A bond requiring a white man to appear in court on the charge that he furnished “spirituous liquor” to another man’s slave. persons.

A bond requiring a white man to appear in court on the charge that he furnished “spirituous liquor” to another man’s slave

Forsyth County, Georgia: 1848. Unbound.

In this one-page document, bondsmen pledge $100 as a guarantee that: “Adam Campbell shall personally appear before the Superior Court when held for said County on the fourth Monday in August next then and there to answer . . . for and concerning the offence of a Misdemeanor for furnishing a certain negro man slave by the name of Buc the property of one Captain McQuering with spiritous liquor for his own use. . . .”. Very good. Item #009349

Although during the earliest days of slavery in the American colonies, slaves were permitted to use alcohol and beer in ceremonies and rituals that they had practiced in Africa, as their numbers increased, colonial governments began passing laws regulating the practice. By the middle of the 18th century, most colonies were severely limiting slaves' access to liquor “based on the notion that Blacks were too irresponsible to be trusted with the use of alcohol or fear that Blacks would be less accepting of the conditions of their servitude, more difficult to control, and more prone to violence. [Concern regarding] mass drunkenness and potential revolt was heightened following Nat Turner’s and Denmark Vessey’s revolts.” (See Christmom’s “Historical Overview of Alcohol in the African American Community” in Journal of Black Studies, Jan. 1995.)

From the size of Campbell’s bond, it would appear that he may have previously been convicted for the same crime as in 1848, the Georgia Code specified that if any

“person whatsoever shall sell to or furnish any slave . . . spirituous liquor, wines, cider, or any intoxicating liquors for his own use, or for the purpose of sale, such person so offending shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine of not less than ten dollars nor more than fifty dollars, for the first offence, and upon a second conviction, tp be subject to a fine and imprisonment in the common jail of the county, at the discretion of the court, not to exceed sixty days of imprisonment and five hundred dollars fine. . . .”

Rather scarce. As of 2019, there are two similar documents for sale in the trade, and the Rare Book Hub shows two have been sold at auction. OCLC shows three similar documents are held in institutional collections.

Price: $200.00

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