An Act concerning Negroes.

East New Jersey Laws, February-March 1695, ch.III, L&S 356-357

[§1] BE IT ENACTED by the Governor, Council and representatives in General Assembly met and assembled and by the authority of the same, that when any negro, negroes, or other slaves, shall be taken into custody for felony or murder, or suspicion of felony or murder, that three justices of the peace, of that county where the fact is committed, one being of the quorum, shall with all conveniency meet and try the said slave or slaves, and upon conviction by a jury of twelve lawful men of the neighbourhood, pronounce the sentence appointed for such crimes, and sign the execution. [§2] Be it further enacted by the authority aforesaid, that if any negro, negroes, or other slaves shall steal, or be found stealing, any swine, or other cattle, turkeys, geese, or any other kind of poultry and provisions whatsoever, or any kind of grain, and shall be convicted thereof before two justices of the peace, one whereof being of the quorum, the master or mistress of such negroes, or other slaves, shall within ten days after conviction, pay the value of what he or they have stolen to the party from whom the same is stolen, and in default to be levied by distress and sale of goods, of the said master or mistress, by a warrant from the justices before whom such conviction is made directed to the constable of the town where the master or mistress resides: And the said negro or negroes or other slaves, being so convicted, shall be publickly punished with corporal punishment, not exceeding forty stripes, the master or mistress of such negro, negroes or other slaves, to pay the charge thereof.