Dec. 25, 1779, §§6-8, WilsonAppendix, No.VII, 13, 15-16.
6. AND WHEREAS several Negro Slaves, belonging to Persons residing within Places under the Power of the Enemy, which have absconded from their Owners and come into this State, have been kidnapped and forcibly carried out of the same and secreted, and others have been seized and sold within this State by Persons not having any Claim to such Negroes, and without any lawful Authority; in order therefore to prevent the like cruel and iniquitous Practices in futurer, BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That if any Person or Persons whatsoever, other than the Owner or Owners, shall, after the Publication of this Act, presume to kidnap or carry away by Force, secrete, detail, sell, or otherwise convert to his, her or their own Use, any such Negro Slave or Slaves, the Person or Persons, so offending, shall, for every such Offence, forfeit and pay the Sum of Five Thousand Pounds, over and above the Value of the Negro Slave or Slaves by him or them so kidnapped, forcibly carried away, secreted, detained, sold, or otherwise converted to his, her or their own Use; to be recovered by Action of Debt, by any Person that will sue for the same, in any Court of Record where the same may be cognizable, with Costs of Suit, and applied one Half to the Prosecutor, and the other Half to and for the Use of the State.
7. AND BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That all Sales of any such Negro Slave or Slaves not legally condemned, made or hereafter to be made by any Person or Persons whatsoever, shall be, and the same are hereby declared to be, null and void to all Intents and Purposes; and the said Negro Slave or Slaves, not legally condemned, so sold, shall be set at Liberty; and it shall and may be lawful for the Purchaser or Purchasers of any such Negro or Negroes to sue for and recover the Sum or Sums by him or them paid for any such Negro or Negroes, in an Action of Dent in any Court where the same may be cognizable, with Costs of Suit.
8. AND WHEREAS it may be dangerous to the Community to permit such Negroes to reside near the Enemy's Lines; BE IT FURTHER ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That it shall and may be lawful for any one Justice of the Peace in any of the Counties of this State, upon due Proof of such Danger, to order any such Negro or Negroes to be removed to some more remote pr interior Part of the State; and if any such Negro or Negroes shall presume to return to any Part of the State adjoining the Enemy's Lines after such Removal, and without Leave of the Justice who granted the Order for his Removal first obtained, he or they shall, on being thereof legally convicted, be liable to such corporal Punishment as shall be adjudged by the Court before which such Conviction is had, not exceeding thirty Lashes.