The content of the laws and codes over the colonial time period shows a trend of a change in viewpoint towards black slaves after the early 18th century, when their population increased substantially. In New York, only three statutes were passed in the 1600s. The first, in 1652, even forbade whipping a slave, attempting to prevent their mistreatment, and the second officially legalized slavery in 1664. However, it is not until around forty years later, when their numbers grew, that a multitude of laws and codes were written regarding prohibition of blacks from certain activities and their punishments. Laws in Virginia passed before 1700 detailed punishments for English servants aiding or running away with slaves, suggesting that there were instances of camaraderie between them at that time. “In case any English servant shall run away in company with any negroes…shall serve for the time of the... [continues]
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