It is true that slavery cannot exist without law, any more than property in lands and goods can exist without law, and, therefore, the Thirteenth Amendment may be regarded as nullifying all State laws which establish or uphold slavery. See 109 U.S. 3 Civil Rights Cases Argued: Decided: October 16th, 1883 Slavery was planted in the State, not by her sons, nor by the fruits of an illicit slave trade, nor, through the poor apology of Las Casas, to save the aborigines; but the lords and owners of the country, mostly living abroad, implanted it at the very settlement for their own private emolument. The colonists, without the power of abolishing, regulated the evil until after the revolution; when warmed by its spirit and influenced by the principles of the declaration of independence, in 1804, when there was something to lose by the operation, the legislature abolished slavery in the State; not in every respect and instantaneously, not at once thrusting out the aged and decrepit and the helpless infant, from their comfortable homes, to become the inmates of a poor house, or the subjects for the settlement laws to adjust; but it was done as most great and good things are done, gradually:–All persons born after July 4th, 1804, though subject to servitude for a few years, were to be born free, and all under forty might be made so. Both restrictions to immediate and general freedom arose from the dictates of humanity. The right of manumission was with the master, not the slave; and both justice and humanity forbade that the slave, after he had spent the vigor of his manhood in his master’s service, should be manumitted, or turned off to die like the brutes, or left to charity for support. So infants, being incapable of self-support, were required to serve an apprenticeship though otherwise free. This was done not to retain a lingering hold on slavery, or for the benefit of the master, but for the public welfare and the particular benefit of the child, as is manifest from the act of 1804, the third section of which authorized the master to abandon the children of his slaves, within one year after their birth, by which they became paupers, to be supported by the townships, and to be bound out by the overseers in the same manner as other poor children, until, if a male, the age of twenty-five, and if a female, the age of twenty-one. But this section, being used by the masters for their benefit and the injury of the children, it was re-[page 386]pealed the next year,Bloomfield, 106, and thus the masters, though their rights in slaves were materially depreciated, were, and still are, compelled to support their slaves and their children, not by the mere ordinary poor rates, but to the extent of their whole property, though it should deprive every child of its patrimony. This has been the law since 1804, and under its benign influence slavery in the state has become almost extinct, without leading to poverty or crime, and without the legislature having attempted to make its operation more summary.–Without complaint on this subject a convention is called, who propose to the people a constitution, which is adopted, containing certain general phrases of abstract natural right, no stronger than those in the declaration of independence; yet under the force of these terms, the judiciary are called on to overthrow by their decision, all the laws of the state on the subject of slavery and its apprenticeship, and to exonerate the master from the support of the infirm and helpless–I do not believe that we possess any such power, or that a fair construction of the constitution can give it to us; jus dicere et non jus dare is the province of the judiciary; and although, in the exercise of a clear power, as invoked in this case, we may, with propriety, say, fiat justitia ruat caelum yet when that power does not exist, or its existence is doubtful, the application should be made to the legislature and not to the judiciary. The construction which I have given to the constitution, has rendered it unnecessary to inquire into the distinction, if any exist, between the two classes of cases.–Judgment must be rendered against the prosecutors in both cases. See 20 N.J.L. 368 Supreme Court of Judicature of New Jersey. THE STATE v. POST. THE STATE v. VAN BEUREN. May Term, 1845.