Sec. 10. Any person may lawfully take up or apprehend any slave who shall have run away, or be absenting himself from the custody or service of his master or owner, and may lawfully use or employ such force as may be necessary to take up or apprehend such slave; and such person, upon the delivery of such slave to his master or owner, or at such place as his master or owner may designate, shall be entitled to demand or recover by suit any reward which may have been offered for the apprehension or delivery of such slave.
And, if no reward have been offered, then such person so apprehending such slave shall, upon the delivery of such slave to his master or owner, or to the sheriff of the county in which such slave was apprehended, be entitled to demand and recover from such owner or master the sum of twenty dollars, besides ten cents for each mile of travel to and from the place where such apprehension was made.
Sec. 11. If any sheriff of any county within this Territory shall fail or refuse to receive with proper care any runaway slave so offered to him for safe-keeping, by such person apprehending the same, or his agent, such sheriff shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined in a sum not less than five hundred dollars to the use of the Territory, shall further be liable to the owner of such slave for his value, recoverable by civil suit, and shall be ineligible for reelection to the said office.
Sec. 20. Any slave who shall conduct himself disorderly in a public place, or shall give insolent language or signs to any free white person, may be arrested and taken by such person before a justice of the peace, who, upon trial and conviction, in a summary manner, shall cause his constable to give such slave any number of stripes upon his or her bare back, not exceeding thirty-nine.
Sec. 21. When any slave shall be convicted of any crime or misdemeanor, for which the penalty assigned by law is, in whole or in part, the fine of a sum of money, the court passing sentence on him may, in its discretion, substitute for such fine corporal punishment, or branding, or stripes.
Sec. 26. No slave shall be permitted to go from the premises of his owner or master after sunset and before sunrise, without a written pass, specifying the particular place or places to which such slave is permitted to go; and any white person is authorized to take any slave who, upon demand, shall not exhibit such pass, before any justice of the peace, who, upon summary investigation, shall cause such slave to be whipped with not more than thirty-nine stripes upon his or her bare back, and to be committed to the jail, or custody of a proper officer, to be released the next day, on demand and payment of costs by the owner or master.
Another act passed by the same Legislature, “Amendatory of the law relative to contracts between masters and servants” (peons
), has this unique provision, which might have afforded a hint to South Carolina
in her worst estate:
Sec. 4.--No Court of this Territory shall have jurisdiction, nor shall take cognizance, of any cause for the correction that masters may give their servants for neglect of their duties as servants; for they are considered as domestic servants to their masters, and they should correct their neglect and faults; for, as soldiers are punished by their chiefs, without the intervention of the civil authority, by reason of the salary they enjoy, an equal right should be granted those persons who pay their money to be served in the protection of their property; Provided, That such correction shall not be inflicted in a cruel manner, with clubs or stripes.
These acts were directly inspired from Washington
, and were enacted under the supervision and tutelage of the Federal
officers stationed in the Territory
Some of these were personally slaveholders; others were only anxious to commend themselves to the notice and favor of their superiors; and it was easy for them to persuade the ignorant Mexicans
, who mainly composed the Legislature, that such acts would cause the heavenly dews of Federal patronage to fall in boundless profusion on the arid, thirsty hills of their Territory.
And, while the number of slaves held in New Mexico
might never be great, its salubrity, and the ease wherewith a mere subsistence is maintained there, might well have commended it to favor as a breeding-ground of black chattels for the unhealthy swamps and lowlands of Arkansas
In any case its subservience