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‘Il n'existe à la veritye aucune loi qui protege l'esclave le mauvais traitement du maitre,’ says Achille Murat, himself a Floridian slave-holder, in his late work on the United States.

Gentlemen, is not this true Does there exist even in Virginia any law limiting the punishment of a slave Are there any bounds prescribed, beyond which the brutal, the revengeful, the intoxicated slave-master, acting in the double capacity of judge and executioner, cannot pass?

You will, perhaps, tell me that the general law against murder applies alike to master and slave. True; but will you point out instances of masters suffering the penalty of that law for the murder of their slaves If you examine your judicial reports you will find the wilful murder of a slave decided to be only a trespass1

It indeed argues well for Virginian pride of character, that latterly, the law, which expressly sanctioned the murder of a slave, who in the language of Georgia and North Carolina, ‘died of moderate correction,’ has been repealed. But, although the letter of the law is changed, its practice remains the same. In proof of this, I would refer to Brockenborough and Holmes' Virginia Cases, p. 258.

In Georgia and North Carolina the murder of a slave is tolerated and justified by law, provided that in the opinion of the court he died ‘of moderate correction’

In South Carolina the following clause of a law enacted in 1740 is still in force

‘If any slave shall suffer in his life, limbs, or ’

1 Virginia Reports, vol. v. p. 484, Harris versus Nichols.

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