AL Enforces US Laws Against Slave Trade

Below is an extract from the Acts of Alabama, 1818 to 1828, found online.  This is one of many Acts pertaining to people of color that will be posted on this blog. The original documents are at the Alabama Department of Archives and History in Montgomery, AL. 

To carry into effect the laws of the United States prohibiting the slave trade. (1823) 

Session: Annual Session, 18 November 1822 – 1 January 1823

Page: 62-63             


To carry into effect the laws of the United States prohibiting the slave trade.

Sec. 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Alabama, in General Assembly convened, That the Governor of this state be, and he is hereby, authorized and required to appoint some suitable person, as the agent of the state to receive all and every slave or slaves or persons of colour, who may have been brought into this state in violation of the laws of the United States, prohibiting the slave trade: Provided, that the authority of the said agent is not to extend to slaves who have been condemned and and sold.

Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That the Governor



be, and is hereby required to take such bond or bonds from the said agent or other person, into whose possession the said slaves may be placed, in such amount and with such conditions as he may deem necessary to ensure their safe keeping and proper treatment.

Sec. 3. And be it further enacted, That the said slaves when so placed in the possession of the state, as aforesaid shall be employed on such public work or works, as shall be deemed by the Governor of most value and utility to the public interest.

Sec. 4. And be it further enacted, That such part of the said slaves shall be hired out as will be sufficient to defray the expenditures necessary to the maintenance and support of those employed on the public works as aforesaid.

Sec. 5. And be it further enacted, That in all cases in which a decree of any court having competent authority shall be in favor of any or claimant or claimants, the said slaves shall be truly and faithfully, by said agent, delivered to such claimant or claimants: but in case of their condemnation, they shall be sold by such agent for cash to the highest bidder, by giving sixty days notice in a newspaper printed at Cahawba, Mobile, Tuskaloosa, Huntsville and Florence.

Sec. 6. And be it further enacted, That the money arising from such sale or sales shall be paid into the Treasury of this state, except one-fourth thereof, which shall be paid to the informer if there be one.

Sec. 7. And be it further enacted, That no informer shall be entitled to receive any part of the money arising from any such sales, except by virtue of the decree of the Judge of the Circuit Court of the county into which such slave or slaves may have been first brought; and the Circuit Judges of this state are hereby expressly authorized to try and decide all conflicting claims set up by informers, in relation to said slaves.

Sec. 8. And be it further enacted, That it shall be the duty of the said agent to ask for and demand said slave or slaves of any person or persons, in whose possession they may be found.

[Approved, Jan. 1, 1823.]


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