The Black Laws in the Old Northwest: A Documentary History

By Stephen Middleton | Go to book overview
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IV
Personal Liberty and Legal Rights

Wisconsin adopted a modest policy to protect free blacks. It provided punishment for persons convicted of kidnapping. It also encouraged protection of liberty rights. By the end of the decade the legislators adopted a statute to protect blacks in the enjoyment of civil rights. Its civil rights laws were never extensive, however. The last state formed from the Old Northwest embraced a cold policy toward African Americans.


NUMBER 1

Kidnapping: offenses against life and person. Statutes of Wisconsin, 1858.

Section 42. Every person who, without lawful authority, shall forcibly or secretly confine or imprison any other person within this state against his will, or shall forcibly carry or send such person out of this state against his will, or shall forcibly seize and confine, or shall inveigle or kidnap, any other person, with intent either to cause such person to be secretly confined or imprisoned in this state against his will, or to be sold, the person who shall sell, or in any manner transfer for any term, the service or labor of any negro, mulatto, or other person of color, who shall have been unlawfully seized, taken, inveigled, or kidnapped from this state to any state, place, or country, shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison, not more than two years nor less than one year, or by fine, not exceeding one thousand dollars nor less than five hundred dollars.

Section 43. Every offense mentioned in the text of the preceding section may be tried either in the county in which the same may have been committed, or in any county in or to which the person so seized, taken, inveigled, kidnapped, or sold, or whose services shall be so sold or transferred,

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