Richmond County Museum

- 1662 -

Enslavement Law

A statute enacted by the Virginia General Assembly declared that children born to a Negro woman would be enslaved, in effect enabling planters to reproduce their own labor force. Subsequent Virginia laws further entrenched slavery: one passed in 1705 stated that “all Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves within this dominion…shall be held to be real estate.” In old Rappahannock County and later Richmond County at this time, tobacco was the mainstay of the economy as well as serving as currency. This labor-intensive crop employed a workforce of English indentured servants as well as enslaved people of African and Native American descent. Source: Hening’s Statutes At Large cited by Encyclopedia Virginia. Robert R. Harper, Richmond County Virginia, A Tricentennial Portrait, 1992