A History of Racial Injustice, a digital experience from Equal Justice Initiative, highlights events on this day in history as a tool for learning more about people and events in American history that are critically important but not well known.
On this day, June 30, 1829, officials in Cincinnati, Ohio, issued a notice requiring black residents to adhere to laws passed in 1804 and 1807 aimed at preventing “fugitive slaves” and freed black people from settling in Ohio.
The 1804 law required every black person in Ohio to obtain proof of freedom and to register with the clerk’s office in his or her county of residence. It also prohibited employers from hiring a black person without proof of freedom, imposed a fine on those who hid "fugitive slaves," and provided to any person asserting “a legal claim” to a black person a procedure for “retaking and possessing his or her black or mulatto servant.” The 1807 amendments to the law required black people seeking residence in Cincinnati to post $500 bond guaranteed by two white men. In addition to increasing fines for employing a black person without proof of freedom and assisting "fugitive slaves," the 1807 amendments prohibited black people from testifying in court against white people.