[December 1662] “Whereas some doubts have arrisen whether children got by an Englishman 5 upon a negro woman should be slave or Free, Be it therefore enacted and declared by this present grand assembly, that all children borne in this country shall be held bond or free only according to the condition of the mother, And if any christian shall committ Fornication with a negro man or woman, hee or shee soe offending shall pay double the Fines imposed by the former act.”
Through out the 17th to the 19th century, African Americans were imported to the New World against their will and sold for slavery. In 1619, 20 African Americans arrived in Jamestown against thier will. And since then their children sold into slavery. But as time went on rape and interracial relations occurred, resulting the issue of what rights the “bastard child” should be given. The Grand Assembly decided that the fate of any child born in this new country should be decided upon the skin color of the mother.
Sources: “An Act Defining the Status of Mulatto Bastards,” December 1662, Week 3 line 4-8