Primary Resource

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

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.

Transcription from Original

— page 170 —

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.