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Loft Court Report of Somerset v Stewart 1772-1773

Loft Court Report of Somerset v Stewart 1772-1773

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Published by Ben Waters

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Published by: Ben Waters on Jun 26, 2012
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06/26/2012

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500
~#~~~~~~
zt.
~T~W~
Qms
,
ever
has
existed
in
~1~~1~~~~
ut whether it be
riot
now
a~o~~she~Vario~s
efirri-
tions
have been given
of
siavery
:
one
of
tha
mast
corisiderabta
is
the
fol~ow~~~
 
t.
Bervice
for
life,
for
bare tiecessaries.
Harsh
and
terrible
to
human nature
as
even
such
a
C~K~~~t~On
s,
slavery
is
very ~tisu~cient~y~efi~~ed
y
these circ~~msta~ic~s-~tnchdes
lot
the
er
of
the master
over
the
s1ave's
persort,
property,
and
lirnha,
life
only
exceptad
j
it includes not the right over
lttt
~cqu~remetits
F
the slave's
labour
;
IOC
hcludes
the
alienation
of
tbe unhappy object from his
origiiial
master,
to
wh~~eveahso~~~~e
ord,
i~iterest, ~~rjce
r
malice,
may
cliuse to
trarisfe~.
im
j
It
inoludes
wt
the descendible property from father to
son,
and
in
like manner continually
of
theslave
and
all
his descerrdants. Let
UQ
reflect
on
the conserpiices
of
servitude
in
il,
light still more i~port~r~t.he ~or~u~~ti~n
f
m~ririers
rt
the
nisstel;
from
the etitires~~ject~o~~
f
the
sfibves
he ~os~esge~
o
his
8ole will
;
rom
whence
spririg
forth
hxur-y$
pride,
cruelty,
with
the
infiriits
~~~or~~t~es
per^^^^^^^^^
kt
their
train
;
he
danger
to
tha master, from the revenge
of
his
much ~~~~i~rer~
tid
~ri~e~r~sset~epe€i~atitctebase-went
of
the
nzittd
of
the stave,
for
want of meaita arid motives
of
~mprove~~nt
wl
peril
to
the co~is~it~~tiot~rider whieh the sfave canriot
but
suffer,
arid
which he
will
~~at~ra~~yt~deavour
o
subvert,
as
the otily means
of
retriev~[~~o~fort
id
security
60
~i~~e~f"-The
urnaK~~ty
f
modern
times
has
miieh
n~it~g~te~~his extreme rigour
of
slavery
j
shall
an
attempt
to
itttrocluce perpetual servitude here to this
islrtrtrl
hupe
for
co~~~~tet~ance
Wit1
not
all
the other ~iisch~efsf mere utter servitude revive,
if
once the
idea
ofabsolute property,
riiirter
the
irntiiedi%te
satiation
of
the
laws
of
this
c~~~r~tr~~xtend itself
to
those who
have
bseu ~roug~tver to
a
soit
whose
air
is
deemed
loo
pure
for slaves to hreathe
in
it
j
but the
laws,
the, genius
aid
spirit
of
theconstitution, forbid the approach
of
slavery
;
will
riot
suffer
it's
existence here.
This
point,
I
conceive, iieeds
110
f~?~ther~i~argemer~t
I
mean, the proof
U
our
mild
arid
jitst
con~~~t~~~ior~
s
ill
~~~apte~~
o
the ~ecept~~1~f ~r~i~rary
~1~~~~~~
an4 ~~ritBut it has
been
said by
great,
~~~~jor~ties,
~i~u~~~
lavery
in
its
futl extent
be
irluoni-patibie with the natural rights
of
~ar~~i~id~
rid
the ~r~r~~~~~es
f
good ~o~,er~i~~
tic
8
~od~~a~
ervit~~e
ay
be tt~~erate~~
wy,
s~~~et~m~g
ust
be ~~~~Ii~~i~ieda~?t~
in
war
is
the priticipal
ground
of
slavery
:
contract another. Grotitrs
L)e
131
J.
B,
c%
P.
and
~~~fen~or€,
.
6,
c.
3,
$j
5,
approves
of
tliakirrg
slaves
of
captives
in
war,
The mthor
of
the Spirit of Laws denies, except for ~e~~~~eservat~oti,
nd
then
oidy
a
te~~porars~ave$y,
Dr.
Rutherforth,
in
his
Priaciples
of
h'atursl Law, atid
Lucku,
absolutely
a~ains~
t.
As
to
eorrtract
;
want
of
s~~~cie~itorisi(~eratiotiustly gives
full
exee~ti~~t1
to
the ~o~~~~~e~ing
f
it
as
contract,
if
it
carritot
be supported against parents, certainiynot ~g~ir~sthildr~r~. lavery
imposed
for the ~)er~or~~~ticef
public
works
fus
civil
crimes,
is
much more defensible,
and
rests
on
quite
differerit
foundations. Domesticslavery, the object
of
the
present
corisider&m,
is
now
submitted to observation it1 the
ensuing
aceottiit, ita first ~~~I~~iceR~eiit~
rogress,
arid
gradual decrease
:
it
took
origitt
very
early
among
the b~r~~,~~s
~~tI~~r~s~
otlti~~~~e~
n
the state
of
tbe Jews,Greeks,
~o~atis~
nd
Gerniaris
;
was
~ro~a~~te~~
y
the
last
over
the
r~~~~ne~u
d
~xGena~~~~~~itrieshey subdued. ~~~co~np~t~b~e
ith
the mild
and
~~U
re~
of
~hr~~t~aI~~ty~
t
begari
to
be
a~~~~~she(~
rt
Spk,
as
the ~riha~~j~~r~tarew e~i~i~h~~
and
c~~iY~~e~~
u
the 8th
~e~~t~ir~;
ts
decay exte~i~~ed
yer
Europtt
in
tbe
4th;
witspretty well perfected
in
the be~~tiiii~~gofhe 16th century.
Soon
after that period,
the
cl~seo~er~
f
Ameri~a
evived those
tyrarir~ic
~~ctrir~e~
E
servit~~e,
k?i
their ~~~etchcons~~~e~ces.here
is
now
ttt
last
a11
wttempt, and the
first
yet knowtt,
to
introduce
it
into
id
long
and
Iiriin~erru~~e(~sage from
the
origin
of
the c~~
aw,
stands
to
oppose its revival,
All
lririds
of:
domestic siavery were ~roh~b~te~,xceptr~i~~e~~~~e.he
viliain
was
bound
~t~~e~~~
a
~erpet~i~i
ervice
;
iable to
the
arbitrarydjsposal
of
his
lord.
There were two
sorts
;
illain regardant,
arid
iti
gross
:
the furnrer
as
belonging to
a
manor, to the
lord
of
which his ancestors
hd
done villain service
;
itt
gross, when
a
villain was ~ra~te~lver
by the
lord.
Villaire
were ~ri~itiacaptives at the
Cortqtzest,
or
t~o~~~~esefore. Villenage eodd co~~ne~ice
o
where
brit
in
~r~g~~~~~
t
was
~e~es~~r~
o
have ~~e~cr~~t~o~~
or
it.
A
fiaw
species has neverarisen till
now;
for
had
it,
remedies
ard
~owers
here
would
have
been
at
hv
here-
for8
the most violerit presomptioti aga~~ist
s
the silence
of
the
'Is'vya,
were
there
~~~t
more,
'Tis
very
doubtf~~l ~~eth~rhe
hws
of
&rg~arrd
vriii permit
a,
man
to
bind
himself
by
contract
to
serve for
life
:
certainly
will
not suffer
birn
GO
invest anotherman with ~es~o~~sm,
ior
prevent his
own
right to dispose
of
proper~y.
If
~~~s~
by
consetrt
of
partiee, niuch
more
when
by
force
;
f niade void when coni~e~~ced
ere,
.
 
mFm*
+.
~~~~~~~T
2.
~~~~A
01
mueh
more
whtur
importe~.
If
these are true argu~e~~ts,hey reach the
Kirtg
b~mself
as
walt
aa
the
s~bje~t,
r. ~~ther~orthays,
if
the civil
law
ot
auy
nation
does
tiot
allow
of
slavery, prisotiers
of
war earirtot be
made
slaves,
If
the
policy
of
our Iawaadmits not of slavery, aeither fact
tior
rewon
are
for
it.
A
ma~,
t
is
said,
told theJudges of er,
it1
the
case
of
a
~us~~arilave whom
thy
had
orderedto
be
YCO
oaed, that the air of Etl~Ian(~
as
too
pure
for
siavery. The
Ptlrliitmet
ishetl the Judges
of
the Star-Cha~ber
or
such wage
of
the
141
Russian,
011
his
refusing to answer iuterrogatories. There
are
verg
few
instances,
few
indeed,
of
decisions
as
to
slaves,
in
this courrtry.
Two
irr
Charles the
Zd,
where
it
was
adjudge^^
trover
would
lie,
34
trover broughtfor taking
a
tregro slave, a~jud~e~
t
would Hot lie.---&h
Art
act~otiof trover;j~€~g~~et~ty ~efault
OII
~rrest
f
jud~me~t,
resolve^
that
t
er
would
not
lie.
Sirch
the
~etermi~iat~a~~s
rr
all but two
cases;
and
those the
e
st, arid d~saiiowedby the sub8equeiit decisions.
Lord
&dt.--As
soon
as a
slave
enters ~rf~land
e
comes
free.
~~~~~1~~
aid
~u~~~,
n
a
bequest to
is
slave; by
a
person
whom
he
had
served
sonie
years by
his
for~~er
aste~’8
per~iss~ori,
he master
daims
thebe~~uestLord
~or~~iii~gt~ti
ecides
or
the slave,
atid
gives him
costs.
29th of
George
the
Sd,
c.
31,
implies
pe~~jss~ot~
n
A~erie~~
rIhappily t~~ou~htec~sa1.y
;
but thesame
reason
su~~sts
tot
here
irr
~~j~~arid.he local
law
to
be
admitted
whet1
rio
very
greati
it~c~riv~tiieti~e
ould
follow
;
ut ot~~~w~seiot. The right
of
the masterdepends
on
the cortclitioti
of
slavery (such as
it
is)
in
America.
If
the slave be broughthither,
it
has
nothing
left
to
deperid
011
but a supposed contract
of
the slave to returrr
;
which yet the
taw
of
Eiigla~~~~r~tI~tery~~t.
s
has
beeri
traced
the only mode
of
siavery ever beeri established
hose,
v~lie€I~ge,
0
expired
;
I
hope
it
has
shewn,
the
it~troducing
ew
kinds
of
slavery has beerr ~i~tiou~ly,
id,
we
trust, e~e~tffa~iyua~edaga~~ist
y
the
same
laws.
Your
Lo~.ds~ips
ill ~i~~ul~ee
iii
rec~ti~rig
he
p~~ct~
ffar8igKl
1~5ti~~i~.
is
di~coutiteKIa~~ced
ti
&%tice
;
~artholirius
De
~e~ub~ic~
eiiies
its
permission
by
the law
of
France.
~olin~~s
ives
it
re~i~rkabletista~~ce
f
the slave
of
an
amb~sador
f
Spain ~roii~h~rito Prartce
;
he
claims
liberty
;
is
claim a~lo~$ed
Fratice
wen
miti~ates he at~eie~~t~avery, ar from creating
new,
France does
riot
suffer
even
her
King
to
irit~oduce
new
species of slavery.
The
other ParIia~e~its
did
indeed
;
but
the
~ar~ja~eIit
f
Paris, cor~sideririg he edict to ~m~ortlavery as
8x1
exert~ot1
f
the Soverei~~i
o
the
breach
of
the co~istitutiori,would iiot register thatedict. Edict
1688,
per~~tslavery
is
the co~ori~e~.(~ict
rt
1716,
~ec~teshe Ii~essity
to
pe~~itn France, but under
varioLts
restraiiits, a~curate~yi~umeratec~
n
the Instit~t~
of French
Laws.
1759
Admiralty
Court of
France; Causes
CelebrBes,
title
Negro,
,I
French ~8~1tIerna~~
~ut~hased
slave,
and
sent
him
to
St.
Mala’s eI~tr~stedith
a
friend.After ten years the serva~~tchases to leave
~r~~~ce.
he
aster
riot
like
Mr. Stewart
hurries
him back
by
~aforce, but obt~ins process to
~p~~~,ehe~id
im,
from
a
Court
of
Justice. Whiie
it1
prison,
the servant ~~stitu~sprocess itg~it~st
is
master, atid
is
declared
free.
Af&r
the ~e~~~ssioKif slaves
in
the colonies, the edict
of
17l6
was
t~eceasary, o tra~~sfer&at slavery to Paris
;
not w~thout
any
restrair~ts,
i9
efore re~arked t~~erwiseeattcierrt p~inc~plesould have ~i,evailed. The author De Jure ~avissimo~hough themtural &erid~ic~
f
his
book, as appears by the title, leads the other
way,
eoue~rs
with
[a]
diverse great a~~~~orit~es,
ri
reprobatiri~he ~~itro~uct~~ti
f
it
new
species
of~~rvi~ffde.
u
E~~~l~ii~,
here
free~o~~
s
the
grand
object
of
the
laws,
aitd dis~erised
to
the ~~ariestr~d~v~~~a~,hall
the
laws
of
itif
if~~arito~oiiy~iFg~nja,
01’
f
a
barbarou~iiatioii,
Africa,
prevail
1
From
the
su~~iss~ori
f
the negro to the
laws
of
E~ig~~i~d
e
is
liable
to
all
their penalties, and consequently has
a
right
to
their protection. There
is
one
easa
I
must still n~e~~tio~~
a~m~
r~mir~alsavit~~scaped executi~~i
n
Spairi,
ere
set free
in
~~aiice.
Lord Mar~s~a~d.-~i~htly:or the
Itlws
of
oiie
cou~~ry
ave
%lot
hereby
to
eoii~e~~~
~8~ices
~pposedo
be
com~~tted~i~sthose
of
another,]
An
object~o~~as ariseti, that the West India ~om~ariy,ith their trade
in
slaves,having
been
e~~ab~~s~edy the law
of
~tiglar~d,ts cor~se~uetIc~ust be recog~i~zeby
that
Isw
;
iit
the est~blishtiierit
s
local, atid
these
coiIse~i~encesocal;
and
mt
the law
of
E~gla~~d,ut the
law
of
the p~ai~tatioIis.
The
law
of
~cotlax~d
mi&
the contract to serve far life; except
iu
the
case
of
colliers,
arid
orie
other
irrstariee of
a
similar
~i~ti~re.
13898
is
to
be
found
in
theBistory
of
the
~ec~s~o~is,
here a
term
of
years was
d~scharged~
s
exceedi{~g heusual
its
of
h~~a~ife. At least,
if
contrary to all
these
decisiokis, the ~ourt
~~~e~
nd
~~~~~~,
Ifs
came af~erw~rds,nd took him
to
Paris.

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