As a border state to the Confederacy, Delaware enacted nine segregation laws impacting nearly every facet of public life between 1874 and 1953. One of the most unusual and inhumane laws on record was passed in 1893, requiring black servants to obtain the permission of their master before marrying. Failure to obtain written consent resulted in a $30 fine.
1874: Miscegenation [Statute]
Prohibited marriage between white persons and Negroes. Penalty: A fine of $100 imposed on offenders and upon the minister performing the ceremony.
1875: Public carriers [Statute]
Passenger carriers may assign customers to a particular place if their presence elsewhere would be offensive to the majority of travelers.
1875: Public accommodations [Statute]
Innkeepers, hotel, tavern and restaurant managers, and theater owners were allowed to refuse service to persons whose "reception" or entertainment by him would be offensive to the major part of his customers and would injure his business."
1877: Education [Statute]
Separate tax on blacks established to fund colored schools.
1893: Miscegenation [Statute]
Reconfirms intermarriage law of 1852. Notes that Negroes or mulattoes may be married without a license if they produce a certificate offering satisfactory proof of freedom; or if a servant -- shall produce written consent of master. A free person marrying a servant without consent must pay the master $30 if male and $15 if female. This practice dated back to an 1874 statute that allowed indigent black children under the age of 15 to be bound as servants until the age of 21 for males and 18 for women.
1911: Miscegenation [Statute]
Marriage unlawful between a white person and a Negro or mulatto. Penalty: Punishable by a fine of $100, or imprisonment for 30 days. If the marriage was contracted outside of the state, persons would still be charged with a misdemeanor with the same penalty as if the marriage had occurred in the state.
1915: Miscegenation [State Code]
Declared miscegenation a misdemeanor. Interracial marriages would be nullified if parties went to another jurisdiction where such marriages were legal.
1917: Housing [Municipal Code]
As early as 1917, Wilmington's suburban developers included in their deeds restrictions against sales to non-Caucasian buyers. At least two developments limited sales to "members of the Aryan branch of the Caucasian race." (Abstract of Chase Dissertation on Suburbanization)
1953: Health Care [State Code]
Separate tuberculosis hospitals to be established for blacks.
953: Miscegenation [State Code]
Marriage between whites and Negroes or mulattoes illegal. Penalty: Misdemeanor, fine and/or imprisonment.