Slavery in Maryland

Essay by ajavaidCollege, UndergraduateA, April 2010

download word file, 3 pages 4.0

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Name: Ahmed Javaid

Professor: Shawn Gladden

Class: US History

Date Submitted: 4/15/2010


In the colony of Maryland slavery was not established until 1634. Even though slavery was still practiced but most African Americans and mulattos were considered as indentured servants. When demand of tobacco increased around the world and more servants were required to grow it, in 1664 Maryland passed a law making African Americans and their children slaves for life.

Certain counties in southern Maryland including Prince George's county were found good for growing tobacco, as they had favorable climate and soil conditions to the crop. Even though the demand for tobacco went up and down but between 1600 and 1776 slave population drastically increased. Eventually by 1800s slaves made up 58% of the population of Prince George's county. In 1783 Tobacco profits went down and Maryland no longer allowed slaves from other areas into the state.

In Prince George's County the only Africans and mulattos considered free were the ones:

1. Born free

2. Freed by the slave owner

3. Purchased by a free family member, or

4. Freed by order of the law.

They were often sold into slavery again if these men and women did not have any proof that they were free. In Prince George's County freedmen had to also prove they were employed and they had to get a license to sell goods that they produced or they would be jailed and/or sold into slavery. Freedmen from other areas could only visit for ten days. If a freedman left the state for more than thirty days without first telling the state, he was not allowed to return. The children of a freedman who married a slave were born slaves. If, on the other hand, a...