Florida A & M University Law Review


In the Antebellum Era (c. 1800-60), Southern slaves gambled regularly, both with each other and with free blacks and poor whites. This fact has received a fair amount of scholarly attention. Curiously, however, the reported court opinions involving such gambling have been all but overlooked. Accordingly, this article collects and discusses these decisions. As will be seen, Southern judges often were exasperated by the less-than-precise wording of the laws that were put in place to punish slaves who gambled and whites who facilitated or participated in such gambling.