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African American Democracy Diversity

1705 Slave Code

AE Curator May 09
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The story of how, why, and when slavery reached critical mass in Virginia is complicated and took place over such a long period of time that historians still debate it. One thing is clear: the Slave Code of 1705 and other acts passed that year capped more than 65 years of laws and court rulings that eroded rights for people of African descent. The General Assembly systemized slavery with this first set of laws in 1705, though slavery emerged in Virginia after the arrival of Africans in 1619 and Indian bondage even earlier.

Location: Williamsburg
Image: LVA’s image of a chain of slaves from the African interior (EV), Library of Virginia

 

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