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Sec. 2. Any person possessed of any slave within this District, of healthy constitution, and sound in mind and body, may, by writing, under his hand and seal, evidenced by two good and sufficient witnesses, and acknowledged before one justice of the peace for this District, grant to such slave freedom. Any deed granting freedom to such slave shall be good to all intents and purposes, from the time that such freedom is intended to commence by said deed. The justice before whom such deed is acknowledged shall, at the time of said acknowledgment, endorse on the back of such deed the time of the said acknowledgment and the name of the party making the same. The justice, or the parties concerned, shall cause the said deed to be recorded in the office of the recorder of this District, within six months after the date of such deed or its acknowledgment.
Sec. 3. No manumission made by last will and testament shall be effectual to grant freedom to any slave, if the same shall be in prejudice of creditors, or if such slave shall be over the age of forty-five years at the time prescribed by such manumission to take effect, or if such slave be not able to work and gain a sufficient maintenance and livelihood at the time prescribed for such manumission to take effect.
Sec. 4. The increase of any female slave manumitted by will or deed hereafter made, born between the death of the testator or the record of the deed, and the time when her right to the enjoyment of her freedom arrives, shall also be free at that time, unless the deed or will otherwise expressly provides.
OF PETITIONS FOR FREEDOM.
SECTION 1. When petition of freedom to be tried. 5. Attorney responsible for costs when pe2. Trial by jury allowed.
titioner fails. 3. Appeal as to matters of law allowed. 5. Second petition not to be tried until the 4. Peremptory challenge allowed.
costs of the first be paid or secured. SECTION 1. No petition for freedom shall be tried in this District unless the petitioner shall reside therein, under the direction of his master, mistress, or owner. The circuit court shall have full power and authority to issue process against such master, mistress, or owner, for the purpose of compelling his or her appearance.
Sec. 2. In all petitions for freedom, either the petitioner or defendant may apply for and have the benefit of a trial by jury.
Sec. 3. Where the facts have been tried by a jury, there shall be no appeal from the judgment of the circuit court upon petitions for freedom, except as to matters of law; the master, mistress, or owner of the petitioner, or the petitioner, at the election of either, shall have the right of appeal as to matters of law only, and to take bills of exception to the Supreme Court of the United States.
Sec. 4. Either the master, mistress, or owner of the petitioner, or the petitioner, shall have the right of challenging peremptorily, to the number of twelve, jurors empanneled to try the facts in issue in any case of petition for freedom.
Sec. 5. In all cases of petitions for freedom, where the petition shall be dismissed, or, upon trial, the judgment shall be against the petitioner, the attorney prosecuting or appearing to the same shall pay all legal costs arising thereon, unless the circuit court shall be of opinion, under all the circumstances, that there was probable ground to suppose the petitioner had a right to freedom.
Sec. 6. If any petition for freedom shall be dismissed, and a second petition be filed at the suit of the same party, the circuit court shall order a stay of proceedings until the costs of the former petition, and all reasonable damages and expenses sustained or incurred by the defendant, to be ascertained by said court, shall be paid or secured to
OF DEALING WITH SLAVES, HARBORING THEM, OR SUFFERING THEM
TO GO AT LARGE.
7. Penalty for dealing with slaves. 2. Penalties for harboring and entertaining
8. Penalty for permitting a slave to go at 3. slaves.
9. Unlawful for slave to hire himself, 5. Penalty for encouraging slaves to meet in 10. Penalty for allowing slaves to be burdencompanies, &c.
some, &c. 6. Punishment may be inflicted by owner of 11. Chapter not to apply to absconding premises, slaves refuse to depart.
SECTION 1. If any person shall knowingly entertain any slave unlawfully absenting himself from his master or owner, or shall permit or suffer such slave to be about his house or land during the space of one hour or longer, such person shall forfeit and pay at the rate of two dollars for every hour such slave shall be by him so entertained or permitted or suffered to be about his house or land, one-half of which shall be for the use of the party aggrieved, provided prosecution for the same be begun within three months, otherwise to the use of the informer, provided prosecution for the same be commenced within twelve months after such offence.
Sec. 2. No master of a vessel coming into this District, and entering to trade therein, shall suffer any slave to frequent his vessel or come on board, or shall conceal such slave on his or other vessel. If any slave shall be kept concealed on board any vessel coming into and trading within this District for the space of one hour or longer, the master or commander of such vessel shall forfeit and pay at the rate of three dollars for ever hour such slave shall be suffered to frequent his vessel, or shall be kept or concealed on board his vessel, to the party owning such slave: provided, however, it shall and may be lawful for any master or commander of such vessel to hire any slave from an inhabitant of this District to work on board his vessel.
Sec. 3. Any free negro harboring or entertaining any slave unlawfully absenting himself from his master or owner, shall forfeit twenty dollars, one-half to the use of the party aggrieved.
Sec. 4. Any slave knowingly harboring or entertaining any slave unlawfully absenting himself from his master or owner, for and during the space of one hour or longer, shall, on conviction before any justice of the peace, be punished by whipping with a number of stripes not exceeding thirty-nine, in the discretion of such justice.
Sec. 5. If any person shall encourage any slaves to meet in companies on his premises, unless on lawful occasions, he shall forfeit twenty dollars.
Sec. 6. The owner of any premises discovering thereon any slaves not belonging to him, unless such slaves be sent by their owners, on lawful occasions, shall warn such slaves to go home to their masters or owners; and if such slaves refuse or delay so to do, the said owner of the premises may punish them by whipping, not exceeding thirty
Sec. 7. Any person who shall trade, barter, or deal with any slave belonging to any inhabitant of this District, without the consent of the master or owner of such slave, shall forfeit thirty dollars, one-half to the United States and the other to the use of the master or owner of the goods sold or bartered. If the goods so traded or bartered exceed in value fifteen dollars, the owner thereof may also have and maintain an action against the person dealing with such slave for any damages sustained by him.
Sec. 8. Any person permitting and authorizing any slave belonging to him in his own right, or possessed by him in the right of another, to go at large, or hire himself within this District, except during ten days at harvest, shall forfeit twenty dollars for every month such slave shall be permitted to go at large, or hire himself.
Sec. 9. Any person who shall hire a slave by contract with such slave, except during ten days at harvest, shall forfeit twenty dollars per month; provided, that any person may permit his slave, being a pilot, to hire himself in such capacity, and any person may employ as a pilot any slave known or generally reputed to be a pilot.
Sec. 10. Any person who shall permit an insane, aged, or infirm slave owned by him, or under his control, to go at large, without adequate provision for his support, or shall suffer any slave belonging to him to become burdensome to other persons, shall forfeit a sum not exceeding fifty dollars. Such person may also be required by the criminal court to enter into a recognizance, with sufficient security, in the suin of one hundred dollars, that such slave shall not become burdensome to other people. If any person shall, by sale, gift, or otherwise, dispose of any insane, aged, or infirm slave, either such person, or the donee or vendee accepting the same, may be proceeded against as the owner of such slave under this section.
Sec. 11. If any slave shall run away, or abscond from the service of his master or owner, contrary to the will of such master or owner, such running away or absconding shall not be deemed or taken to be a departing and remaining at large, within the meaning of any section of this chapter.
OF RUNAWAY SLAVES.
}Runaway slaves may be arrested ; proceedings to be had thereon. Section 1. Any runaway slave may be arrested and taken before a justice of the peace, who may commit such runaway slave to the custody of the marshal of this District. It shall be the duty of said marshal, when any runaway slave shall be committed to his custody, to advertise the same, for a reasonable time, in some newspaper published in Washington City, within ten days after such commitment, giving a particular description of the clothing, person, and bodily marks of such runaway.
Sec. 2, If the master or owner of such runaway slave, or agent of such master or owner, shall not apply for such runaway, and prove his title to the same, within the space of sixty days from the date of the first advertisement as aforesaid, and pay, or secure to be paid, all such legal costs and charges as have accrued by reason of apprehending, imprisoning, and advertising such runaway, it shall be the duty of the marshal to carry such runaway before the judge of the criminal court, with his commitment. Such judge shall examine and inquire, by such means as he shall deem most advisable, whether such suspected runaway be a slave or not; and if he have reasonable grounds to believe that such suspected runaway is a slave, he may remand him to jail, to be confined for such further time as he may think right and proper. If such judge shall have reason to believe that such suspected runaway is the slave of any particular person, he shall cause such notice to be given by the marshal to such supposed owner as he may think advisable. But if the said judge shall not have reasonable ground to believe such suspected runaway to be a slave, he shall order him to be released. If no person shall apply for such suspected runaway, after he has been remanded as aforesaid, within the time for which he may have been remanded, and prove his title, the marshal shall, at the expiration of such time, discharge him.