Court cases, legal documents, and laws can be useful in gaining better understanding of the daily lives
and experiences of early Americans, as well as African slaves specifically. Consistent with their status
as a subjugated race, African slaves were governed by rules and regulations separate from the rest of society.
As seen in various court cases, slaves were often subject to laws and punishments those with a lighter
complexion could escape. Juxtaposed to a case in which a Black slave was often convicted and whipped for a
crime, is found a similar if not identical infraction perpetrated by a white citizen whose punishment pales
in comparison. Further, it is also important to note that masters were often fined for crimes their slaves
committed, consistent with the supposition that Blacks knew no better, and their masters needed to be responsible
for their good or bad behavior.