Race, Crime, and the Law Timeline Chapters 1-3 1619- A ?Dutch Man of War? sells ?twenty and odd negars [Negroes]? to the ?Cape merchant? of the Virginia Company in Jamestown.
1798- Andrew Fede ?Slave Abuse? A North Carolina statue declared the killing of a slave to be a felony, but then added that the statue should not extend ?to any person killing?any slave in the act of resistance to his lawful owner or master, or any slave dying under moderate correction. (p. 30) 1820- State v. Tackett, a case in which the North Carolina Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a white man prosecuted for murdering a slave. The conflict between the deceased slave and the defendant stemmed from an illicit sexual relationship between the defendant and the wife of the slave, a free black woman. At trial, the defendant sought to introduce evidence that the slave was ?a turbulent man?insolent and impudent to white people.?
The judge, however, excluded this testimony and instructed the jury that the case ?was to be determined by the same rules and principles of law as if the deceased has been a white man.? The Supreme Court decided that this standard and the evidentiary ruling to which it gave rise were erroneous. (p. 32) 1821- The South Carolina legislature made the willful, malicious, and deliberate killing of a slave a capital offense. Although several motivations combined to produce this and similar reforms, one of the most important was a desire to protect slave owners? economic investment in their human property against the depredations of resentful poor whites.
(p. 31-32) 1829- State v. Mann, perhaps the best known of all the cases relating to slavery and criminal laws. The defendant, John Mann, leased from an owner a slave named Lydia. During her period of...