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76   NOVA SCOTIA HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

imported into this colony by shipping, shall be slaves". Yet, it was added, "Conversion to the Christian faith doth not make free". The early Anglo-Saxon rule, interpreting even- doubtful question in favor of liberty, declared the children of freemen to be free : doubts arose in Virginia whether the offspring of an Englishman by a Negro woman should be bond or free, and the rule of the Roman law prevailed over that of the Saxon. The off-spring followed the condition of its mother--a rule generally adopted throughout the colonies and in the West Indies. From the same authority we learn that Virginia law also made the master absolute lord over the Negro. " The death of a slave from extremity of correction was not accounted felony, since it cannot be presumed—such is the language of the statute—that prepensed malice, which alone makes murther felony, should induce any man to destroy his own estate"—a conclusion which fails to take into account the force of human passion. " Finally it was made lawful for persons. pursuing fugitive coloured slaves. to wound or even to kill them".' But even the slavery of the Southern colonies, at the period at which numerous Southern Loyalists found their way to the territory of the present Canadian provinces. had not developed as much general harshness in practice as was seen when the rapid growth in the trade in rice, sugar and cotton, the trinity that dominated the industry of the South. had led to greater effort to supply the imperious demands of a widening market : and when the advance of Abolition sentiment at the North had made slavery a great political interest in the country, while on the plantation it was promoting greater restiveness on the part of the slave, and increased suspicion on that of the owner.

Instances of the treatment of slaves in Canada after the Southern fashion there apparently were. Mr. T. W. Casey,

1 Bancroft 's " History of the United States", Vol. ii, p. 193.


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