Immigration and Residency
Lawmakers in Illinois had placed limits on black emigration since the territorial period. An 1813 statute also discouraged free blacks from entering Illinois. Penalties for violating immigration and residency laws in included corporal punishment. To obtain legal residence, a black emigrant had to produce a certificate of freedom and post a bond for his welfare and behavior. Before statehood, the law also required black residents to register with a county clerk, and forbade a slave holder from bringing an enslaved black to Illinois in order to emancipate the person. These statutes also denied free blacks and whites civil rights by outlawing interracial marriages or any sort of cohabitation between blacks and whites.
An act to prevent the migration of free Negroes and mulattoes into this Territory and for other purposes. Approved December 8, 1813, Laws of Illinois.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Legislative Council and House of Representatives of the Illinois Territory That it shall not be lawful for any free negro or mulatto to migrate in this Territory, and every free negro or mulatto who shall come into this Territory contrary to this act shall and may be apprehended and carried by an citizen before some Justice of the peace of the county where he shall be taken; which Justice is hereby authorized to examine, and order to leave the Territory every such free negro or Mulatto, which said free negro or Mulatto shall be allowed from the time of his examination before the Justice of the peace fifteen days to depart from the Territory, and if after the expiration of the said fifteen days he or she shall be found in the Territory