Virginia Slaves from, North & South Carolina

Slaves brought into Brunswick County, Virginia, from North and South Carolina, 1780 -1781

by Frances Holloway Wynne

In 1778 the Virginia legislature passed an act prohibiting the importation of slaves into the state. Anyone doing so after that date was subject to a fine and 1000 pounds for each slave imported. In addition, both the buyer and the seller could be fined 500 pounds for each slave bought or sold. Every slave became free upon importation. William Walter Hening in his "The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of all the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature in the year 1619", volume 9, page 471, gives the law in its entirety.


The act did not extend to those who moved into Virginia from another state for the purpose of becoming citizens of the state, providing they swore that they had no intent of evading the act, had no intent of selling the slaves, and none of the slaves had been imported from Africa or the West India Islands after 1 November 1778. Also excepted were travellers whose intent was to take their slaves out of the state with them. A further exception was made for those claiming slaves by descent, devise, or marriage and those owning slaves then residing out of the commonwealth.


The following lists of slaves, with ages and owners were found in Deed Book 14, pages 101-108, in the courthouse in Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, Virginia.





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