By: Bianca Soto
New President to take over for Abraham Lincoln. Also taking over after Civil War construction.
Newly Freed Slaves
A Photo of a freed slave family.
Black codes did not stop the cruelty among newly freed slaves...
Issues That Came Upon His Construction:
Civil Rights Act 1866
Courts, Crimes, and Punishments
South Carolina’s Black Code established a racially separate court system for all civil and criminal cases that involved a black plaintiff or defendant. It allowed black witnesses to testify in court, but only in cases affecting “the person or property of a person of color.” Crimes that whites believed freedmen might commit, such as rebellion, arson, burglary, and assaulting a white woman, carried harsh penalties. Most of these crimes carried the death penalty for blacks, but not for whites. Punishments for minor offenses committed by blacks could result in “hiring out” or whipping, penalties rarely imposed on white lawbreakers.
Southern Black Codes provided another source of labor for white employers—black orphans and the children of vagrants or other destitute parents. The South Carolina code authorized courts to apprentice such black children, even against their will, to an employer until age 21 for males and 18 for females. Masters had the right to inflict moderate punishment on their apprentices and to recapture runaways. But the code also required masters to provide food and clothing to their apprentices, teach them a trade, and send them to school.
All Southern Black Codes relied on vagrancy laws to pressure freedmen to sign labor contracts. South Carolina’s code did not limit these laws to unemployed persons, but included others such as peddlers and gamblers. The code provided that vagrants could be arrested and imprisoned at hard labor. But the county sheriff could “hire out” black vagrants to a white employer to work off their punishment. The courts customarily waived such punishment for white vagrants, allowing them to take an oath of poverty instead.