An ACT for laying a Duty on the Purchasers of Slaves imported into this Colony.

June 24, 1767, 4 Bush 435-436

WHEREAS Duties on the Importation of Negroes, in several of the neighbouring Colonies, hath, on Experience, been found beneficial in the Introduction of sober industrious Foreigners to settle under His Majesty's Allegiance, and the Promoting a Spirit of Industry among the Inhabitants in general: In order therefore to promote the same good Designs in this Government, and that such as choose to purchase Slaves may contribute some equitable Proportion of the publick Burthens;

[§1] BE IT ENACTED by the Governor, Council, and General Assembly of this Colony, and it is hereby Enacted by the Authority of the same, That every Person hereafter purchasing a Negro, Indian or Mulatto Slave, if such Slave has not resided in this Colony at least for the Space of one whole Year before such Purchase, or such Slave for which the Duty hereby imposed hath not been paid, shall besides the Price paid for the said Slave, moreover pay to the County Collector, chosen for the County in which such Purchase shall be made, the Sum of Ten Pounds, Proclamation Money; and on Refusal or Neglect of paying the same Ten whole Days after the said Purchase or Purchases shall be made, it shall and may be lawful for the said County Collector, by himself or Deputy, to apply to a Justice of the Peace for the said County, who on such Information, shall immediately grant a Precept in the usual Manner, for the Apprehension of the Person or Persons complained against; and the same being so apprehended and brought before him, shall proceed to hear the Parties, and give Judgment and award Execution for the said Duty, in Manner and Form as by Law is appointed in Cases of Six Pounds or under.

[§2] AND BE IT ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That the respective County Collectors of this Province, shall keep fair and true Accounts in Writing, of all Duties collected in Virtue of this Act; and once in Twelve Months, or oftener if required by the Provincial Treasurer of the Division in which he lives, pay into his Hands, all the said Duties so by him collected as aforesaid, first deducting out of the same for his own Use, Five per Cent, and shall further be allowed in the final Adjustment of his Accounts, all reasonable Charges by him expended in the Recovery of the Duties laid by this Act; which said Fines so paid into the Treasury, shall be applied to the Support of Government, as by Law shall be hereafter directed. Provided always, That each of the said County Collectors, before he enters upon the Execution of his Office, in Reference to this Act, shall be sworn or affirmed before some Justice of the Peace, for the true and faithful Execution of his Office, as appointed by this Act.

[§3] AND BE IT ENACTED by the Authority aforesaid, That any Purchase of any Slave, as aforesaid, made upon the Water or Waters, along the Sea Coast of this Province, or those between this Province and the Provinces of New-York, Pennsylvania, and the lower Counties of Delaware, shall be deemed a Purchase made within the County opposite to such Water.

[§4] Provided always, That this Act shall be in Force for the Space of Two Years, and from thence to the End of the next Session of General Assembly, and no longer.