Rhode Island’s 1652 abolition law printed in John Russell Bartlett, Records of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations in New England, 1636-1663, 2 vols. Providence, RI, 1857), 1:242-243
Ordered, whereas there is a common course practiced amongst English men to buy negers to that end they may have them for service or slaves forever; for the preventing of such practices among us, let it be ordered, that no black mankind or white being forced by covenant bond, or otherwise, to serve any man or his assigns longer than ten years, or untill they come to be twenty four years of age, if they be taken in under fourteen, from the time of their coming within the liberties of this colony. And at the end or term of ten years to set them free, as the manner is with the English servants. And that man that will not let them go free, or shall sell them away elsewhere, to that end that they may be enslaved to others for a long time, he or they shall forfeit to the colony forty pounds.