Mary Charlotte, a woman of color v. Gabriel S. Chouteau
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Of this number, a large proportion were from the
New EnglandEngland states; and the result was marifested
at the earliest opportunity afforded to them, after the
establishment of Upper CanadaCanada as a separate Province
under the Act of 1791, the 31 GeorgeGeorge III, Chapter 31,
which, for the first time, gave effect to the Royal promise
contained in the proclamation of the formation of
Parliamentary Assemblies in the Province: up to that
time the local Government had been conducted by a
Governor and Council, the latter of whom were, with
scarcely an exception, composed of public officers resident
at or near the Seat of Government. At the first
session of the Parliament of that province, Upper CanadaCanada,
the French laws and customs were abolished, as âbeing
manifestly and avowedly intended for the accommodation
of His Majesty's (French) CanadianCanadian subjects," and
not for "British subjects born and educated in countries
where the English laws were established,â and the laws
of EnglandEngland were therefore substituted by Act passed on
the fifteenth of October 1792, 32 GeorgeGeorge III Chapter 1.

InJuly 1793, in the second session of the same
Parliament, the Act 33 GeorgeGeorge III, Chapter 7, above
referred to, was passed, and the reason stated in the
preamble was, because it was âunjust that a people
who enjoy freedom by law should encourage the introduction
of slaves,â and because it was âhighly expedient
to abolish slavery in this Province, so far as the same may
gradually be done without violating private property.â
This provincial act absolutely deprived the Lieutenant
Governor of the power of granting the necessary "license
for the importation of any negro or other person to be
subjected to the condition of a slave, or to a [ bounden ]
involuntary service for life,â and relieved such
[ negro ]

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negro or other person from such slavery or involuntary
life service. It then proceeded to reduce voluntary
contracts of service to a period of nine years; and while
it sustained existing contracts with reference to negroes
who had come or been brought into the Province, in virtue
of public authority, or of any act of the Parliament of
Great BritainBritain , it gave relief to the children born of
slaves, who were thereafter to remain in the service of
their master only until their twenty-fifth year;
manifestly a compensation to the master for his care
and support of them from their birth, whilst their children
were to be free-born subjects. This Provincial Act
was, to a certain extent, a modification of the Connecticut
Act of 1784, for a similar purpose; and I apprehend, cannot
be viewed as sustaining the slavery of any but those
slaves who had been brought into the province under
the pledge of the public faith, or by contract.

Twelfth: Was the question of the legality of the slavery of negroves,
or other persons, ever tested in any of the Courts of Justice
in the Province of QuebecProvince of Quebec, - or, after its division, in any
of those in Lower CanadaCanada? and if yea, what was the
result of the test?

Answer: The question has been tested, but not frequently,
in the Civil Courts of the Province of QuebecProvince of Quebec, that
do, in the Courts of King's Bench and Common Pleas, as
well before as subsequest to its division into the two governments
of Lower and Upper CanadaCanada; and, from an examination
of the cases brought before those Courts, the result
was unfavourable to the existence of slavery, or to its
recognition. I subjoin the following cases, which I
have taken from the authentic registers of the Courts of
Jutice in MontrealMontreal, in which such litigation took
place; and which seem to apply to Negroes from
the United StatesUnited States. [ Hoyle ]