Slave Trade Act of 1794

Slave Trade Act Of 1794

U.S. Legislation
U.S. Legislation Less

Slave Trade Act of 1794

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The Slave Trade Act of 1794 was a law passed by the United States Congress that limited American involvement in the trade of human cargo. This was the first of several acts of Congress that eventually stopped the importation of slaves to the United States. The owning of slaves would later be made illegal in the U.S. by the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution in 1865.


The bill was introduced during the 3rd Congress that convened December 2, 1793. This bill was then passed March 22, 1794, with the title: An Act to prohibit the carrying on the Slave Trade from the United States to any foreign place or country.

Text of the law

<blockquote>"Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That no citizen or citizens of the United States, or foreigner, or any other person coming into, or residing within the same, shall, for himself or any other person whatsoever, either as master, factor or owner, build, fit, equip, load or otherwise prepare any ship or vessel, within any port or place of said United States, nor shall cause any ship or vessel to sail from any port or place within same, for the purpose of carrying on any trade or traffic in slaves, to any foreign country; or for the purpose of procuring, from any foreign kingdom, place or country, the inhabitants of such kingdom, place or country, to be transported to any......
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