Home >> Bouvier's Law Dictionary >> Safe to Smuggling >> Slave


law, slavery, free and hist

SLAVE. One over whose life, liberty, and property another has unlimited control..

Every limitation placed by law upon the absolute control modifies and to that extent changes the condition of the slave. In every slaveholding state of the United States the life and limbs of a slave were protected from violence inflicted by the mas ter or third persons.

Among the Romans the slave was classed among things (rest. He was homo sed non persona. Hei neccius, Elem. Jur. 1. 1, 75. He was considered pro nullo et mortuo, quia net statu families nec eivitatis nec libertatis gaudet. Id. 77. See, also, State v. Edmiind, 15 N. C. 340 ; Neal v. Farmer, 9 Ga. 582. In the United States, as a person, he was capable of committing crimes, of receiving his free dom, of being the subject of homicide, and of modi fying by his volition very materially the rules ap plicable to other species of property. His existence as a person being recognized by the law, that exist ence was protected by the law ; State v. Tackett, 8 N. C. 217 ; State v. Jones, Walk. 83.

Among the German peoples slavery was of a different kind from that, In Rome. Slayss had their own religion and dwelling place, and they were bound to perform only certain and fixed duties for their owners. They were rather pmdial serfs than slaves. Such slavery might arise from capture in war, or conviction for crimes ; men sold themselves into slavery ; a father could sell his children ; often persons were kidnapped and sold Into slavery.

The slave was in some respects regarded as a chat tel ; he might be alienated by his master, ill-treat ed and perhaps slain. He could not sue a free man. But his condition was in the course of time and in various ways ameliorated by the church ; 2 Holdsw. Hist. E. L. 3L Somerset's case, Somerset v. Stewart, Lofft 1 (1772), was the flut express adjudication that a slave while in England was free (Lord Mansfield's famous judgment). In Smith v. Gould, Ld. Raym. 1274, which was an action of trover for a negro, it was held that "the law takes no notice of negroes being different from other men," and that "there is no such thing as a slave by the law of England." In 1674-75, Sir Leoline Jenkins charged in an ad miralty case in Old Bailey that there was "no such thing as a slave in England." Republished in 10 Law Mag. & Rev. (4th Ser.) 424. See Taswell-Lang mead's Eng. Const. Hist. 316; The Case of James Sommersett, a Negro, 20 How. St. Tr. 1.

As to the serfs in early English history, see Maltl. Domesday & Beyond ; Holdsw. Hist. E. L.;