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Law School Case Brief

State v. Post - 20 N.J.L. 368 (1845)

Rule:

N.J. Const. art. 1, § 1, the first section of the first article on rights and privileges declares, that all men are by nature free and independent, and have certain natural and unalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of pursuing and obtaining safety and happiness.

Facts:

One of the two writs, which were the subjects of this opinion, was directed to an individual who held a slave in servitude, the slave having been born prior to July 4, 1804. The other writ was directed to an individual who held in involuntary servitude the child of a slave born since that time. 

Issue:

Could slavery exist within the limits of New Jersey under its present constitution and laws?

Answer:

Yes

Conclusion:

The court held that the relation of master and slave existed by law, at the adoption of the N.J. Const. in 1844. The court held that the constitution had not destroyed that relation, or abolished slavery. The court held that the persons involved in these cases, who were held in involuntary servitude, should be remanded to the custody of the persons who held them. Accordingly, the court rendered judgment against the prosecutors.

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