Proceedings of the General Council.
course so much to be dreaded in a country, whose soil, from the nature of
its productions must be cultivated by slave labor. The infusion of dissatisfaetion,
and disobedience into the brain of the honest and contented
slave, by vagabond free negroes, who denied the society of whites, from
necessity or choice, associate with persons of their own color, cannot be
too promptly and strongly guarded against.
Your committee would therefore recommend the adoption of the following
ordinance and decree to be entitled.
"An orclinance and decree to prevent the importation and emigration
of free negroes and mulattoes into Texas.
Be it ordained and decreed, and it is hereby ordained and decreed by
the Provisional Government of Texas, that from and after the passage
of this ordinance and decree, it shall not be lawful for any free negro or
mulatto to come within the limits of Texas, and if any free negro or
mulatto, shall hereafter be found within the limits of Texas as aforesaid,
and it shall not appear, that he or she was within said limits prior to the
passage of this ordinance and decree, it shall and may be lawful for any
citizen of Texas, to apprehend said free negro or mulatto. and take him
or her before the judge or alcalde of the municipality in which he or she
may be so apprehended, and upon satisfactory evidence being adduced,.
that such free negro or mulatto emigrated into Texas, contrary to theprovisions
of this ordinance and decree, it shall be the duty of the judge
or alcalde, before whom such free negro or mulatto may be brought, to
expose him or her to sale at public auction, to the highest bidder, and
the proceeds of such sale, after paying one third thereof to the apprehender
and defraying the costs and charges, attending the conviction
and sale of such free negro or mulatto shall be paid into the state
treasury. And it is hereby declared, and made the duty of each judge
and alcalde, and of each and every sheriff and other officer of the place,
within each and every municipality throughout Texas, so to apprehend
and cause to be apprehended all and every such free negro or free negroes,
mulatto or mulattoes, offending against the provisions of this
ordinance and decree, and that such officer or officers, who shall so apprehend
such free negro or free negroes, mulatto or mulattoes, shall be
entitled to the same compensation, that is by this ordinance and decree
allowed to citizens, who may by such apprehension as aforesaid render
the like service.
Be it further ordained and decreed,
Gammel, Hans Peter Mareus Neilsen. The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 Volume 1. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth5872/. Accessed August 30, 2014.