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Allegany County
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Colored convicts, 1862

Click on the MEDIA ITEMS below for more information


Colored Convicts.-

Several years ago the Legislature of this State enacted a law prohibiting, the incarceration of colored convicts in the Penitentiary. The law provides for the sale of them beyond the limits of the State, but as there is no market for slaves anywhere at the present lime no such disposition can, of course, be made of them, and the counties in which they have been convicted will be obliged to confine and support them in their respective Jails. At the recent term of our Court a negro girl named SIMMS, was convicted of arson, and sentenced to be sold out of the State, but as this sentence cannot, be carried Into execution, she will remain a mere prisoner In the County Jail at an expense to the tax payers. The policy of the law, independent of pecuniary considerations, is a disgrace to the State, for we certainly have no moral right to thrust our negro criminals upon other States and communities, there to repeat the very crimes which they have committed here? Nor is it in many cases an adequate punishment to sell them, for the girl referred to admitted that she set fire to the barn of Mr STARTZMAN that she might be sold to Georgia, where she hoped to have an opportunity of seeing her brother who had previously been sent there. The Legislature should take some action in reference to this matter, because under existing, circumstances no punishment but the extreme one of death, or that of simple confinement in a County Jail, can be inflicted upon colored felons.


Herald of Freedom & Torch Light


Collection Location:

Slaves, Western Maryland

Western Maryland, 1800-1864

Western Maryland Regional Library
100 South Potomac Street
Hagerstown, Maryland 21740

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