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THE COURTS AND SLAVERY.   107

 

 

is not given, observes that " The question, whether any such thing as Negro slavery can legally exist in this province, has long occupied the attention both of the learned and unlearned among us. It has, indeed, lately undergone a judicial investigation, but without any judicial decision. Now, whether any particular Negro (admitting him to be a slave) belongs either to A. or 13, is a matter in which none but the litigating panics are directly interested. Therefore a judicial decision of it can only disappoint the hopes of one of two men. But when it becomes questionable whether any particular thing is really and truly property, which had hitherto been considered as property, the dispute becomes a matter in which every member of the community is either nearly or remotely interested ; for although every man in this province is not possessed of this species of property, yet every man may be possessed of it. Nothing, therefore, can be of more extensive utility to the public than to have this question put so fast asleep that it may never awake again. How far the publication of these papers may go towards effecting this the event only can tell".

In the course of his very able argument Mr. Aplin contends, against the allegation that slavery had never been established in Nova Scotia by law, that neither in Antigua. Virginia or New York had there been any Provincial code creative of any such state of slavery, and that the same might be asserted in relation to several of the more northern colonies, but in particular of Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, the laws of which speak of slaves while none of them are declaratory of a state of slavery.' The only law of this province", he

"Slavery was never directly established by statute in Connecticut says the editor of the Revisions of the States' Laws in iSst, `• but has been indirectly sanctioned by various statute, and frequently recornised by courts. so that it may be said to have been established by law". Johns Hopkins " University Studies' , St' xi.


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