Alabama Slavery Code of 1833

Ban on teaching reading or writing to free blacks and slaves, plus a ban on black preachers

7/27/20231 min read

S31. Any person who shall attempt to teach any free person of color, or slave, to spell, read or write, shall, upon conviction thereof by indictment, be fined in a sum not less than two hundred fifty dollars, nor more than five hundred dollars.

S42. If any slave or free person of color shall preach to, exhort, or harangue any slave or slaves, or free persons of color, unless in the presence of five respectable slave-holders, any such slave or free person of color so offending, shall, on conviction before any justice of the peace, receive, by order of said justice of the peace, thirty-nine lashes for the first offence, and fifty lashes for every offence thereafter; and any person may arrest any such slave or free person of color, and take him before a justice of the peace for trial:

Provided, That the negroes so haranguing or preaching, shall be licensed thereto, by some regular body of professing Christians immediately in the neighborhood, and to whose society or church such negro shall properly belong.