Logo of LLMC Digital present on all screens.  Clicking here will always return to Homepage
A 501 (c)(3) nonprofit committed to ‘saving the law’
prd server 2Book Bag
Description and Holding Information
Senate. Comm. on Petitions concerning the Disabilities of Free People of Color. Report, 1841
Senate No. 46 On March 4, 1841, a Committee on the Disabilities of Free People of Color, in response to a petition, submitted a report. The
petition asked for the repeal of statutes forbidding marriage between whites and negroes, mulattos, and Indians, rendering any children of such marriages
illegitimate. The Committee determined that the prohibition began in 1705 to prevent the child of a marriage between a free person and an enslaved
person being born free. That idea was abolished when slavery was abolished, but the marriage prohibition was revived in 1786 and included no marriage
between whites and Indians. The first statutory illegitimacy was laid down in the 1836 statutory revision. The illegitimate child could freely marry
whomever, but could not inherit a parent's property unless specifically mentioned in a will. The Committee thought all such statutes should be
repealed. Massachusetts should not have statutes that smacked of the slave code, and the inconsistencies and absurdities of the law were a problem. Such
marriages would happen anyway--why should a virtuous connection be made criminal? Women and children could be left legally defenseless.
Constitutionally, the statutes interfered with the pursuit of happiness. The Committee presented: An Act to repeal certain portions of the Revised Statutes
concerning marriage and divorce, 1841. Parts of Chapters 75 and 76 were repealed. (Digitized from a microfilm copy of title originally held by the Library
of Congress).
Title:   The Committee to whom was referred the petition of Charles I. Torrey and others, and also the petition of Stephen Thayer and others, also the petition of John Dickinson and others, on the subject of the disabilities of the free people of color, ask leave to submit the following report, in part, with the accompanying bill in relation to one of the topics contained in said petitions.
OCLC Number:   1422028323
Available Volumes
NameFiche CountOnlinePaper Backup
Vol. 1YesNo