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An ACT more effectually to restrain the practice of negroes going at large (January 25, 1803)

In this act, passed on January 25, 1803, the General Assembly seeks to more carefully regulate free African Americans.

Transcription from Original

Chap. 21.—An ACT more effectually to restrain the practice of negroes going at large.

(Passed January 25, 1803.)

1. Be it enacted by the general assembly, That from and after the commencement of this act, every free negro or mulatto, who resides in any county in this commonwealth, shall be registered and numbered in a book to be kept for that purpose by the clerk of the court of the said county, which register shall specify the age, name, and colour and stature of such free negro or mulatto, together with any apparent mark or scar, on his or her face, head or hands, and in what court he or she was emancipated; or that such negro or mulatto was born free. A copy of the said register, signed by the clerk and attested by one justice of the peace of the county wherein such register shall be made, shall be delivered to the said negro or mulatto, on application, for which copy the clerk may demand and

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receive twenty-five cents, to be paid by the person receiving the same.

2. Provided always, That the clerk shall in no case grant a copy of such register, until the court of the county in which such free negro or mulatto resides, shall have certified that such register has been truly made.