Item description: At the 31 May 1862 meeting of the Philanthropic Society, a committee recommended passage of the following law: “That fifteen lashes be inflicted upon any colored man or woman, who, for the sake of convenience, and unaccompanied by any white person, may walk on forbidden ground after being admonished of the punishment which such a violation of our laws produces.” The law was adopted, and Messrs. Hines, Fetter, and Guthrie were appointed to enforce it.
The Dialectic and Philanthropic societies were the university’s student debating societies. Forbidden ground was the part of the university campus known today as McCorkle Place.
Item citation: From Volume 15 in Folder 9 in the Philanthropic Society of the University of North Carolina Records, #40166, University Archives, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
May 31st 1862
The Society met at the appointed hour. The President being absent Mr. Cameron was elected President pro tem.
The following motion was passed: We move that Reuel A. Stancill be released from the payments of his fines the present, and that he be granted his Diploma as he promises to pay his debts as soon as he can get the requisite amount for that purpose. A. McFadyen, F. Parker
Mr. Parker at the request of Mr. Cameron read the following reports:
and Fellow Members
Your committee appointed to confer with a committee of the Dialetic Society concerning the propriety of proposing a law to prevent negroes and other persons from waling on forbidden ground, as leave to submit this as their report: We think that the law would be an excellent one and would recommend its passage to Society. We deem it unnecessary to give any reason at length, as every member cannot but perceive the want of it.
The committees were of the opinion that it would be difficult to enforce the law upon any except negroes, and therefore took no steps to as to “the other persons” of the motions under which they were appointed.
We would advise, thus, the passage of the following law:
1st - That fifteen lashes be inflicted upon any colored man or woman, who, for the sake of convenience, and unaccompanied by any white person, may walk on forbidden ground after being admonished of the punishment which such a violation of our laws produces.
2nd – That three members be appointed out of the three highest classes to enforce this law.
All of which is respectfully submitted
Kenan, Johnson and Parker
The above report (being adopted as) having been adopted the President appointed Messrs. Hines, Guthrie, and Feller to see to the execution of the lasws.
The Librarian chose as his subs Messrs. Branch and Purcell.
The Supervisor, then, read his charges and the society adjourned at 9 o’clock.
Cameron, Pres Pro Tem