출처: Edgar J. McManus (2001). A History of Negro Slavery in New York. Syracuse University Press.
※ 발췌 (excerpt):
For many years there were virtually no restrictions on the master's right to free his slaves. Since the slaves were legally chattels, the slaveowner had the power to dispose of them in any way he saw fit, and this included the power to renounce his rights of ownership completely. Ordinarily the courts interfered only if the owner manumitted a slave in order to avoid the claims of creditors. Until the 18th century the legal regulation of manumission varied considerably from town to town. But the crux of all the regulations was that masters might not abandon aged or infirm slaves under the pretext of freeing them. Since the local overseers of the poor were responsible for indigent freedmen, in most places the masters were required to obtain their approval before freeing a slave. Some towns insisted upon a manumission bond to guarantee that the freedman would not become a public charge.[n.3]
Emancipation came under provincial control for the first time in 1712 as a result of uprising at New York City. The Assembly passed a law requiring slaveowners to post a bond of 200 pounds to guarantee that their freedmen were capable of self-support. Slaves manumitted by will were to be bonded in the same amount by the executor of the estate or the manumission would be void.[n.4] The real purpose of the law was not to keep freedmen off the public dole but to discourage manumission by making it financially prohibitive. The uprising convinced the lawmakers that free Negroes exert a bad influence on the slave force and that the safest course was to make slavery prescriptive.[n.5] Since few masters were willing to post a bond of 200 pounds, the law virtually ended private emancipation.
This restriction of manumission was soon recognized for what it was: a misconceived policy which stirred up rather than prevented slave discontent. The ( ... ... )
Further evidence of the growing strength of antislavery can be found in a sweeping revision of the slave controls, enacted by the legislature in 1788. The revised code permitted owners to manumit slaves without posting a bond if the slave was under 50 years of age and not likely to become a public charge. It was left up to the local overseers of the poor to determine whether a slave being proposed for manumission qualified under the new regulations. The manumission bond was also waived for testamentary emancipations if the overseers were satisfied that the slave was in good health and capable of self-support. Negores who subsequently became a public charge were to remain free and any expense incurred by the country for their support was to be charged against testator's estate.[n.20] ( ... ... )