1762, 4 Bush 171-175.
WHEREAS the Provinces of New-York and Pennsylvania, have each laid Duties on the Importation of Negroes, and this Province being situate between both, and there being no Duty here, exposes this Government to many Inconveniences, and prevents industrious People from our Mother Country, and Foreigners, to settle among us; which calls aloud for a Remedy:
[§1] BE IT THEREFORE ENACTED by the Governor, Council and General Assembly, of this Colony and it is hereby Enacted by the Authority of the same, That for every Negro or Mulatto Slave which shall be imported, landed or brought into this Province at any Time after the Passing of this Act, other than such Negroes and Mulatto Slaves as shall be brought or sent into this Province upon their Masters' immediate Business, and not to remain in the Province, or for Sale; there shall be paid, if in the Eastern Division the Sum of Two Pounds; and if in the Western Division, the Sum of Six Pounds: And that all Masters of Vessels and others, who shall after the Passing of this Act, bring into this Province by Land or Water, any Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, shall forthwith make Entry, and give or cause to be given, on Oath or Affirmation, to the Person hereafter appointed to collect the said Duty, or his lawful Deputy, a true and just Account of all the Negroes or Mulatto Slaves so imported or brought in, and to whom they respectively belong; which the said Collector shall duly enter in a Book for that Purpose, and thereupon shall grant a Permit; for which the Person obtaining the same shall pay the Sum of Two Shillings and Sixpence, for every Negro or Mulatto Slave contained in the said Permit, for landing or bringing them in.
[§2] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That every Master of a Vessel or other Person, who by this Act are obliged or ought to make such Entry as aforesaid, and shall refuse or neglect to make the same accordingly, within the Time and in the Manner directed by this Act, and being thereof convicted, before any one Justice of the Peace, shall forfeit for every Negro or Mulatto Slave, of which he ought to give an Account to the Collectors of the Duties imposed by this Act, the Sum of Thirty-five Shillings; to be levied upon the Goods and Chattels of the Party offending, by Warrant under the Hand and Seal of the Justices aforesaid, before whom the Party is convicted. And that every such Importer, Owner or Claimer, of such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, shall before landing of them, pay down the said Duty, or otherwise become bound to the Collector for the Time being, with one or more sufficient Sureties, or procure some other sufficient Person or Persons, to be bound to the said Collector, to answer and pay the said Duty, hereby imposed upon such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, within Six Months next after the Date of the said Obligation; for which the Collector shall receive of the Party the Sum of Two Shillings and Six-pence, and no more.
[§3] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That if any of the said Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, shall be imported, landed or brought in, during the Continuance of this Act, without making Entry, and obtaining a Permit as aforesaid, or without paying, or giving Security for Payment of the said Duty in Manner aforesaid; that then all the Negroes or Mulatto Slaves so imported, landed or brought in, or the Value of them, if they cannot be found, shall be forfeited by the Importer or Owner, one Moiety (after the said Duty and all Charges of Seizure and Prosecution are deducted) shall be paid into the Treasury, and applied as the Legislature shall hereafter direct; and the other Half (after the said Deduction) to the said Collector, or such other Person as will sue for the same in any Court of Record in this Province, by Bill, Plaint or Information, wherein no Essoin, Protection or Wager of Law, or any more than one Imparlance, shall be allowed.
[§4] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That the said Collector of the said Duty arising by this Act, or his Deputy, shall have full Power and Authority by Virtue hereof, without any further or other Warrant, to enter on board any Ship or Vessel, and into any House or Place whatsoever, where he shall suspect any of the said Negroes or Mulatto Slaves to be concealed, and make Searches, and do all other Matters and Things which may tend to secure the true Payment of the said Duty, and the due and orderly Collection thereof; and in case of Opposition or Refusal, the said Collector or his Deputy, with the Assistance of the Sheriff, Water-Bailiff, Constable or other Officer, who without any other or further Warrant, are enabled and required, under the Penalty of Five Pounds, for every Neglect or Refusal in that behalf, to be recovered as aforesaid, to be aiding and assisting to the said Collector, to seize the said Negroes and Mulatto Slaves which shall be concealed, or endeavoured so to be, as aforesaid, and for that End to break open Doors and other Things in the Day-time, and to do and perform all other Act and Acts, which by this Act is and are required to be done, for collecting, receiving and recovering of the said Duty, and the Penalties and Forfeitures herein-mentioned, or for making Seizures of Negroes or Mulatto Slaves landed or brought in, without making Entries, and paying and securing the said Duty, in as full and ample Manner to all Intents, as any of the Collectors or Officers of the King's Customs, may or can do by the Laws of Great-Britain.
[§5] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That all Masters of Vessels and others, trading in the River Delaware, and the North River, and coming into any Port or Place of this Province, having Negroes or Mulatto Slaves on board, which by this Act are liable to pay the said Duty, are hereby required under the Penalty of Thirty-five Shillings, to comply with the Directions of this Act, as if such Vessel came from Sea directly; and that all Persons obliged by this Act to pay the said Duty, shall apply to the said Collector or his Deputy, without any Notice given, or Request made by him for their so doing.
[§6] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That in Case any Vessel shall arrive at any Port, Member, Creek or Landing Place, in this Province, with any Negroes or Mulatto Slaves on board, and there remain the Space of Forty-eight Hours, without making Entry, under Pretence of going to some other Port, or any other Pretence whatsoever; the Master or Owner of the said Vessel, shall give a true Account of the Number of Negroes or Mulatto Slaves on board, and shall give Security to the said Collector or his Deputy, that he shall not land any of the said Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, without Entry made, and Permit obtained from the said Collector, under the Penalty of Seizure and Forfeiture of the said Negroes or Mulatto Slaves; to be recovered as aforesaid.
[§7] PROVIDED ALWAYS, That if any of the said Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, for which the said Duty is paid, or secured as aforesaid, shall within the Space of Six Months, be exported or carried out to Sea; then and in such case, three Fourths of the said Duty hereby imposed, shall be abated, for such of them as shall be exported as aforesaid; and on Payment of the remaining one fourth Part, the Security given shall be delivered up and discharged; and the Officer shall and may deduct Five Shillings per Head for his Care and Trouble therein.
[§8] PROVIDED ALSO, That all such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, for which such Deduction shall be made, shall actually and bona fide, be forthwith shipped off, or sent out of this Province, so as not to return again without complying with this Act, under the Penalty of Seizure and Forfeiture as aforesaid.
[§9] PROVIDED ALWAYS NEVERTHELESS, That if any Person or Persons, shall during the Continuance of this Act, transport him or themselves, with their Families and Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, in order to settle in this Province, and shall upon Oath or Affirmation, declare before the said Collector or his Deputy, who are hereby impowered to administer the same, that such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves so brought in, are for their own Service and not for Sale, he or they shall not be liable to pay the said Duty for such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves; but shall forthwith give Security to the said Collector, (which he is hereby impowered and required to take) by a Bond of the full Value of such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, conditioned for the Payment of the Rates aforesaid, in Case such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves shall be sold, or the Property of them directly or indirectly altered, within the Space of Six Months after the Date of such Bond.
[§10] AND to prevent the clandestine Practice of landing or bringing in of Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, into the remote Parts of this Province, by Masters of Vessels, Merchants and others, without making Entry of and paying the Duty for the same, according to the Directions of this Act: BE IT ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That the Constables of the respective Cities, Townships or Precincts, within this Province, shall and are hereby obliged, under the Penalty of Twenty Shillings, for every Refusal or Neglect, upon Oath or Affirmation; which the said Justices or some of them are hereby required to administer, to bring in a List to the respective Courts of Quarter-Sessions, for the City or County where they live, or all the Negroes and Mulatto Slaves, that shall come or be brought into their respective Townships or Precincts, and by whom the said Negroes were imported or brought in, and in whose Possession such Negroes or Mulatto Slaves are; and the Collector, or his Deputy or Deputies, in the respective Counties, shall and may have Recourse to the Returns of the Constables, for the better collecting the Duties, Fines and Forfeitures arising by Virtue of this Act.
[§11] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That the respective County Collectors of this Province for the Time being, are hereby appointed the Collectors of the said Duty hereby imposed, and Receivers of all Fines, Forfeitures and Penalties herein before appointed, to be set, imposed and levied by Virtue of this Act, which the said Collector, by himself or his Deputy, is hereby impowered to demand, collect, receive and recover, of and from all Persons importing, landing or bringing in, any Negroes or Mulatto Slaves, during the Continuance of this Act, and shall from Time to Time take all Bonds required to be given as aforesaid. And the said Collector shall keep fair and true Accounts in Writing, of all such Transactions relating to the Premises; which he shall from Time to Time submit to the View and Inspection of the General Assembly, when thereunto required, and once in twelve Months, or oftener if required, during the Continuance of this Act, pay into the Treasurers Hands, all such Sums of Money as he shall receive by Virtue of this Act, and shall deduct out of the same, for his own Use, Five per Cent, for all Sums so by him paid; and shall further be allowed, in the final adjusting of his Accounts, all reasonable Charges by him expended, in the Prosecution of the said Seizures and Recovery of any of the said Fines, Forfeitures and Penalties, in Pursuance of this Act.
[§12] PROVIDED ALWAYS, That each of the said Collectors, before they enter upon the Execution of their Office, shall be sworn or affirmed, before some Justice of the Peace, for the true and faithful Execution of his said Office.
[§13] AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons, shall at any Time be sued or prosecuted, for any Thing done in Pursuance of this Act, such Person or Persons so sued or prosecuted, may plead the General Issue, and give this Act, and the special Matter in Evidence, for their Excuse or Justification; and if the Plaintiff or Prosecutor become Nonsuit, or forbear Prosecution, or suffer a Discontinuance, or if a Verdict pass against him, in such Action, Suit or Information, the Defendant shall have treble Costs, as in any Cases where Costs by Law are given to Defendants.
[§14] PROVIDED ALWAYS, That neither this Act, nor any Thing therein contained, shall be in Force until his Majesty's Royal Assent be had thereunto.