PRIMARY DOCUMENT

“Negro womens children to serve according to the condition of the mother” (1662)

ORIGINAL IMAGES
Hening's Statutes at Large
SUMMARY

In the act “Negro womens children to serve according to the condition of the mother,” passed by the General Assembly in the session of December 1662, Virginia’s colonial government attempted to better define the conditions by which people were enslaved or free. This was a reversal of the usual common law presumption that the status of the child was determined by the father. The act enabled the reproduction of one’s own labor force.

FULL TEXT
— page 170 —
Hening's Statutes at Large

WHEREAS some doubts have arrisen whether children got by any Englishman upon a negro woman should be slave or ffree, Be it therefore enacted and declared by this present grand assembly, that all children borne in this country shalbe held bond or free only according to the condition of the mother, And that if any christian shall committ ffornication with a negro man or woman, hee or shee soe offending shall pay double the ffines imposed by the former act.

MAP
TIMELINE
December 1662
The General Assembly passes "Negro womens children to serve according to the condition of the mother," an attempt to better define the conditions by which people were enslaved or free.
CITE THIS ENTRY
APA Citation:
General Assembly. “Negro womens children to serve according to the condition of the mother” (1662). (2021, August 17). In Encyclopedia Virginia. https://encyclopediavirginia.org/entries/negro-womens-children-to-serve-according-to-the-condition-of-the-mother-1662.
MLA Citation:
General Assembly. "“Negro womens children to serve according to the condition of the mother” (1662)" Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Humanities, (17 Aug. 2021). Web. 21 Oct. 2021
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