The Black Laws in the Old Northwest: A Documentary History

By Stephen Middleton | Go to book overview

VIII
Jury Law

The Constitutional Convention of Ohio (1802) avoided a definitive statement on the status of African Americans. After debating the possibility of enfranchising black residents, the Convention tabled all matters referring to race. It did grantee suffrage to eligible white males. Aside from this, no one could have been absolutely certain about the future status of African Americans. The legislature, meeting in 1803, removed all doubts about its intentions for blacks. It adopted a series of measures called the black laws. In ensuing years, when the legislature refined these discriminatory measures, it adopted the jury law ( 1831). Unable to have a jury with at least one member of his race, African Americans were always at the mercy of whites. A white skin did not always mean that court decision would be rendered in favor of whites, however. The Supreme Court occasionally protected black residents. But there were limits to what the court achieve. Consequently, the jury law made African Americans, in spite of their best efforts, an impotent under-class in Ohio.


NUMBER 1

An act relating to juries. Approved February 9, 1831, Laws of Ohio.

Section 1. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio, That one hundred and eight judicious persons, having the qualifications of electors, shall be annually selected in each county, to serve as grand and petit jurors the ensuing year.

-47-

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The Black Laws in the Old Northwest: A Documentary History
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword xi
  • Preface xv
  • Acknowledgments xvii
  • Ordinance of 1787, Article 6 xix
  • Introduction xxi
  • Notes xxvii
  • Part One- OHIO, March 1, 1803 1
  • I- Declaration of Rights 9
  • II- Enumeration and Election 11
  • III- Militia Policy 13
  • V- Colonization 19
  • VI- Kidnapping Law 25
  • VII- Public Education 33
  • VIII- Jury Law 47
  • IX- Reports- The Black Laws 49
  • X- Runaway Slaves 111
  • XI- Relief for the Poor 131
  • XII- Miscegenation of the Races 135
  • XIII- Civil Rights 137
  • Summary of Cases 143
  • Select Annotated Cases 147
  • Suggested Readings 155
  • Part Two- INDIANA, December 11, 1816 157
  • I- Declaration of Rights 163
  • II- Slavery 167
  • III- Indentured Servants and Laborers 185
  • IV- Suffrage and Election 195
  • V - Militia Policy 197
  • VI - Immigration and Residency 199
  • VII- Miscegenation Laws 207
  • VIII- Taxation and Enumeration 213
  • IX- Colonization 217
  • X- Kidnapping 227
  • XI- Fugitive Slaves 241
  • XII- Testimony and Witness 245
  • XIII- Public Education 251
  • XIV- Civil and Legal Rights 255
  • Summary of Cases 259
  • Select Annotated Cases 261
  • Suggested Readings 267
  • Part Three - ILLINOIS, December 3, 1818 269
  • Notes 274
  • I - Declaration of Rights 275
  • II- Militia Policy 279
  • III- Suffrage and Elections 281
  • IV- Servants and Slaves 285
  • V- Immigration and Residency 291
  • VI- Kidnapping 309
  • VII- Testimony and Witness 315
  • VIII- Runaway Slaves and Servants 319
  • X- Civil and Legal Rights 329
  • Summary of Cases 334
  • Select Annotated Cases 335
  • Suggested Readings 341
  • Part Four- MICHIGAN, January 26, 1837 343
  • I- Declaration of Rights 349
  • II - Kidnapping 353
  • III - The Slavery Controversy 359
  • IV- The Militia 363
  • V- Public Education 365
  • VI- Miscegenation of the Races 367
  • VII- Civil and Legal Rights 369
  • Summary of Cases 373
  • Select Annotated Cases 375
  • Suggested Readings 377
  • Part Five- WISCONSIN, May 29, 1848 379
  • Note 383
  • I- Declaration of Rights 385
  • II- Suffrage and Elections 387
  • III- Runaway Slaves 391
  • IV- Personal Liberty and Legal Rights 403
  • Summary of Cases 415
  • Select Annotated Cases 417
  • Suggested Readings 419
  • Index 421
  • About the Author 429
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