Anti-Amalgamation law passed


Anti-Lincoln Political
ad in 1864
Date: 
Sat, 1664-09-20

*On this date in 1664, Maryland passed the first Anti amalgamation law. This law was intended to prevent marriages between Black men and English women.

The Governor of the state at the time was Sir William Berkeley. Interracial marriage was a fairly common practice during the colonial era among white indentured servants and black slaves as well as in more aristocratic circles. Subsequently, similar laws were passed in Virginia 1691, Massachusetts 1705, North Carolina 1715, South Carolina 1717, Delaware 1721 and Pennsylvania in 1725. Intermarriage bans were lifted during Reconstruction in the early 1870's, but by the end of the decade mixed marriages were declared void. It wasn't until the 1950's and 1960's that all of these laws were lifted again.

However in October, 1958, a Virginia grand jury indicted Mildred Loving and her white husband for violating the state's anti-miscegenation laws. Each pleaded guilty and received a one-year sentence. Their sentences were suspended providing they leave Virginia and not return for twenty-five years. The Loving's appealed that decision to the U. S. Supreme court in Loving v. Virginia 1967. and won. The Supreme Court struck down the Virginia law and similar laws in fifteen other states at the time.

Statistics show that in 1991, there were 231,000 blacks married to whites, about 0.4 per cent of the total number of married couples in America. Still according to the 1994 National Health and Social Life Survey, 97% of black women are likely to choose a partner of the same race. Many black women-the culture bearers-oppose the idea of interracial marriage, opting instead for racial strength and unity through the stabilization of the Black family.

Reference:
Historic U.S. Cases 1690-1993:
An Encyclopedia New York
Copyright 1992 Garland Publishing, New York
ISBN 0-8240-4430-4