Maryland Slavery Legislation

Maryland State Archives
350 Rowe Boulevard
Annapolis, MD 21401

Phone: (410) 260-6400
Internet: mdsa.net
e-mail: archives@mdsa.net

Introduction

This document packet traces the evolution of selected laws relating to slavery in Maryland through the nineteenth century.

National History Standards

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades K-4:

Topic 1: Living and Working Together in Families and Communities, Now and Long Ago 

STANDARD 1: Family life now and in the recent past; family life in various places long ago. 

Standard 1A: The student understands family life now and in the recent past; family life in various places long ago. 

K-4: For various cultures represented in the classroom, compare and contrast family life now with family life over time and between various cultures and consider such things as communication, technology, homes, transportation, recreation, school and cultural traditions. [Distinguish between past and present] 

Standard 1B: The student understands the different ways people of diverse racial, religious, and ethnic groups, and of various national origins have transmitted their beliefs and values. 

K-4: Explain the ways that families long ago expressed and transmitted their beliefs and values through oral traditions, literature, songs, art, religion, community celebrations, mementos, food, and language. [Obtain historical data] 
3-4: Compare the dreams and ideals that people from various groups have sought, some of the problems they encountered in realizing their dreams, and the sources of strength and determination that families drew upon and shared. [Compare and contrast] 

STANDARD 2: The history of students’ own local community and how communities in North America varied long ago.

Standard 2A: The student understands the history of his or her local community.

3-4: Identify a problem in the community’s past, analyzing the different perspectives of those involved, and evaluate choices people had and the solution they chose. [Identify issues and problems in the past] 

Standard 2B The student understands how communities in North America varied long ago.

K-4: Draw upon written and visual sources and describe the historical development and daily life of a colonial community such as Plymouth, Williamsburg, St. Augustine, San Antonio, and Fort Vincennes, in order to create a historical narrative, mural, or dramatization of daily life in that place long ago. [Construct a historical narrative] 
3-4: Describe and compare daily life in ethnically diverse urban communities long ago, such as a free African American community in Philadelphia, an Italian community in New York, or a Chinese community in San Francisco. [Draw upon visual data and read historical narratives imaginatively] 

Materials compiled in this document can be used by educators to fulfill the following National History Standards for Grades 5-12:

Era 5: Civil War and Reconstruction (1850-1877) 

STANDARD 1: The causes of the Civil War 

Standard 1A: The student understands how the North and South differed and how politics and ideologies led to the Civil War.

5-12: Explain the causes of the Civil War and evaluate the importance of slavery as a principal cause of the conflict. [Compare competing historical narratives] 

Primary Resources

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See also:

  1. DESCRIPTION:  Report from the Select Committee Appointed to Inquire and Report the Rate at which Slaves were Valued under the Provisions of the Late Assessment Law
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1842 
    SOURCE:  Public Documents - December 27, 1841 - March 10, 1842 Session, House of Delegates, Document F. In Archives of Maryland Online.
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

  2. DESCRIPTION: Communication from His Excellency Governor Thomas to the Legislature of Maryland Enclosing Statements in Regard to the Recapture of Fugitive Slaves
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Jan. 11, 1850
    SOURCE: Public Documents - December 31, 1849 - March 9, 1850 Session, House of Delegates, Document B. In Archives of Maryland Online.
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

  3. DESCRIPTION: Report of the Committee on Colored Population to the House of Delegates
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: Apr. 19, 1852
    SOURCE: Public Documents - January 7, 1852 - May 31, 1852 Session, House of Delegates, Document L. In Archives of Maryland Online
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

  4. DESCRIPTION: ARTICLE 66. Negroes.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1860
    SOURCE: The Maryland Code : Public General Laws and Public Local Laws, 1860. In Archives of Maryland Online
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

  5. DESCRIPTION: ARTICLE 30. Crimes and Punishments, Sec. 174 RUNAWAYS.
    DATE CREATED/PUBLISHED: 1860
    SOURCE: The Maryland Code : Public General Laws and Public Local Laws, 1860. In Archives of Maryland Online
    REPOSITORY:  Maryland State Archives

Additional Media Resources

 

Additional Instructional Resources

Daily Lives of Slaves - What Really Happened? From UMBC Center for History Education, Teaching American History Lesson Plans.

PBS.org, Africans in America, Judgment Day

Secondary Resources

Kulikoff, Allan. "Tobacco and Slaves: Population, Economy and Society in 18th Century Prince George's County, Maryland,"  Ph.D. dissertation, Brandeis University, 1976.

Silver Cawley, Alexa. "A Passionate Affair: The Master-Servant Relationship in Seventeenth-Century Maryland" Historian (Summer 1999): 751.

Associated Heritage and Preservation Organizations

Sotterly Plantation
44300 Sotterley Lane
Hollywood, MD 20636

 

 

Copyright and Other Restrictions

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Password Access to Materials

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Credits

Teaching American History in Maryland is a collaborative partnership of the Maryland State Archives and the Center for History Education (CHE), University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), and the following sponsoring school systems: Anne Arundel County Public Schools, Baltimore City Public School System, Baltimore County Public Schools, and Howard County Public Schools.

Other program partners include the Martha Ross Center for Oral History, Maryland Historical Society, State Library Resource Center/Enoch Pratt Free Library, with assistance from the National Archives and Records Administration and the Library of Congress. The program is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Education.

This document packet was researched and developed by Nancy Bramucci and the staff of the Underground Railroad Project.

An Archives of Maryland Online Publication
© Copyright, Maryland State Archives, October 21, 2005