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A man who is by law deprived of his liberty for life, and becomes the property of another.
A slave has no political rights, and generally has no civil rights. He can enter into no contract unless specially authorized by law; what he acquires generally, belongs to his master. The children of female slaves follow the condition of their mothers, and are themselves slaves.In Maryland, Missouri and Virginia slaves are declared by statute to be personal estate, or treated as such. In Kentucky, the rule is different, and they are considered real estate.
In general a slave is considered a thing and not a person; but sometimes he is considered as a person; as when he commits a crime; for example, two white persons and a slave can commit a riot.A slave may acquire his freedom in various ways: 1. By manumission, by deed or writing, which must be made according to the laws of the state where the master then acts. The deed may be absolute which gives immediate freedom to the slave, or conditional giving him immediate freedom, and reserving a right of service for a time to come or giving him his freedom as soon as a certain condition shall have been fulfilled. 2. By manumission by will. When there is an express emancipation by will, the slave will be free, and the testator's real estate shall be charged with the payment of his debts, if there be not enough personal property without the sale of the slaves. The manumission by will may be implied, as, where the master devises property real or personal to his slave. By the removal of the slave with the consent of the master, animo morandi, into one of the United States where slavery is forbidden by law or when he sojourns there longer than is allowed by the law of the state.
The state or condition of a slave.
Slavery exists in most of the southern states. In Pennsylvania, by the act of March, 1780, for the gradual abolition of slavery, it has been almost entirely removed in Massachusetts it was held, soon after the Revolution, that slavery had been abolished by their Constitution; in Connecticut, slavery has been totally extinguished by legislative provisions; the states north of Delaware, Maryland and the river Ohio, may be considered as free States, where slavery is not tolerated.