As the plantation regime expanded in territorial Florida and the Negro population became more numerous it became necessary that the slave system should be supported by statutory law. The purpose of the law was primarily to control the slave through a strict regulation of the system, and only incidentally to give him protection from ill usage. In 1828 the Legislative Council laid the legal basis for future legislation concerning Negro slaves by the passage of an act which stated that “slaves shall be deemed, held, and taken as personal property for every purpose whatever." This act placed the Negro slave in a separate legal category from the white population, and by subsequent legislation the free Negro was also set apart legally from the white population.
Williams, Jr., Edwin L.
"Negro Slavery in Florida, Part II,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 28
, Article 4.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol28/iss3/4