THE LOYALISTS AND SLAVERY. 45
either of them for a longer term than a term of nine years."
The second clause of the bill provides that the owners of slaves, at the time within the province, should be secured in their property-, and that contracts already made should not be affected ; but in the third clause, " in order to prevent the continuation of slavery within this Province," it was proposed to enact that " immediately from and after the passing of this Act every child that shall be born of a negro mother, or other woman, subjected to such service as aforesaid, shall abide or remain with the master or mistress in whose service the mother shall be living at the time of such child's birth, (unless such mother and child shall leave such service, by and with the consent of such master or mistress), and such master or mistress shall, and is hereby- required to give proper nourishment and clothing to such child or children, and shall and may put such child or children to work when he, she or they shall be able so to do, and shall and may retain him or her in their service until every such child shall have obtained the age of twenty-five years, at which time such child shall be entitled to demand his or her discharge from, and shall be discharged by such master or mistress from any further service." It was also provided, to prevent any difficulty from uncertainty- of age, that the "master, mistress or mother" of any child born in slavery should duly register the date of birth of such child, any master or mistress refusing to do this to be subjected to a penalty of five pounds.
Provision was also made against any undue detention after the age of twenty-five of a child born in the sen-ice of any master or mistress ; and it was " provided always that in case any issue shall be born of such children during their infant servitude or after, such issue shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges of free-born subjects." It was at the same time enacted that "when-