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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Re: Ohioi Black Codes-FPOC Related
In Response To: Ohioi Black Codes-FPOC Related ()

For a I long time I have wondered about the 1804 Ohio Law that required "free" African Americans to show proof of freedom and also post a $500.00 security bond. I have a number of "free black" ancestors who came into Ohio before 1849 when that law was repealed, yet I have never heard anything about them paying for the bond. Furthermore, $500.00 was a huge sum of money at that time, approximately $7,500 or more in today’s economy. I don't think many African Americans of that time had that kind of money. This poses a question: how strictly was this law enforced?

I have had numerous discussions about the subject of this particular law with Michel Perdreau MLS , and Robb Lett. We tend to agree that the law was strictly enforced in some counties in Ohio, or even parts of some counties in Ohio, but not enforced in some or parts of some counties in Ohio. The result is that, for good reason, African Americans avoided settling in areas of Ohio where the Bond Law as strictly enforced and settled in areas where the law was not enforced.

For instance in 1830 Ross County had the largest African American Population (884)of Ohio counties and Belmont was second with ant African American population of 601. Many Ohio counties had few or no African Americans at all. This may indicate where and to what extend the Bond Law was enforced.

Henry Robert Burke


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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