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    Sam Houston: Signed Tennessee Law Punishing Slave Stealing. This is one of the neatest pieces in the Dow Civil War collection. It is a 7 3/4" x 10" bifolium document (the two leaves have become detached and are currently held together with what appears to be archival tape). It is an official document signed by Tennessee Governor Sam Houston as well as Secretary of State Daniel Graham on March 8,1828. It is docketed "Negro Stealing Copy of Act. By agreement admitted to be law & filed this 6th May A.D. 1828. Chas. Dunn Clk." The text of the law is written out on the second page. In essence, the law seeks to prevent the practice of stealing or abducting slaves that are the property of others, also stipulating that "stealing & carrying off free negroes & mulattos with an intention to sell & appropriate the same shall be discouraged by a law with additional penalties." The Tennessee act was based on one passed in North Carolina in 1779 "still of force & as in this state". Any accused person who peremptorily challenges more than thirty five jurors "or shall stand mute, shall be judged guilty of felony & shall suffer death without benefit of clergy." So, while it was perfectly fine to own slaves, it was not alright to steal somebody else's slaves.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,034

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