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United States Slavery Laws and Restrictions

YEAR LEGAL & SOCIAL   RESTRICTIONS IN  SOUTHERN STATES   PURPOSE OF RESTRICTION
1619 Maryland Segregation Policy Recommended that Black be Socially excluded
 1642 Virginia Fugitive Law Authorized branding of an in the face of runaway slaves
 1686 Carolina Trade Law Barred Blacks from all trades
  1691 Virginia Marriage Law Prescribed banishment for any white woman marrying a Black
  1710 Virginia Public Office Law Prohibited Blacks from holding or assuming any public office
1712 South Carolina Fugitive Slave Act Criminalized runaway slaves to protect owners investment
1715 North Carolina Anti-interracial Forbade and criminalized Black and White marriages
1717 South Carolina Anti-interracial Marriage Law Forbade and criminalized Black and White marriages
1723 Virginia Weapons Law Forbade Blacks from keeping weapons
1740 South Carolina Consolidated Slave Act Forbade slaves from raising or owning farm animals
1775 Virginia Runaway Law Allowed sale or execution of slaves attempting to flee
1775 North Carolina Manumission Law Forbade freeing slaves except for meritorious services
1790 First Naturalization Law Congress declares United States a white nation
1792 Federal Militia Law Restricted peace time military enrollment to whites only
1793 Fugitive Slave Law Discouraged slaves from running away; protected owners invested capital
1793 Virginia Migration Forbade free Blacks from entering the State
1806 Louisiana Migration Law Forbade immigration for free Black males over 15 years old
1809 Congressional Mail Law Excluded Blacks from carrying U.S. mail
1811 Kentucky Conspiracy Law Made conspiracy among slaves a capital offense
1813 Virginia Poll Tax Exacted a $1.50 tax on Blacks who were forbidden to vote
1814 Louisiana Migration Law Prohibited free Blacks from entering the State
1815 Virginia Poll Tax Required free Blacks to pat a $2.50 tax so whites could vote
1816 Louisiana Jury Law Provided that no Blacks slave could testify against a White person
1819 Missouri Literacy Law Forbade assembling or teaching Black slaves to read or write
1820 South Carolina Migration Law Prohibited free Blacks from entering the State
1826 North Carolina Migration Law Forbade entry of free Blacks; violators fined $500
1827 Florida Voting Law Restricted Voting to whites
1829 Georgia Literacy Law Provided fine and imprisonment for teaching a Black person to read
1830 Louisiana Expulsion Law Required all free Blacks to leave State within 60 days
1830 Mississippi Employment Law Forbade Blacks employment in printing and entertainment
1830 Kentucky Property Tax Law Taxed Blacks; Forbade their voting or attending school
1831 North Carolina License Law Required all Black traders and peddlers to be license
1831 South Carolina enacted Licensing Prohibition Free Blacks were denied any kind of a business license
1832 Mississippi Preaching Law Forbade Blacks to preach except with permission
1832 Alabama and Virginia Literacy Law Fined and flogged whites for teaching Blacks to read or write
1833 Georgia Literacy Law Provided fines and whippings for teaching Blacks
1833 Georgia Employment Law Prohibited Blacks from working in reading or writing jobs
1833 Kentucky Licensing Prohibition No free person of color could obtain a business license
1835 Missouri Registration Law Required the registration and bonding of all free Blacks
1835 Georgia Employment Law Prohibited employing Blacks in drug stores
1837 South Carolina Curfew Law Required Blacks to be off the street by a certain hour
1838 Virginia School of Law Forbade Blacks who had gone North to school to return
1838 North Carolina Marriage Law Declared void all interracial marriages to 3rd generation
1841 South Carolina Observing Law Forbade Blacks and Whites from looking out the same window
1844 South Carolina Amusement Law Prohibited Blacks from playing games with Whites
1845 Georgia Contracting Law Prohibited contracts with Black mechanics
1846 Kentucky Incitement Law Provided imprisonment for inciting slaves to rebel
1847 Missouri Literacy Law Prohibited teaching Blacks to read or write
1848 Virginia Incitement Law Provided death penalty for advising slaves to rebel
1850 Fugitive Slave Law Enacted Stronger enforcement provisions
 1852 Georgia Tax Law Imposed a $5 per capita tax on free Blacks
 1853 Virginia Poll Tax Law Levied tax on all free Blacks 21 to 55 years old
 1856 Virginia Drug Law Forbade selling poisonous drugs to Blacks
1857 Dred Scott Decision Supreme Court dehumanized and disenfranchised Blacks
1868 Southern Blacks Codes Deprived Blacks of right to vote and hold public office
1883 Civil Rights Law of 1875 Weakened Supreme Court challenges the constitutionality of the law
1898 The Grandfather Clause Deprived Blacks of the right to vote in Louisiana
YEAR LEGAL & SOCIAL   RESTRICTIONS IN  NORTHERN STATES PURPOSE OF RESTRICTION
1660 Connecticut Military Law Barred Blacks from military service
1664 Maryland Marriage Law Enactment of the first anti-interracial marriage statute
1667 British Plantation Act Established codes of conduct for slaves and slaveholders
1705 Massachusetts Anti-Miscegenation Law Criminalized interracial marriages
1721 New York Runaway Law Prescribed execution for recaptured runaway slaves
1722 Pennsylvania Anti-Miscegenation Law Criminalized interracial marriages
1784 Connecticut Military Law Forbade Blacks from serving in the militia
1800 Maryland Agricultural Laws Prohibited Blacks from raising and selling agricultural products
1804 Ohio Mobility Law Enacted Black Laws that restricted Blacks, movement
1804 Ohio Registration Law Required Blacks to register annually and post a bond
1805 Maryland Licensure Law Forbade Blacks from selling tobacco or corn without a license
1807 Maryland Residence Law Limited residence of entering free Blacks to 2 weeks
1810 Delaware Migration Law Forbade migration of Blacks; levied $10 per week fine
1811 Connecticut Voting Law Disenfranchised Black voters
1821 District of Columbia Registration Law Required Blacks to register annually and post bond
1827 Maryland Occupation Acts (Petition to Legislature) Prohibited Blacks from driving or owning hacks, carts or drays
1829 Illinois Marriage Law Forbade Black and White marriages
1831 Indiana Mobility Law Required Blacks to register in order to work and post bond
1836 District of Columbia Business License Law Prohibited licensing Blacks for profit-making activities
1842 Maryland Information Law Felonied Blacks demanding or receiving abolition newspapers
1844 Maryland Occupation Acts Excluded Blacks from the carpentry trade
1844 Maryland Color Tax Placed a tax on all employed Black artisans
1858 Maryland Recreation Law Forbade Blacks and slaves from boating on the Potomac

(SOURCE: THE HERITAGE COLLECTION, ELKINS, PA., 2004 EDITED BY: (LAWRENCE E. WALKER FOUNDATION COLLECTION)

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