Red over Black: Black Slavery among the Cherokee Indians

By R. Halliburton Jr. | Go to book overview

6 Great Runaway and Stricter Controls

The National Council found it necessary to enact another series of control laws in 1841. The first again authorized slave patrols and charged them with the responsibility of arresting slaves absent from their homes without passes and of administering punishment to those found carrying weapons. The act read:

Be it enacted by the National Council, That from and after the passage of this act, it shall be lawful to organize patrol companies in any neighborhood, where the people of such neighborhood shall deem it necessary; and such company, when organized, 'shall take up and bring to punishment any negro or negroes, that may be strolling about, not on their owner's or owners' premises, without a pass from their owner or owners.

Be it further enacted, That any negro not entitled to Cherokee privileges, that may be found or seen carrying weapons of any kind, such as guns, pistols, Bowie-knives, butcher-knives or dirks, such patrol company may take, and inflict as many stripes as they think proper, not exceeding thirty-nine lashes.1

The above law was soon supplemented by the following:

Be It Further Enacted: That all masters or owners of slaves, who may suffer or allow their negro or negroes to carry or own firearms of any description, Bowie or butcher knives, dirks

-80-

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