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[From the New York Tribune.] — The Illinois Black Laws.

We find in the Repblican journals of Illinois the beginning of a discussion that is destined, we hope and believe, to expunge, at no distant day, from the statute book the infamous Black Laws of that State. The name is familiar, but we presume few persons have any notion of the true character of the legislation which still in Illinois has the validity, if it has not the force, of law.

The Black Code was first passed in 1819 for the benefit of the slaveholders in the southern part of the State. It was re-enacted in 1845. Slavery at that time was either wholly extinguished, or survived in so few instances that any legislation in its behalf was manifestly absurd. But slavery in the South, in Kentucky and Missouri, was then a dominant power, and exercised a control far over Illinois as over other Northern States. Hatred to the negro was if possible a still more potent influence, and the two together were able to pass such acts as this:

"SEC. 9. If any slave or servant shall be found at a distance of ten miles from the tenement of his or her master, or the person with whom he or she lives, without a pass, or some letter or token, whereby it may appear that he or she is proceeding by authority from his or her master, employer or overseer, it shall and may be lawful for any person to apprehend and carry him or her before a Justice of the Peace, to be by his order punished with stripes, not exceeding thirty-five, at his discretion.

"SEC. 10. If any slave or servant shall presume to come and be upon the plantation, or at the dwelling of any person whatsoever, without leave from his or her owner, not being sent upon lawful business, it shall be lawful for the owner of such plantation, or dwelling house, to give or order such slave or servant ten lashes on his or her bare back."

South Carolina may be challenged to produce anything more purely malignant than these sections; for though there are more cruel laws in that State, they are part of a system of terror and oppression which were thought to be, and perhaps were, necessary to overawe a slave population that exceeded in number the free. But in Illinois such a law is simply a piece of bigotry and spite, and is infinitely more disgraceful to that State than is the code of South Carolina to her slavery crushed community.

Another law, proceeding upon the presumption that slavery is the legal condition of every colored person who cannot prove him self free, considers that all colored persons attempting to enter the State are escaping from servitude, and throws all possible obstructions in the way of their settlement. It requires bonds to be filed in the sum of $1,000 each that the negro shall not become a charge upon the county as pauper. We give the fifth section in full, as a monument of absurdity and infamy together:

"SEC. 5. Every black or mulatto person who shall be found in this State, and not having such a certificate as is required by this chapter, shall be deemed a runaway slave or servant, and it shall be lawful for any inhabitant of this State to take such black or mulatto person before some Justice of the Peace; and should such black or mulatto person not produce such certificate as aforesaid, it shall be the duty of such Justice to cause such black or mulatto person to be committed to the custody of the Sheriff of the County, who shall keep such black or mulatto person, and in three days after receiving him shall advertise him at the court house door, and shall transmit a notice, and cause the same to be advertised for six weeks in some public newspaper printed nearest the place of apprehending such black person or mulatto, stating a description of the most remarkable features of the supposed runaway; and if such person so committed shall not produce a certificate or other evidence of this freedom within the time aforesaid, is shall be the duty of the Sheriff to hire him out for the best price he can get, after having given five days' previous notice thereof, from month to month for the space of one year; and if no owner shall appear and substantiate his claim before the expiration of the year, the Sheriff shall give a certificate to such black or mulatto person, who, upon producing the same at the next circuit court of the county, may obtain a certificate from the court stating the facts, and the person shall be deemed a free person, unless he should be lawfully claimed by his proper owner or owners thereafter."

Is it necessary to argue about such a law as that? But the climax is not yet reached. The rest of the case may be best stated as we find it in the Chicago Tribune:

"Until the year 1853 there were no other penalties or prohibitions upon the migration of colored persons to Illinois than the above, which were declared unconstitutionally by the Supreme Court, for the reason already stated, and there were only 5,436 colored persons in the State of 850,000 whites. The Legislature of 1853 turned its attention to the subject with a ferocity that would have done honor to Arkansas or Madagascar. It enacted that if any negro or mulatto, bond or free, should come into the State and remain ten days, he should be fined ten dollars, and sold at auction for the fine to the bidder who would pay it for the shortest period of his service, and that if he did not then leave the State, the process should be repeated till he would leave."

This barbarous law, it is said, has remained a dead letter in all but two or three counties, nor do there seem to have been more than half a dozen executions of it in all that State, and the journal from which we quote affirms: "There is not a county in the State where public opinion would now tolerate an attempt to enforce the law, by selling a black man for the crime of setting his foot on our soil."

Which we hope is true, but don't know. At all events, the duty of the Legislature is clear. The Union party of Illinois cannot afford to be held responsible for the continuance of these laws. And not merely the Union party, not merely the State, but the the Union itself is made odious and contemptible by the toleration of such legislative barbarity as this. — Away with it forever!