Although interracial marriage violated all social conventions developed by whites, blacks and whites sometimes overstepped these customs. The exact number of interracial marriages in pre-Civil War Indiana is unknown. The state assembly considered such marriages a significant problem. The Amalgamation Act proscribed intercourse and any sort of cohabitation between blacks and whites. It also provided penalties for violators, including the persons who might perform such marriages. The statute required that newspapers print the state's declaration against interracial marriages. The problem was not easily solved, however. The following documents will show repeated efforts to stamp out interracial sex in Indiana.
An act to prohibit the amalgamation of whites and blacks. Approved February 24, 1840, General Laws of Indiana.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana, That hereafter no negro man, mulatto, or any man having one-eighth part of negro blood, shall be permitted to marry any white woman of this State; nor shall any white man be permitted to marry any black woman, mulatto, or any woman having one-eighth part of negro blood.
Section 2. No clerk of this State shall issue any marriage license to any such persons named in the first section of this act, under pain of a fine of not less than five hundred, nor more than five thousand dollars for each offence, to be recovered by presentment or indictment in the proper circuit court. And said shall work a forfeiture of his office.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Book title: The Black Laws in the Old Northwest:A Documentary History. Contributors: Stephen Middleton - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1993. Page number: 207.
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