Saturday, June 18, 2022

When Did Free Blacks Lose the Vote in Virginia?

 I had secondary sources on this, but just found the primary source: Hening's Statutes at Large, ch. 4, p. 134.

" XXIII. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, and it is hereby enacted and declared, That no free negro, mullatto, or indian whatsoever, shall hreafter have any vote at the election of burgesses, or any other election whatsoever."

What many people do not realize is that slavery developed over time.  Curiously, the same year, Ch. 2, p. 119:

Up to this point, free blacks served armed in the colonial militia. 

South Carolina still had free blacks voting in 1702 (p. 400) or at least this complaint was made by opponents of one political faction.  If that was not true, it seems a silly accusation to make.

V. Provided always, That such free Negros, Mulattos, or Indians as are capable, may be listed and emploied as drummers or trumpeters: And that upon any invasion, insurrection, or rebellion, all free Negros, Mulattos, or Indians, shall be obliged to attend and march with the militia, and to do the duty of pioneers, or such other servile labour as they shall be directed to perform.Free negroes, Mulattoes, and Indians, how employed.
      VI. And be it further enacted, by the authority aforesaid, That if an exempted overseer, or miller, or any free Negro, Mulatto, or Indian, other than as before excepted, shall presume to appear at any muster whatsoever, the party so offending, shall for every such offence, forfeit and pay one hundred pounds of tobacco, and shall immediately give security to the said commanding officer, for paiment of the same: Which fine or fines shall be disposed of in such manner, and to such uses as the other fines herein after-mentioned. 

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