patrolPatrol Regulations & Rule Virginia & Carolinas

Rule 1: Slaves Shall Not Come in Town on Sabbath Day or in The Night Time Unless Its By Written Permission from their Owners, Masters, Mistresses.

Rule 2: No Slave After The Hour of 9 P.M. Shall be on The Streets or Absent From The Premises of his or her Owner, Master, Mistresses Unless with Written Permission.

Rule 3: If any Slave Shall Violate The Foregoing Rules The Patrol Shall Have Power and Shall Be Their Duty ( Any Two of Their Number Being Present ) to WHIP the Said Slave either at The Time of The Offence being Committed or Anytime within Three Months Thereafter, The Number of Stripes not to Exceed Fifthteen, unless the said slave is guilty of Insolent Behavior or Make His Escape from Patrol in either of which case the Stripes Shall not Exceed Thirty-Nine.

Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas Sally E. Hadden examines the public regulation of slavery through slave patrols in Virginia and the Carolinas between the early eighteenth century and the Civil War. Hadden sets out the following goals: to “better understand how the laws of slavery actually applied to slaves” ; to “flesh out our understanding of how slave laws were actually enforced, day to day” ; to test the long-held, though unproven, view that patrols were composed of the poorest whites of Southern society” and to examine all of these questions comparatively across the South by focusing on the three eastern seaboard states that had the longest tradition of employing slave patrols and thus offer “a stable view of how patrols functioned through multiple decades, wars, and slave revolts” Hadden offers a well-written and thoroughly researched work that combines legal and social history to
address these questions.

Hadden begins her analysis with the founding of the colonies and finds that all three had similar motivations for establishing slave patrols. As slave populations increased and the threat of foreign invasion loomed, southerners saw a need for racial control above and beyond what individual slave owners could do. In other words, fear drove southerners to institute community policing in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, and continued to motivate them to refine, expand, and fund patrols through the Civil War. Due to its Caribbean influence, early black majority, and threats from Native Americans and the Spanish, South Carolina established the earliest formal patrols by 1704, followed by Virginia by 1727 and North Carolina by 1753. By the American Revolution, “the main contours of patrols became evident” and “remain[ed] largely unchanged until the Civil War.

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