|Resource Bank Contents|
Click here for the text of this historical document.
The shift from indentured servitude to racial slavery in the British colonies is evident in the development of the colonies' laws.
Virginia, 1639: The first law to exclude "Negroes" from normal protections by the government was enacted.
Maryland, 1664: The first colonial "anti-amalgamation" law is enacted (amalgamation referred to "race-mixing"). Other colonies soon followed Maryland's example. A 1691 Virginia law declared that any white man or woman who married a "Negro, mulatto, or Indian" would be banished from the colony forever.
Virginia, 1667: Christian baptisms would no longer affect the bondage of blacks or Indians, preventing enslaved workers from improving their legal status by changing their religion.
Virginia, 1682: A law establishing the racial distinction between servants and slaves was enacted.
Virginia's slave codes
Virgina recognizes slavery
Part 1: Narrative | Resource Bank Contents | Teacher's Guide
Africans in America: Home | Resource Bank Index | Search | Shop
WGBH | PBS Online | ©