How did law in Virginia Colony begin to establish connections between race and lifetime slavery?
In December 1662, Virginia established a law that required the identification of whether a child was bond or free would be based on the condition of the mother. In particular, this law aimed at classifying slaves based on their race. In this case, the child born of white man and a slave Negro woman was also a slave (Hening 170). However, if the mother was free, the child was also free. In order to limit the instances of mixed race children, the December 1662 law doubled the amount of fine on any Christian who committed fornication with a Negro man or woman (Hening 170). In addition to this, the September 1667 law deregistered the right of a slave-born individual to become free through baptism to Christianity. Therefore, even if a slave was baptized as a Christian, he/she remained to be a slave (Hening 260). These two laws ensured that a person who was born as a slave would remain to be a slave as long as he/she was in Virginia. Further, the October 1669 law established that it was illegal for a slave to run away from his master. In addition, the slave master had the right to use corporal punishment to enforce this law, which could result in the death of the slave (Hening 270). Arguably, this law limited the chances of slaves running away from Virginia to regain their freedom.
How did these measures attempt to draw lines between indentured servants and slaves?
The September 1668 and the October 1669 laws on how to deal with refractory servants and slaves drew a clear line between these two categories of workers. The September 1668 law permitted the slave masters to use minimal corporal punishment on run away white indentured servants (Hening 266). Generally, this punishment could not result in the death of the servant. On the contrary, the October 1699 law permitted slave masters to use maximum corporal force on their obstinate slaves. In addition, the slave master would not be prosecuted if the slave were to die when being punished (Hening 270). Further, unlike the case of servants, who were only punished when they ran away, slaves were punished when the slave master or individuals whom he had given supervisory role found them to be stubborn. In essence, this law made slaves prone to various acts of hostilities against them.
Identify two arguments made by the Quakers against the growing institution of slavery.
Notably, culture, society, and laws of Virginia were based on Christian values. In their arguments against slavery, the Quakers set their arguments from this perspective. To begin with, they questioned why Virginia accepted slavery in the first place since most slaves were taken without their consent. In fact, most of them were stolen and separated from their families (Henderich 1). From a Christian and moral perspective, it is illegal to steal. Moreover, by the slave owners buying slaves, they were encouraging the theft of free men, which is contrary to Christian values. Therefore, the Quakers argued that it was wrong to own stolen property or to encourage such acts of theft. On their side, they believed that the government of Virginia should be on the forefront to fight against such acts of theft.
Secondly, the Quakers argued that the separation of freed men from their families led to adultery, an act that is admonished in Christianity. In particular, slavery led to the transfer of men to homes with different women, and a similar case applied to their wives (Henderich 1). In their new environments, they established new relationships and families. As a result, there was an increase in promiscuity and adultery. Since slavery promoted adultery, the Quakers argued that Virginia should not permit its practice.
Henderich, G. et al. A Minute Against Slavery, Addressed to Germantown Monthly Meeting. 1688. Print.
Hening, W.W. “Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia.” Richmond: Samuel Pleasants, Vol. 2, 1809-1823, pp. 170, 260, 266, 270. Retrieved from http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/disp_textbook.cfm?smtID=3&psid=71 Accessed 20 September 2016.