|The law defines the parameters of slavery. While legal rights were not necessarily
enforceable rights, slaves did develop legal rights before the Courts. In fact, the story of
the law and slavery is an amazing story of the struggle of a people to assert basic,
fundamental acts of protection in a democratic society. While it is not always a story of
triumph, (especially with the increasing harshness of the law) it is the story of people
who refused to give up. People who, throughout the history of this country, developed
their rights through the legal system.
From the settlement of Maryland in 1634 (Charter)the tradition was not one of slavery
but of servitude. Yet by 1660 slavery became codified on the law books of
Maryland.Note 1 The institution of slavery in Maryland grew from small beginnings of
distinctions of color.
By 1662 Maryland had banned interracial marriages describing the marriages "always
to the Satisfaction of their Lascivious and Lustful desires, and to the disgrace not only
of the English butt also of many other Christian nations."Note 2
Although slavery already existed outside Maryland law, by the Maryland Act of 1664
slaves became servants for life and their issue became slaves as well. Even in this
early age, persons held in bondage were able to petition the General Court of
Maryland to achieve their freedom: John Babtiste, Thomas Hagleton, William Upton
received their freedom; Charles Cabe, Joyce Giddings, and Tom Blanco did not.Note 3
The Maryland Assembly in 1695 passed an act calling for corporal punishment for
slaves engaged in assembling on Sundays
In 1715 the Maryland Assembly passed an act entitled An Act Relating to Servts and
Slaves The act provided that: "no Servant or Servants whatsoever within this Province
whether by Indenture or According to the Custome of the Country or hired for wages
shall travell by Land or by Water ten Miles from the house of his her or their Master
Mistress or Dame without a note Under their hands or Under the hand of his or their p.
122 Overseer if any be Under the penalty of being taken for a runaway And to Suffer
such Penalties as are hereafter provided Against Runaways."
In 1719 the Maryland Assembly passed an act to "provision made what shall be done
with such runaway Servants or Slaves that now are, or hereafter shall or may be taken
up and committed to the Custody of any Sheriff within this Province, where the Master
or Owner of such Servant or Slave, having due Notice of such Servant's or Slave's
being in the Custody of such Sheriff, refuses or delays to redeem such Servant or
Slave, by paying their Imprisonment Fees, and such other Charge as has, or may
accrue, for taking up such Servant or Slave."
In 1719 the Assemby passed AN ACT for the more effectual punishment of Negroes
and other Slaves. The new law increased penalities for felonies committed by free
blacks and slaves.
The Maryland Assembly in 1737 passed an act against stealing, taking, and carrying
away slaves.Note 4 The Maryland Act of 1751 defined the aiding of runaways and the
punishments for such undertakings. The punishment was the payment in full value for
the runaway slave.
The Maryland Assembly 1751 also saw the passing of An Act for the more effectual
Punishment of Negroes and other Slaves, and for taking away the Benefit of Clergy
from certain Offenders: And A Supplementary Act to an Act entituled, An Act to prevent
the tumultuous Meeting and other Irregularities of Negroes and other Slaves, and
directing the Manner of trying Slaves. This law gives specific punishments such as
cutting off an ear and burning an R on the cheek of a slave.
(Constitution of 1776)
The first law regarding slavery in the State of Maryland was passed in December 25,
1788 (Maryland Act of 1789). Slavery was contained in "An Act for the more effectual
punishment of criminals." The criminal code listed crimes and punishments for free and
bondeed servants. In section 13 it reaffirmed the Maryland Act of 1751 entitled "An Act
for the more effectual punishment of negroes and other slaves and for taking away"
and the "An Act for the more effectual punishment of negroes and other slaves and for
taking away" and the "An Act to prevent the tumultuous meeting and other irregularities
of negroes and other slaves." Judges were required to pass the death sentence or
forced public labor not exceeding 14 years. If the sentence did not require death, the
owner would be reimbursed what money could be made from the sale. The slave would
work the sentenced time and then be sold with the profits going to the county or state.
The 1789 Assembly reaffirmed the Maryland Act of 1752 entitled "An Act to prevent
disabled and superannuated slaves being set free, or the manumission of slaves by
any last will or testament." This was reaffirmed till the next assembly. The 1790
Assembly rewrote this Act stating in the preamble that: "It is contrary to the principles of
justice to prevent the manumission of slaves by last will and testament..." Manumitted
slaves had to be under fifty years and able to work. William Pinckney in the 1789
Assembly fought hard against closing off the possibility of slaves ever having freedom:
"You are not called on at this time to compel an emancipation of your slaves...They
have destroyed almost the only opportunity these wretches can have of regaining the
Station to which God and nature have given them title."Note 5
The Act also placed penalties against anyone that would remove freed blacks or
slaves that were about to be manumitted from the state. The code imposed
punishments ranging from three hundred to four hundred pounds against the offenders.
the law also provided for the suppport of old and incapable slaves, making owners
responsible for the food, clothing, and shelter of these persons. Upon oath, the Justice
of the Peace was responsible for fining the owner and using the money to provide for
the poor of the county.
In 1791, the Assembly once again experimented with limiting the number of slaves in
the state by creating an act entitled "An Act to prohibit the bringing slaves into this
state." Slaves that were inherited by Marylanders could be brought into the state.
However, those slaves must have been residents of the United States before April 21,
1783 or descendants of slaves that were residents of the United States. All slaves had
to be registered with the clerk of the county. Slaves could not be brought into the state
for the purpose of sale. The Supreme Court ruled in Scott v. Ben, 6 Crach, (10 U.S.) 3,
that a slave could not gain their freedom because a master had neglected to prove that
the slave had resided in the U.S. three years before importing the slave into Maryland.
Note 6 Yet many suits were made over the issue of the proper registering of the slaves
with the clerk of the county.
In 1792 "An Act to Prevent and Suppress Insurrections" passed in the 1778
Assembly was voided. In the same assembly action was taken against sheriffs who
failed to advertise the capture of runaway slaves. Sheriffs were required to advertise in
a public newspaper within 20 days a physical description of the slave including clothing
that the slave was wearing. If the sheriff did not follow the act, he would be fined 20
pounds which would go to the slave owner. (See Sheriff's Notice).
The 1794 Assembly rewrote the law for bring slaves into the state so that anyone
moving into the state could bring slaves with them as long as the slaves were residents
of the United States for three years prior. These slaves could not be sold in Maryland
for three years except in cases of death of original owners or the sale by the state for
criminal behavior (See Prince George's Deposition).
By 1795 the Assembly decided to renew all the basic acts in existence concerning
slavery. This included: "An act for the more effectual punishment of negroes, and other
slaves, and for taking away the benefit of clergy from certain offenders", and a
supplementary act entitled, "An act to prevent the tumultuous meeting and other
irregularities of negroes, and other slaves, and directing the manner of trying slaves
passed May session, 1751"; "An Act to prevent certain evils and inconveniences
attending the sale of strong liquors, and running of horse races, near the yearly
meetings of the people called Quakers, and to prevent the tumultuous concourse of
negroes, and other slaves, during the said meetings"; passed 1748.
By the Assembly of 1796 a new code was passed entitled "An Act relating to
Negroes, and to repeal the acts of assembly therein mentioned." It reaffirmed the law
to bring slaves into the state as long as they were in the U.S. for three years and the
purpose of bringing them into the state was not to sell them. Manumitted slaves were
not allowed to vote or give testimony against whites. It also reaffirmed that slave
owners could not turn out their slaves. It upheld the rights of owners to manumit their
slaves. This act served as the basis for constant challenges by slaves with petitions for
freedom because of the technical nature and length of the act. From the District, the
law firm of Marbury & Brent and Mr. R. S. Coxe offered many challenges throughout the
These early acts of the Maryland Assembly had another influence on slavery. The
original District of Columbia was composed of the County of Washington and the
County of Alexandria. As the County of Washington was composed of land donated by
the State of Maryland for the new capital, the laws passed prior to the donation of the
land remained in effect as the basic law of the County of Washington. The County of
Alexandria was the Virginia land ceded for the new capital and remained under
Virginia law until it was finally turned back over to the Commonwealth of Virginia.
However, for over fifty years this created a system of duel laws for the District of
Columbia where a river served as the dividing line.
The 21 section of the Maryland Act of 1796 also gave the rules regarding petitions for
freedom. (See Petition of Milly Ogleton). While slaves were allowed to petition for
freedom, it was only because the law gave slaves the right to ask for petitions for
freedom. There was no statute on the books which gave a person in slavery a right to
petition but it probably came from the Maryland Act of 1715 in cases of complaints
between masters and servants. Under the Act of 1796 slaves had to file petitions for
freedom in the county courts where the master lived or where he had directed the
slaves to live. (See Butler et al v Duvall)
The Assembly's laws which prohibited the importation of slaves under the 1796 Act or
the 1783 Act was upheld by the Federal Government in the case of Delilah et al. v
Jacobs et al.(Case No. 3,773) District of Columbia, Oct Term 1832. Delilah and
several other slaves sued for freedom because a Mr. Childs imported them from
Virginia. Mr. Childs defense was that the State of Maryland had no right to prohibit
Marylanders from bringing slaves into Maryland because of a compact between
Maryland and Virginia that allowed them to bring their effects into each others state
free of duty.
By 1800 the Assembly was making different punishments to distinguish between free
and slave. An ACT for the preservation of the breed of fish in Great Choptank river.
In 1801 the Assembly used an individual act to end a marriage. An ACT annulling
the marriage of John Crist, of Frederick county, and Susannah his wife. 1801
WHEREAS John Crist, of Frederick county, by his petition to this general assembly
set forth, that his wife Susannah had prostituted herself with a negro man, and after her
intermarriage with the said John Grist was delivered of a mulatto child in consequence
and prayed that an act might pass annulling his marriage with his said wife ; and the
allegations of said petitioner being proved to the satisfaction of this general assembly,
II. BE IT ENACTED, by the General Assembly of Maryland, That the marriage of the
Grist and Susannah his wife, heretofore solemnized, be, and the same is hereby
declared to be, absolutely and to all purposes null and void; and the said John Grist
and Susannah his wife are here-by declared to be divorced a vinculo matrimonii.
The Assembly in 1802 rewrote the Act relating to runaway servants and slaves. The
new law gave a sheriff permission to sell the slave if a slave was unclaimed after 60
days from the last date of the advertisement. The sheriff was required to report to the
Levy Court the number of slaves sold and the amount raised by their sale. The money
stayed in the Levy Court for five years for the owner of the slave to claim. The sold
slave had to remain in Maryland for two years before removal to any other state.
By 1802 the Assembly reversed itself again so that any slave that was to serve a
limited time (such as a child) that had run away (except for conditions of ill treatment)
could have their term extended as much as the court thought was reasonable.
The 1805 Assembly passed a special bill for one Robert Williams, a free black man,
and his wife and children. Robert purchased his wife and children from their owner.
Instead of being manumitted they actually had been sold to Robert Williams and were
therefore his slaves. Unfortunately before Mr. Williams could prepare a will that would
have manumitted them he went insane. The Assembly granted freedom to his wife and
family. (See Reasons for Freedom) The 1808 Assemby addressed the issue again
because of additional names of children.
The 1805 Assembly also tackled the problem of certificates of freedom. The new
certificates were to be issued only by clerks of the county courts and were to contain a
physical description of the former slave and contain the county seal. Any manumitted
black that wanted to travel beyond his county of residence was required to obtain a
certificate form the Clerk of the Court (See Freedom by Will). A supplimental bill was
passed by the 1808 Assembly.
Attached to this Act was a provision for tumultous meetings that required the Constable
of every hundred to look for tumultous meetings of blacks. Freed blacks received a
fine, while slaves would be whipped at the constable's discretion, not exceeding 39
lashes. The Assembly of 1808 passed an act that allowed blacks and mulattoes to
testify against each other in a court of law.
The Assembly of 1809 rewrote the conspiracy laws. All blacks and whites that were
actually guilty of leading an insurrection would receive death by hanging. (See Bill
Wheeler) For conspiring they would be confined for not less than six or more than 20
years in the penitentiary. In their rewrite of the laws the punishment the punishment for
any slave was still death by hanging but the court could now sentence lashing up to 100
times on the bare back. Another punishment of the state was banishment as a slave to
another state or a foreign country. The Assembly also passed a law entitled: "An Act to
ascertain and declare the condition of shuch issue as may hereafter be born of Negro
or Mulatto Female Slaves, during their servitude for Years, and for other purposes
therein mentioned." This law stated that if the last will and testament or condition of
servitude did NOT mention that the children of said slave were to be also freed, then
they would remain slaves after the freedom of their mother was granted.
By the 1812 Assembly, the Act of 1796 relating to negroes was repealed and a new
act written to take its place. It allowed slaves to be hired out to an adjoining county of a
neighboring state for a period of one year. In the 1814 Assembly. The Maryland
Supplementary Act of 1728 entitled "An act relating to servants and slaves' was
The 1817 Assembly denied the slave any possibility of doing work for anyone else
but his owner. The bill limited their amount of employable work to over thrity days or up
to twenty days at harbest. The only exclusions to this bill were pilots.
The 1817 Assembly also rewrote a comprehensive law regarding unlawful exportation
of Negroes and Mulattoes and supplemented the runaway laws. This act gave a two
year penitentiary term for persons who unlawfully tried to sell either slaves or freed
blacks. The runaway law removed from the sheriff any power of determination as to the
fate of the runaway and placed it in the hands of the judges of the county court.
The 1819 Assembly tackled the punishment section of the criminal code that included
holdovers from the 1732 Assembly concerning whipping, boring through the tongue,
and burning on the forehead. All these were repealed.
The 1822 Assembly made it the duty of the Constable to keep records of the slaves
they hired out. The money was to be turned over to the Levy Court for the benefit of the
The Assembly of 1826 began rewriting the manumission laws that would cause
extreme difficulty for slave owners to allow slaves to be freed. Deeds of manumission
had to be evidenced by two or more good and sufficient witnesses. Execution of the
deed had to take place before the slave reached 45 years, nor could it began until the
slave was over 10.
The 1827 Assembly decided to combat the growing problem of individuals
encouraging runaways. For a free person to encourage a runaway the punishment was
up to six years in the state penitentiary. For a slave to convince another slave to run
away the punishment was thirty-nine lashes. (Assisting Runaways)
Both the 1832 Assembly and the 1833 Assembly were concerned with the
introduction of slaves into the state. The major emphasis of the act was to prohibit the
introduction of slaves into the state for the purpose of sale. However, the law did make
it possible for new slaves to come into the state viz, marriage, inheritance, or by the
owner moving into the state for the purpose of becoming a citizen.
The 1833 Assembly also increased the bounty for runaway catching from $6 to $30.
This money was paid by the slave owners. The Assembly, in a separate bill, authorized
county courts to sell violent or runaway slaves outside the state. The court held the
power to evaluate the conduct of the owner and the owner's agent.
By 1835 acts of the abolitionists were being taken more seriously by the legislature.
The Assembly declared it illegal for "any person knowingly to circulate, or in any way,
knowlingly assist in circulating among the inhabitants thereof, any pictorial
representation, or any pamphlet, newspaper, hand-bill or other paper, printed or
written, of any inflammatory character, having a tendency to create discontent among,
and stir up to insurrection, the people of color of this state." (See Prince George's
Memorial). The crime was a felony with a sentence of not less ten or more than 20
years in the penitentiary. The law also made it a crime for any citizen of the state to
print any material or to aid in the printing of any material that may "excite discontent, or
stir up insurrection amongst people of color of this state." The punishment for this was
also 10 to 20 years in the penitentiary.
The 1836 Assembly was prepared to again take on the problem of black navigators.
Because black navigators carried slaves to freedom, no black could navigate a ship
without having at least one white man over the age of 18 on board. The punishment
was the sale of the boat. Once again, Baltimore County and Anne Arundel County were
exempt from this act.
In 1837 the Assembly amended the Constitution of the State of Maryland. Section 26
of the amendment stated that both houses of the Assembly must pass a unanimous
vote for two terms to abolish slavery. If this happened, slave owners had to be paid full
value for the slaves.
By 1838 new forms of transportation were being used by the underground railroad in
providing for the escape of slaves. Railroads and steam ships were being used as
easy passage north. The Assembly made it illegal for slaves to be on any means of
transportation without the express permission of the slaves owner. The penalty for
violating this law was $500. (The railway was the means of escape for Frederick
The 1840 Assembly found that there was no law recognizing slavery in Maryland. This
was due to the challenges states were making against slavery requiring the proff of
existence of actual laws for slavery. The first section reads: "Negroes and mulattoes
have been held in slavery in this State as property of their owners from the earliest
settlement of this State, and are, and may be further held in slavery as property of their
owners; and that every owner of such negro or mulatto is entitled to the service and
labor of such negro or mulatto for the life of such negro or mulatto.12
The 1845 Assembly was not satisfied with the punishment by banishing from the state
for major crimes. Slaves were to be punished for the crimes of murder, rape, assault
with the intent to rob, insurrection, burglary, or arson as anyone under the law would be
punished. Only if the slaves were sent to the penitentiary would the owners be
The 1846 Assembly went back to the religious law passed in 1831. this assembly
made it illegal to have camp meetings for freed blacks or slaves. The only exception
was that they could once again attend any "regular" camp meeting held by the white
portion of the Methodist Episcopal Church or any other religious sect.
The Assembly also reaffirmed that no black, mulatto, slave, indian, indian slave in
Maryland or any other state could act in a court of law against a white person. This was
a repeal of the 1717 law that allowed persons of the Christian faith to act as witnesses.
The 1848 Assembly passed a law that made running away a felony. Any slave that
ran away was to be sold at auction and removed from the state. The purchaser had to
place a bond with the county that would be forfeited if the slave was not removed from
The 1850 Assembly rewrote the laws on the introduction of slaves into Maryland. All
previous laws were declared invalid. Emphasis in the law was directed at stopping the
import of slaves that had been involved in criminal proceedings in other states or the
District of Columbia.
|William Pinckney 1764-1822
Peabody Art Collection
|UNOFFICIAL COPY OF HOUSE BILL 1073
HB 898/04 - HRU
By: Delegate Burns
Introduced and read first time: February 11, 2005
Assigned to: Rules and Executive Nominations
A BILL ENTITLED
1 AN ACT concerning
2 Apology for Slavery
3 FOR the purpose of requiring the Governor of Maryland to apologize on behalf of
4 citizens of Maryland for the State's history of slavery, its long-held silence in the
5 face of slavery, and the atrocities committed under slavery in the State;
6 requiring the Governor to issue the apology on the 143rd anniversary of the
7 issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Lincoln; and generally
8 relating to an apology for slavery in Maryland.
10 WHEREAS, There were slaves in Maryland from the time that the colony was
11 founded, and historians recognize that the earliest slave was brought to
12 the 1630s; and
13 WHEREAS, A 1663 law stated that unless a black man could prove that he had
14 contracted his labor, he was presumed to be a slave in perpetuity; and
15 WHEREAS, Slaveholding grew by significant proportions in the 1690s, so that
16 while slaves made up only 3 percent of the population of the colony in 1658, their
17 numbers grew to 15 to 25 percent of the populations of the various counties in
19 WHEREAS, The growth of the tobacco trade in Maryland, and Maryland's
20 resulting wealth, was heavily dependent on the importation and use of slaves;
21 WHEREAS, Historians recognize that, among the American colonies, only
22 Virginia imported more slaves than Maryland; and
23 WHEREAS, As in other states, slaves in Maryland were whipped and grossly
24 mistreated, with large numbers of slaves forced to suffer from terrible
25 other ailments for which they were offered little treatment; and
26 WHEREAS, Husbands and wives were torn apart and their children were
27 ripped from their families, as all were sold within the chains of slavery; and
2 UNOFFICIAL COPY OF HOUSE BILL 1073
1 WHEREAS, In the 1820s slaveholding continued to flourish in Maryland,
2 despite the efforts of abolitionists who held antislavery meetings in Baltimore and
3 Hagerstown, presented an antislavery petition to the General Assembly, and
4 convinced one Baltimore newspaper to refuse the advertisements of slave
5 WHEREAS, Although slaveholding in Maryland began a gradual decline after
6 1810, with the slave population dropping from 111,500 in 1810 to 102,400 in
7 Marylanders still owned 87,189 slaves in 1860; and
8 WHEREAS, From 1830 on, despite this drop in the overall number of slaves,
9 Maryland remained the northernmost slaveholding state; and
10 WHEREAS, The General Assembly responded to the increasing numbers of
11 freed blacks in the 1830s by restricting the activities of blacks and establishing a
12 State board to oversee "the Removal of Coloured People", the repatriation of
13 blacks to Africa; and
14 WHEREAS, Militant slaveholders lobbied the General Assembly in 1860 to
15 strengthen slavery, end manumission, and forbid blacks from peddling, traveling,
16 holding their own church services, or having their own schools; and
17 WHEREAS, Baltimoreans rioted on April 19, 1861, in opposition to the
18 movement of Union troops, from Philadelphia to Washington, through the town;
20 SECTION 1. BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF
21 MARYLAND, That:
22 (1) The Governor of Maryland shall apologize on behalf of the citizens of
23 Maryland for the State's history of slavery, its long-held silence in the face of
24 and the atrocities committed under slavery in the State; and
25 (2) The Governor shall issue the apology on September 22, 2005, the 143rd
26 anniversary of the issuance by President Abraham Lincoln of the Emancipation
28 SECTION 2. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED, That this Act shall take
29 effect July 1, 2005.
| Sheriff's Notice
Was committed to the Jail of Prince George's County as a runaway on
the 21st day of April, 1841, a negro woman named Susan Lowe, who
says she was set free by Miss Betsy Brookes, late of Prince Goerge's
county. she had on when committed a blue jersey frock, and green
Merino cloak. She is about 21 years old 5 feet 4 or 5 inches hig, and
not very black. the owner of the above described negro is hereby
requested to come and prove her and take her away; she will otherwise
be discharged according to law. JNO. R. BADEN, Shff.
April 29, 1841
Was committed to the Jail of Prince George's County, as a runaway on
or about the 6th day of April 1841, a negro man named William Wright,
who says he is free and was raised in the city of Baltimore. He had on
when committed a green baize roundabout and striped casinet
pantaloons, and tar pawling hat; he is about 19 years old 5 feet 4 inches
high, and not very black. The owner of said negro is hereby requested
to come and prove him and take him away; he will otherwise be
discharged according to law. JNO. R> BADEN, Shff.
April 29, 1841
Was committed to the Jail of Prince George's County on the 30th day
of March, 1841, a negro woman named Barbara Thomas, who says
she belongs to a Mr. Fuller of Washington city. She had on when
committed a yeallow striped linsey frock. She is apparently between 50
or 60 years old. The owner of the above described negro is requested
to come and prove her, and take her away; she will otherwise be
discharged according to law. JNO. R. BADEN, Shff.
April 29, 1841
| Prince George's Deposition
Charles King moved with his family from Tufix county, State of
Delaware on the 16th day of May in the year of our Lord 1798 to
Prince George's County, State of Maryland with a bona fide intention to
settle; and brought with him the following lists of Negroes. They were
resident of the State of Delaware more than 3 years proceeding his
removal, all being born in the said state:
a Negro man named George
almost 22 years old.
Boy Henry, 14
Woman Cloe, 40
Girl Amey, 14
Boy Isaac, about 3 years old whose mother was a resident of the
State of Delaware more than three years next preceding the said
removed. Charles King
April 10, 1799, Prince George's Court (Blacks) MHR, Folder 4
|Prince George's Memorial to Legislature
Memorial of a Public Meeting
of the Citizens of Prince George's County to the Legislature of Maryland relative to
incendiary Publications, & C held 22 August 1835 at Upper Marlboro George W.
Duvalt, Esq Presiders
Resolved that the legislature pass laws at its next session making it penal to publish or
circulate papers of an incendiary character.
| Striking a Master
Benjamin brown vs. Jacob slave of James Aldridge
State of Maryland Prince george's County. You are hereby commanded
to arrest, Jacob, the servant of James Aldridge and him have before
some Justice of the Peace of said County on the 21st for striking Mr.
Benjamin Brown on the 21st and further to be dealt with according to the
act of assembly in such cases made and provided. Given under my hand
and seal this 21st day of June 1833 Jn. McKenen.
* * *
Whereas in hearing the complaint of Benjamin Brown I have this day
June 22nd 1833 sentenced the said Jacob to be whiped on the bare
back with 39 lashes. You are hereby required to inflict the same.
June 21, 22 1833, Prince George's Court (blacks) MHR, Folder 4
| Prince George's Petition for Freedom
To the honorable the Judges of the County Court of Prince George's
County in the State of Maryland the petition of Negro Kate on behalf of
herself and of Harry, George, Hesse, and Jim respectfully unto your
honors that they have long exercised the rights of freedom to which they
justly and rightly have and ought to continue to enjoy unmolested. But your
petitioners are informed and verily believe that Robert McGill executor of
Benjamin Gaither deceased is about to claim your petitioners, as part of
the estate of the said Gaither. Your petitioners further state, that some of
them have been brought up from infancy at great trouble and expense by
their parents and the owner of ther parents and now in (illegible) of their
rights to freedom and just as they are becoming useful they are thus about
to be used as slaves. Your petitioners therefore pray that this honorable
Court would prepare a summons to the said Robert McGille (illegible)
confederates when discovered for the purpose of having their claims
estblished and their just rights fully and legally ascertained and give such
further and other relief in the premises as to your honors may deem meet.
E. B. Caldwell Attorney for Petitioner, Robert W. Bowie Attorney for
Petitioner January 18, 1809 Prince George's Court (blacks) MHR, Folder
| Prince George's Appreciation Certificate
Certificate for Martin Green in his Suppressing tumultuous meetings of
Negroes in his hundreds. Prince George's Court Records (Blacks) MHR,
| Search Warrant
Search warrant for the house of Theophelus McDaniel suspected of hiding
a 12 year old slave Sarah of Richard Smallwood of Charles County.
September 18, 1830, Prince George's Court (Black) MHR, Folder 4
| Assisting Runaways
State of Maryland Prince George's County set the jurors of the State of
Maryland for the body of Prince George's County do on their oath present
that Alexius Boone a free man later of the county aforesaid on the
twenty-fifty day of January in the year 1832 with force and arms at the
County aforesaid did entice persuade and assist a certain negro woman
named Peggy the slave of a certain Walter Smith of the county aforesaid to
run away from her owner by reason of which said enticement persuasion
and the said (illegible) then and there well knowing the said negro woman
Peggy to be the slave of the said Walter, contrary to the act of assembly in
such case made and provided and against the peace government and
dignity of the State.
Prince George's Court, (Black) Folder 41
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