Alabama's Anti-Literacy Laws of 1833

Also Defined Unlawful Assemblies and Made Preaching Unlawful

6/12/20231 min read

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.

It shall not be lawful for more than five male slaves, either with or without passes, to assemble together at any place off the proper plantation to which they belong; and if any slaves do so assemble together, the same shall be deemed an unlawful assembly.

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.