish rule. Similarly, under the Siete Partidas, ecclesiastical courts heard the complaints of enslaved wives who sought remedy or legal separation from abusive spouses.
Moreover, enslaved couples occasionally successfully sued masters who failed to live up to the law in these regards. A conservative estimate suggests that free blacks comprised up to 10 percent of the population in the upper South and were more numerous in urban jurisdictions such as Charleston, St. Augustine, and New Orleans. Women often predominated in the free black population. In the upper South, they outnumbered their free male counterparts by 2: Like their European counterparts, free blacks were able to pursue and protect their rights under law; they could, for instance, own property, file lawsuits, make contracts, issue wills, and sue and be sued.
In French Louisiana, free blacks could be returned to slavery and sold if they had been convicted of certain crimes harboring runaways and theft, for instance and were unable to pay their legal fines; in other jurisdictions, free black women were subjected to illegal trafficking.
In Pennsylvania inlawmakers required a bond on emancipated slaves, free blacks could be required to labor without pay, and free men of color could be sold into slavery if they married white women. By the terms of an earlyth-century Virginia law, children born to free women who had themselves been bound servants were required to serve the same amount of time as their mothers.
In a society in which patriarchal authority was enshrined in the law, free women of color who married enslaved men initially must have posed challenges to the logic of coverture. The challenge of the free wife with an enslaved husband was easily resolved, however: In midth-century Virginia, for instance, statutes stipulated that adult women of color were to be taxed, like all men.
However, adult white women were not taxed at all, with attempts to tax indentured white women proving unenforceable. The taxes levied on women of color reflected the assumption that, unlike their white counterparts, free women of color were suitable for physically burdensome agricultural labor and occupied a debased position across colonial America.
History of slavery in Illinois - Wikipedia
Further non-gender-specific legal disabilities followed in the early 18th century, when all free people of color were debarred from serving as witnesses in trials, except for those of slaves. Yet even for enslaved and free women of color, the law was rooted in time and place, in specific communities of real people.
Local legal officials could and did on occasion acknowledge that marginalized individuals who, despite the seemingly strict statutory definitions of slavery and status, deserved redress in courts of law. In contrast to enslaved and free African and Indian women and their descendants, female migrants from Europe were governed by the common law of coverture, plus specific colonial statutes that defined their access to property, the nature of their labor, and the contours of their speech.
Regardless of their legal status along the continuum of enslaved and free, these women were able to use the courts to protect their interests in property as well as in attempts to safeguard their persons. While these terms are specific to English law, French, Spanish, and Dutch law all placed greater or lesser restraints on married women, who were considered to be wards of their husbands.
In contrast to the British model of coverture, for example, wives in Spanish America retained property rights during marriage; they retained legal control over their property and could will it independently of their husbands.
In addition, propertied women were accorded a degree of power based upon their rank; they were able to secure legal rights to act independently of their husbands, even when their marriages had disintegrated and the law provided no options for divorce.
For instance, when masters or mistresses mistreated their indentured servant women physically or sexually or violated the terms of their labor contracts, the servants had a right to complain at the local court for redress; in some jurisdictions, their pleas met with remedies from the bench. Nevertheless, patriarchal models of authority prevailed, and despite their access to the courts, indentured women remained restricted by a series of laws that gave their masters extensive powers over them.
They could not marry or travel while under contract, and if they ran away, became pregnant, or challenged their masters, they would be penalized with extra terms of service. The statutory language is clearly indicative of class-based notions of dissolute sexuality. Indeed, the statutes enacted across imperial North America, like those iterated above, were devoted to creating and enforcing differences among women on the basis of not only race but class as well. Particularly, before contact with Europeans, when Native American law held sway, polygyny—the marriage of one man to several women—was a normal feature of many Native societies across the Americas, practiced mostly by elites.Black Woman Pretends To Be White, Job Offers Skyrocket
Most individuals in Indian communities engaged in monogamous unions with other individuals, but these could be dissolved at the discretion of either party. These marriages forged kin and clan associations, social bonds, and diplomatic alliances. However, where European trade networks, expansion, and settlements penetrated existing Native American communities, the colonizers attempted to align Native marital practices with their own laws.
Marriage was central to European social and religious order, and in New England, New France, and New Spain, for instance, missionaries worked earnestly to persuade their converts of the superiority of European marriage; indeed, Native conjugal practices were a central institution that Europeans sought to control.
In many cases, European and Indian conflicts over marriage reshaped gender roles of Native men and women. On imperial frontiers, for instance, intermarriage between European men and Indigenous women cemented diplomatic and economic alliances between Indigenous communities and European traders.
Like their male counterparts, women indigenous to North America who married Europeans held a unique status, simultaneously within and outside the European legal systems.
In a later period, some European men took advantage of this extralegality to dissolve these relationships when it suited them, something that would have been nearly impossible in marriages among whites.
However, in other European jurisdictions, marriages between slaves carried legal recognition. In 17th-century New Amsterdam, for instance, a group of enslaved men petitioned their owner, the Dutch West India Company, for their freedom and that of their wives. Their request was granted, but it came with significant qualifications and did not reflect the status of all New Netherland slaves.
In addition, some enslaved women in New Netherland appear to have been successful in their requests for free status because of the value that whites placed on their domestic labor. While practices varied, several types of legally recognized marital arrangements seem to have been possible within and across the status of enslaved and free; occasionally, they were racially exogamous as well. Moreover, the legal recognition of marriages among slaves and between enslaved and free persons had the backing of ecclesiastical courts and the Catholic Church: Evidence from Latin America and French and Spanish Louisiana testifies to some official recognition of unions between slaves as well as between enslaved and free blacks, and, occasionally, between whites and blacks.
One abolitionist lost his life to the group. Elijah Lovejoy was murdered in Alton in by a pro-slavery mob because he published an anti-slavery newspaper. Others like him throughout the state risked their lives by helping runaway slaves flee to Canada or escape kidnapping.
A pro-slavery riot in Alton led to the death of abolitionist and newspaper editor Elijah Lovejoy. Slavery in Southern Illinois.
An state law mandated that citizens interrogate blacks to determine if they were free or runaway slaves. If they were the latter, the white interrogator received a monetary award.
- Illinois Issues: Slave State
- Ideas of Race in Early America
- History of slavery in Illinois
Catching a runaway and returning the person to the south could be prosperous. Dexter tells the story of William Belford, Jr. It was a family business. Free blacks were prey, too. Records from the State Archives show the last recorded emancipation of an Illinois slave was inin the middle of the Civil War. Despite Illinois leading the call for soldiers to fight the war over slavery, anti-black sentiment here remained strong.
Constitution, which its favorite son, Abraham Lincoln, had penned to abolish slavery throughout the land. It didn't repeal its black codes until February 7,one week later.
Though the number of slaves in Illinois was small when compared to southern slave states, the legacy of slavery is interwoven in racist attitudes that plague the state and the nation, says Ronald Bailey, who is head of the department of African American Studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.