Slaves – Part 3

There are some more specific laws written in this chapter. For one, there is a law about a slave getting married, but only the husband is free to go. The husband could leave after seven years or could declare his love for his family and master and stay with his master.

At first glance, you might think this would encourage slave owners to game the system, taking in single men and giving them wives in the hopes of keeping them. Let’s look at that for a minute.

It might encourage that from a human perspective. Owners wouldn’t want to let their slave go. It would keep married men from being sold, a positive. The masters would need to encourage a love match and a strong family bond among the slave family. He would also have to treat him well enough that he would stay. Nothing wrong with that.

One of the worst things in American slavery was the dehumanizing of slaves and the tearing apart of families. This law encourages the slaves to stay as a family and then the family would never be sold. It provided a stable family life for the children. Yes, they were slaves, but there were laws about how to treat them. They were people and could not be treated any old way and then discarded as if they were a thing and not a person.

His eye is on the sparrow.