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THE COURTS AND SLAVERY.   tot

charter, framed by the great Locke, the importation of slaves was prohibited, but that after a short experiment they were obliged to give it up, after which slaves were imported there without any positive law to authorize it: that the custom is so universal that the courts are bound to take notice of it : that this being the established universal custom in the Colonies (and as such having acquired the force of law) at the time Nova Scotia was settled proclamations were issued to encourage settlers to go there from the other colonies, in consequence of which these settlers carried with them their slaves which they continued to hold without any legal decision against their right : that the several Acts of Parliament and the courts in England in their adjudication recognize slavery as being established and made lawful by universal custom in America : that as all the Acts of the Colonial Assemblies are sent home for the approbation of the Crown, it cannot [but] have been known in England that there was no law directly establishing it: that the judges therefore could never have held slavery as lawful in the Colonies if they had not recognized it as legally established by universal usage and custom independently of Colonial Acts of Assembly ; and he relies much upon the Statutes 7 and 8 Wm. III., C. 22, §q, as an implied recognition of the usages and customs in the colonies as having the force of law, if not repugnant to the provisions of Acts of Parliament relating to the Colonies.

Chief justice Ludlow", Ward Chipman wrote further

to Chief-justice Blowers, grounds himself principally upon what he calls the Common Law of the Colonies, by which, he says, this doctrine [the right to hold slaves] has been uniformly recognized and established without any Act having ever been passed in any one of them directly authorizing slavery. I confess the idea of any such Common Law in the Colonies not only unknown but repugnant to the Common Law of England appears to me to be altogether fanciful". In reply Mr. Blowers wrote that "The right to hold a Negro by this tenure is supposed by us to be only maintainable either by the Common Law


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