Compromise of 1850 Provision

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  • #15435
    LibertyMom
    Member

    After watching the two “Blundering Generation” videos & reading the particulars of the DC slave trade prohibition offered in the 1850 Compromise (below), I was hoping you could help me clarify how the provision played out in application…

    If the DC residents/slave owners were protected, but new slaves were prohibited from coming into the district with or without their owner for any reason, then was the idea that resident slave owners could not procure new slaves, allowing the slave labor market to dry up?

    Thanks, again!

    PS. Text for your reference:

    Provisions to ban slave trade in the District of Columbia
    Section 1
    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That from and after the first day of January, eighteen hundred and fifty-one, it shall not be lawful to bring into the District of Columbia any slave whatever, for the purpose of being sold, or for the purpose of being placed in depot, to be subsequently transferred to any other State or place to be sold as merchandize. And if any slave shall be brought into the said District by its owner, or by the authority or consent of its owner, contrary to the provisions of this act, such slave shall thereupon become liberated and free.

    Section 2
    And be it further enacted, That it shall and may be lawful for each of the corporations of the cities of Washington and George- town, from time to time, and as often as may be necessary, to abate, break up, and abolish any depot or place of confinement of slaves brought into the said District as merchandize, contrary to the provisions of this act, by such appropriate means as may appear to either of the said corporations expedient and proper. And the same power is hereby vested in the Levy Court of Washington county, if any attempt shall be made, within its jurisdictional limits, to establish a depot or place of confinement for slaves brought into the said District as merchandize for sale contrary to this act.

    APPROVED, September 20, 1850.

    #15436

    They weren’t prohibited from coming into D.C. for any reason, only for sale. The Compromise outlawed the slave trade in D.C. but not slavery in D.C.

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