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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 and take in single men and give them wives in the hopes of keeping him. Let’s look at that for a minute.
It would encourage that from a human perspective. They 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 child. Yes, they were slaves, but there were laws about how to treat them. They were people that could not just be treated any old way and then discarded as if they were a thing and not a person.