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Excerpts from the Louisiana Black Codes (1865)locked


In 1865, 1866, and 1867, the state of Louisiana passed a series of laws aimed at restricting the movement, legal rights, and economic opportunities of newly freed people. The passage of these black codes was part of a larger trend in the region that began with Mississippi and South Carolina, with each state implementing its own unique set of laws. Louisiana’s black codes were based in part on the Code Noir, an ordinance concerning the institution of slavery which dated back to French colonial rule in the eighteenth century. Louisiana was one of the most violent states following the war, and the tension is apparent in some of the harsher provisions of the law below, including nebulous definitions of “trespassing” and punishment for “enticing” laborers to leave their employer to whom the person “is assigned to live.”

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