An Act to Amend the Law Prohibiting the Importation of Slaves into this State, approved February 2, 1833 -- Session Acts, p. 258

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, that each and every person or persons who shall hereafter import into this State any slave or slaves, or who shall sell or buy, or contract for the sale or purchase, for a longer term than one year, of the service of any such slave or slaves, knowing the same to have been imported as aforesaid, he, she, or they, so offending, shall forfeit and pay six hundred dollars for each slave so imported, sold, or bought, or whose service has been so contracted for, recoverable by indictment of a grand jury or an action of debt, in the name of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in any circuit court of the county where the offender or offenders may be found: Provided, however, That nothing herein contained shall be construed to authorize a recovery of the aforesaid penalty from any emigrant or emigrants to this State, for, or on account of, his, her, or their having brought with them any person or persons deemed slaves by the laws of any one of the United States, if such emigrant or emigrants shall, within sixty days after his, her, or their arrival into this State, have taken, before some justice of the peace, the following oath or affirmation, to wit: "I, ----, do solemnly swear, (or affirm,) that my removal to the State of Kentucky was with intention of becoming a citizen thereof, and that I have brought with me no slave or slaves with intention of selling them, so help me God." And shall also, within thirty days after taking such oath, have had the same recorded in the office of the clerk of the county court of the county in which the oath or affirmation was taken. Nor shall anything herein contained authorize a recovery of the penalty aforesaid against any person or persons, for, or on account of, his, her, or their having imported into this State, any slave or slaves, provided he, she, or they, prove on the trial, to the satisfaction of the jury, that he, she, or they were travellers or sojourners, making only a transient stay in this State, and brought such slave or slaves for the purpose of necessary attendance, and with the intention of again carrying them out of the State.

Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, that this act shall not be construed to extend to any person or persons who are residents of this State, and who derive title to such slave or slaves by will, descent, distribution, or marriage, or gift in consideration of marriage.

Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, That for a violation of any of the provisions of this act, an indictment may be found on the information of any one of the grand jury, or on the information of any other credible witness, and no prosecutor shall be necessary.

Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the attorneys for the Commonwelath now in office, at their first court after the passage of this act, and every other attorney for theCommonwealth who may be hereafter commissioned, at the time of taking the oath of office, to take a solemn oath that they will faithfully prosecute all offenders against this act within their knowledge, or of which they may be informed, and who may be found within their respective districts: and in each case of conviction, the prosecuting attorney shall be entitled to a fee of twenty per cent. out of the amount collected, and the balance shall be paid into the public Treasury, and set apart as a fund, to be under the direction of the Governor, and such other or others as the Legislature may appoint, for colonizing the free persons of color on the coast of Africa.

Sec. 5. Be it further enacted, That it shall not be construed an importation, within the meaning of this act, for the owner or owners, after he, she, or they may have hired their slave or slaves to any person or persons out of this State, to bring such slave or slaves to this State, if such owner or owners be citizens of this state, and have in their possession in this State such slave or slaves at the time of the hire.

Sec. 6. Be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for any justice of the peace of this Commonwealth, when information on oath shall be given him, that any person or persons have violated this act, to issue his warrant, directed to the sheriff, constable, or to some named individual, and cuase such person or persons to be apprehended and brought before him or some justice of the peace: and the jsutice before whom such person or persons shall be brought, shall hold an inquiry into the truth of the charge, and hear the evidence that either party may produce: and if it shall appear to such justice, that such person or persons, are guilty of a violation of this act, he shall cause the person or persons, so adjudged guilty by him, to be recognized in the sum of six hundred dollars, with one or more good security or securities, conditioned to appear at the next circuit court for the county, and answer the charge, and their failure to give such recognizance, to commit such person or persons to the jail of the county until the recognizance be given: and the justice shall also recognize the witnesses to appear at the same court and testify against such person or persons, and not to depart without the leave of the court.

Sec. 7. Be it further eacted, That any action or prosecution, which shall be brought for a violation of any of the provisions of this act, may be commenced at any time within five years from the commission of the offence, or the accrual of the cause of action and not after.

Sec. 8. Be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of each of the circuit judges in this Commonwealth, to give this act in charge to every grand jury empannelled in the courts in which they preside; also, to cuase to be brought before the grand jury, to give evidence, any and every person who may be thought by the court or attorney for the Commonwealth to have any knowledge of a violation of this act; so much of each and every act or acts of the General Assembly, as comes within the purview of this act, shall be, and the same is hereby repealed.

pp. 35-37 of the 3 letters by Thomas F. Marshall, December 1840 in Robert J. Breckinridge Pamphlets (UK Special Collections 308.2 P191k)

Home | Calendar | Related Links


1601 Patterson Office Tower
University of Kentucky
Lexington, KY  40506-0027
Phone: 606-257-9739; Fax: 606-257-7034
Email: dolph@pop.uky.edu
http://www.uky.edu/~dolph/HIS316/sources/1833.html