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NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

During the second session of the first parliament of

Upper Canada, which met at Xe wark—now Niagara—on

May 31, 1793, a bill to "prevent the further introduction

of slaves" and to " limit the term of contracts for servitude within the province" was introduced. There is reason to suppose that it was prepared by the chief-justice under an impulse from the lieutenant-governor, who strongly sup-ported it, though Dr. Canniff may be correct in his statement that " Upper Canada was primarily indebted" for this praiseworthy action to Robert Gray, solicitor-

general, '' an earnest friend of the African race."

In the preamble to the bill it was declared to be unjust that a people who enjoy freedom by law should encourage the introduction of slaves, " and to be highly expedient to abolish slavery in this Province, so far as the same may gradually be done without violating private property." It

s therefore proposed to enact that " from and after the passing of this Act, so much of a certain Act of the Parliament of Great Britain, entitled An Act for encouraging new settlers, etc., as may enable the Governor or Lieuten

ant-Governor of this Province, heretofore parcel of His Majesty's Province of Quebec, to grant a license for the importing into the same any negro or negroes, shall be,

and the same is hereby repealed ; and that from and after passing of this act it shall not be lawful for the Governor

to grant a license for the importation of any negro or other person to be subjected to the condition of a slave, or to a bounden involuntary service for life in any part of this province, nor shall any negro, or other person who

shall come, or be brought into the Province after the passing of this Act, be subject to the condition of a slave,

to such sen-ice as aforesaid, within this Province, nor shall any voluntary contract of service or indentures that may be entered into by any parties within this Province, after the passing of this Act, be binding upon them or

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