court held that offsprings of a servant were not controlled by the indentured servitude law, adopted after the birth of the children. In the Kinney case, decided in 1840, the court awarded damages to Thomas Cook, a worker who had been defrauded by his employer. African-American litigants, therefore, sometimes benefitted from favorable court decisions.
On the other hand, the judicial system in Illinois supported the racial policy of the state. It upheld federal and state fugitive slave laws. It convicted residents who harbored runaways or in any way interfered with the capture of a fugitive slave. In Hays v. Borders, for example, the supreme court convicted the defendant for violating the federal fugitive slave law. The following cases illustrate the adjudication of race and slavery in Illinois.