Reconstruction Period Research Forum
Black Codes Louisiana 1865
Acts Passed by the General Assembly of Louisiana, 1865.
Relative to apprenticas and indentured servants.
Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Louisiana, in General Assembly convened, That it shall be the duty of Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace and other civil officers of this State, to report to the Clerks of the District Courts of their respective Parishes, and in the Parish of Orleans (left bank) to the Mayor of the City of New Orleans, and on the right bank to tee President of the Police Jury, on the first Monday of each month, for each and every year, all persons under the age of eighteen years, if females, and twenty-one, if males, who are orphans, or whose parent, parents, or tutor, have not the means, or who refuse to provide for and maintain said minors; and, thereupon, it shall be the duty of the Clerks of the District Courts, Mayor and President of the Police Jury aforesaid, to examine whether the party or parties, so reported from time to time, come within the purview and meaning of this Act, and if so, to apprentice said minor or minors, in manner and form as prescribed by the Civil Code of the State of Louisiana; provided, that orphans coming under the provisions of this Act shall be authorized to select said employers when they have arrived at the age of puberty, unless they shall have been previously apprenticed; provided, that nay indenture of apprentice or indented servant, made before a Justice of the Peace and two disinterested witnesses, and the original deposited with and recorded by the Recorder of Mortgages for the Parish, in a book provided for that purpose, shall be valid and binding on the parties, and when made by the clerk, shall be also deposited with the Recorder of Mortgages, and all expenses for passing said acts of indenture shall be paid by the employer.
Sec. 2. Be it further enacted, &c., That persons who have attained the age of majority, whether in this State or any other State of the United States, or in a foreign country, may bind themselves to services to be performed in this country, for the term of five years, on such terms as they may stipulate, as domestic servants and to work on farms, plantations or in manufacturing establishments, which contracts shall be valid and binding on the parties to the same.
Sec. 3. Be it further enacted, &c., That in all cases, when the age of the minor cannot be ascertained by record testimony, the Clerks of the District Courts, Mayor and President of the Police Jury, or Justices of the Peace aforesaid, shall fix the age, according to the best evidence before them.
Sec. 4. Be it further enacted, &c., That all laws or parts of laws conflicting with the provisions of this Act, be, and the same are hereby repealed, and that this Act take effect from and after its passage.
DUNCAN S. CAGE, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
ALBERT VOORHIES, Lieutenant Governor and President of the Senate.
Approved December 21, 1865.
J. MADISON WELLS Governor of the State of Louisiana
A true copy: J. H. Hardy, Secretary of State.
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