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Every southern state passed laws, sometimes called slave codes, to restrict the activities of African Americans and to prevent slave rebellions. White lawmakers in slave-holding border states, such as Maryland and Kentucky, were particularly concerned about runaway slaves who “stole themselves” by attempting escape to a northern free state.…

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Item Type: Laws/Court Cases
Date: 1794

While slaveholders defended slavery as a benign system, this selection of laws, on the books in Alabama in 1833, suggest that slaves themselves were finding many ways to resist and escape it. Whites became particularly concerned about slave gatherings after Nat Turner and his followers undertook a violent uprising in Virginia in 1831. (These laws…

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Item Type: Laws/Court Cases
Date: 1833