Admission of Negro Evidence

January 26, 1866


A revised African American Evidence bill passes through the Senate.


"The bill amends and re-enacts section nine, chapter one hundred and three, of the Code of 1860, definingg a mulatto, providing for the punishment of offenses buy colored persons and for the admission of their evidence in legal investigations, and repeals all laws in relation to slaves and slavery. "every person who has one fourth part or more of negro blood shall be deemed a mulatto"; "that for all criminal offenses committed by colored persons the punishment shall be the same as provided by law for white persons who commit like offenses" "that in all criminal prosecutions against colored persons they shall be entitled to trial by jury"; That "hereafter the evidence of Indians and colored persons shall be heard in all legal investigations, at law or in equity, to have such weight and credence as the jury, court for justice hearing it may allowed to it; but such evidence shall in all cases, in courts of equity as well as in proceedings at common law, be given viva voce before the tribunal that is to weigh it, and not in the form of a deposition. No appellate tribunal shall supersede or reverse the judgment, order or decree of an inferior tribunal on the ground that such judgment, order or decree is contrary to the evidence of colored persons, where the tribunal seeing and hearing the witnesses examined certifies on the record that it did not give credence to such witnesses the evidence of colored persons, so taken, may be reduced to writing and spread it on the record, or filed in the cause when desired by any party to the proceeding, or deemed proper by the court : provided, that when the parties to the proceeding are all white persons, the evidence of no colored person shall be received to prove facts occurring prior to the 1st day of January, 1868. "this act shall be in force from its passage," The bill passed the Senate
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Justin Barlow




“Admission of Negro Evidence,” Reconstructing Virginia, accessed December 8, 2022,