Cohabitation Act of 1866

After the mid-seventeenth century, enslaved people in Virginia and throughout the South were not permitted to enter legal marriages. Although slaves regularly entered non-sanctioned marriages, slaveholders also regularly disregarded those relationships and separated families at will. The Cohabitation Act of 1866 had its origins in 1864, when a constitutional convention met in and prepared and put into effect a new constitution for what was known at the time as the Restored government, the government of the portion of Virginia that remained one of the United States during the Civil War. Read more about: Cohabitation Act of 1866