University, Court, and Slave reveals long-forgotten connections between pre-Civil War southern universities and slavery. Universities and their faculty owned people-sometimes dozens of people-and profited from their labor while many slaves endured physical abuse on campuses. The profits of enslaved labor helped pay for education, and faculty and students at times actively promoted the institution. They wrote about the history of slavery, argued for its central role in the southern economy, and developed a political theory that justified slavery. The university faculty spoke a common language of economic utility, history, and philosophy with those who made the laws for the southern states. Their extensive writing promoting slavery helps us understand how southern politicians and judges thought about the practice. As Alfred L. Brophy shows, southern universities fought the emancipation movement for economic reasons, but used history, philosophy, and law in an attempt to justify their position. Indeed, as the antislavery movement gained momentum, southern academics and their allies in the courts became bolder in their claims. Some went so far as to say that slavery was supported by natural law. The combination of economic reasoning and historical precedent helped shape a southern, proslavery jurisprudence. Following Lincoln's November 1860 election, southern academics joined politicians, judges, lawyers, and other leaders in arguing that their economy and society was threatened. Southern jurisprudence led them to believe that any threats to slavery and property justified secession. Bolstered by the courts, academics took their case to the southern public-and ultimately to the battlefield-to defend slavery. A path-breaking and deeply researched history of southern universities' investment in and defense of slavery, University, Court, and Slave will fundamentally transform our understanding of the institutional foundations of pro-slavery thought.
University, Court, and Slave reveals long-forgotten connections between pre-Civil War southern universities and slavery. Universities and their faculty owned people-sometimes dozens of people-and profited from their labor while many slaves endured physical abuse on campuses. The profits of enslaved labor helped pay for education, and faculty and students at times actively promoted the institution. They wrote about the history of slavery, argued for its central role in the southern economy, and developed a political theory that justified slavery. The university faculty spoke a common language of economic utility, history, and philosophy with those who made the laws for the southern states. Their extensive writing promoting slavery helps us understand how southern politicians and judges thought about the practice. As Alfred L. Brophy shows, southern universities fought the emancipation movement for economic reasons, but used history, philosophy, and law in an attempt to justify their position. Indeed, as the antislavery movement gained momentum, southern academics and their allies in the courts became bolder in their claims. Some went so far as to say that slavery was supported by natural law. The combination of economic reasoning and historical precedent helped shape a southern, proslavery jurisprudence. Following Lincoln's November 1860 election, southern academics joined politicians, judges, lawyers, and other leaders in arguing that their economy and society was threatened. Southern jurisprudence led them to believe that any threats to slavery and property justified secession. Bolstered by the courts, academics took their case to the southern public-and ultimately to the battlefield-to defend slavery. A path-breaking and deeply researched history of southern universities' investment in and defense of slavery, University, Court, and Slave will fundamentally transform our understanding of the institutional foundations of pro-slavery thought.
Alfred L. Brophy's University, Court, and Slave reveals long-forgotten connections between pre-Civil War southern universities and slavery. Universities and their faculty owned people - sometimes dozens of people - and profited from their labor while many were physically abused on theircampuses. Education was often paid for through the profits of enslaved labor. University faculty - and students - also promoted the institution of slavery. They wrote about the history of slavery, its central role in the southern economy, and developed a political theory that justified keeping somepeople in slavery. The university faculty spoke a common language of economic utility, history, and philosophy with those who made the laws for the southern states. That extensive writing promoting slavery helps us understand how southern politicians and judges thought about slavery.As antislavery rhetoric gained momentum, southern academics and their allies in the courts became bolder in their claims. Some went so far as to say that slavery was supported by natural law. The combination of economic reasoning and historical precedent helped shape a southern, proslaveryjurisprudence. Following Lincoln's November 1860 election southern academics joined politicians, judges, lawyers, and other leaders to argue that their economy and society was threatened. Southern jurisprudence led them to believe that any threats to slavery and property justified secession. In somecases, academics took their case to the southern public and, in one case, to the battlefield, to defend slavery.
CHAPTER 5 The Legacy of Slave Marriage: Freedwomen's Marital Claims and the Process of Emancipation -- Epilogue -- Notes -- Bibliography -- Index -- A -- B -- C -- D -- E -- F -- G -- H -- I -- J -- K -- L -- M -- N -- O -- P -- R -- S -- T -- U -- V -- W
This groundbreaking study of the law and culture of slavery in the antebellum Deep South takes readers into local courtrooms where people settled their civil disputes over property. Buyers sued sellers for breach of warranty when they considered slaves to be physically or morally defective; owners sued supervisors who whipped or neglected slaves under their care. How, asks Ariela J. Gross, did communities reconcile the dilemmas such trials raised concerning the character of slaves and masters? Although slaves could not testify in court, their character was unavoidably at issue--and so their moral agency intruded into the courtroom. In addition, says Gross, "wherever the argument that black character depended on management by a white man appeared, that white man's good character depended on the demonstration that bad black character had other sources." This led, for example, to physicians testifying that pathologies, not any shortcomings of their master, drove slaves to became runaways. Gross teases out other threads of complexity woven into these trials: the ways that legal disputes were also affairs of honor between white men; how witnesses and litigants based their views of slaves' character on narratives available in the culture at large; and how law reflected and shaped racial ideology. Combining methods of cultural anthropology, quantitative social history, and critical race theory, Double Character brings to life the law as a dramatic ritual in people's daily lives, and advances critical historical debates about law, honor, and commerce in the American South.
In Signposts, Sally E. Hadden and Patricia Hagler Minter have assembled seventeen essays, by both established and rising scholars, that showcase new directions in southern legal history across a wide range of topics, time periods, and locales. The essays will inspire today's scholars to dig even more deeply into the southern legal heritage, in much the same way that David Bodenhamer and James Ely's seminal 1984 work, Ambivalent Legacy, inspired an earlier generation to take up the study of southern legal history. Contributors to Signposts explore a wide range of subjects related to southern constitutional and legal thought, including real and personal property, civil rights, higher education, gender, secession, reapportionment, prohibition, lynching, legal institutions such as the grand jury, and conflicts between bench and bar. A number of the essayists are concerned with transatlantic connections to southern law and with marginalized groups such as women and native peoples. Taken together, the essays in Signposts show us that understanding how law changes over time is essential to understanding the history of the South. Contributors: Alfred L. Brophy, Lisa Lindquist Dorr, Laura F. Edwards, James W. Ely Jr., Tim Alan Garrison, Sally E. Hadden, Roman J. Hoyos, Thomas N. Ingersoll, Jessica K. Lowe, Patricia Hagler Minter, Cynthia Nicoletti, Susan Richbourg Parker, Christopher W. Schmidt, Jennifer M. Spear, Christopher R. Waldrep, Peter Wallenstein, Charles L. Zelden.
The Supreme Court's 1857 Dred Scott decision denied citizenship to African Americans and enabled slavery's westward expansion. It has long stood as a grievous instance of justice perverted by sectional politics. Austin Allen finds that the outcome of Dred Scott hinged not on a single issue—slavery—but on a web of assumptions, agendas, and commitments held collectively and individually by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney and his colleagues. Allen carefully tracks arguments made by Taney Court justices in more than 1,600 reported cases in the two decades prior to Dred Scott and in its immediate aftermath. By showing us the political, professional, ideological, and institutional contexts in which the Taney Court worked, Allen reveals that Dred Scott was not simply a victory for the Court's prosouthern faction. It was instead an outgrowth of Jacksonian jurisprudence, an intellectual system that charged the Court with protecting slavery, preserving both federal power and state sovereignty, promoting economic development, and securing the legal foundations of an emerging corporate order—all at the same time. Here is a wealth of new insight into the internal dynamics of the Taney Court and the origins of its most infamous decision.
Even before shots were fired at Fort Sumter, slaves recognized that their bondage was at the root of the war, and they began running to the Union army. By the war's end, nearly half a million had taken refuge behind Union lines in improvised "contraband camps". These were crowded and dangerous places, with conditions approaching those of a humanitarian crisis, yet families and individuals took unimaginable risks to reach them, and they became the first places where many Northerners would come to know former slaves en masse. Drawing on records of the Union and Confederate armies, the letters and diaries of soldiers, transcribed testimonies of former slaves, and more, Manning sweeps us along, from the contraband camps, sharing insight and stories of individuals and armies on the move, to debates in the halls of Congress. The alliances between former slaves and Union soldiers which were warily begun in the contraband camps would forge a dramatically new but highly imperfect alliance between the government and the African Americans. That alliance would outlast the war, and help destroy slavery and ward off the very acute and surprisingly tenacious danger of re-enslavement. It also raised, for the first time, humanitarian questions about refugees in wartime and legal questions about civil and military authority with which we still wrestle, as well as redefined American citizenship, to the benefit but also to the lasting cost of African Americans. --
In grocery store aisles and kitchens across the country, smiling images of "Aunt Jemima" and other historical and fictional black cooks can be found on various food products and in advertising. Although these images are sanitized and romanticized in American popular culture, they represent the untold stories of enslaved men and women who had a significant impact on the nation's culinary and hospitality traditions even as they were forced to prepare food for their oppressors. Kelley Fanto Deetz draws upon archaeological evidence, cookbooks, plantation records, and folklore to present a nuanced study of the lives of enslaved plantation cooks from colonial times through emancipation and beyond. She reveals how these men and women were literally "bound to the fire" as they lived and worked in the sweltering and often fetid conditions of plantation house kitchens. These highly skilled cooks drew upon skills and ingredients brought with them from their African homelands to create complex, labor-intensive dishes such as oyster stew, gumbo, and fried fish. However, their white owners overwhelmingly received the credit for their creations. Focusing on enslaved cooks at Virginia plantations including Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and George Washington's Mount Vernon, Deetz restores these forgotten figures to their rightful place in American and Southern history. Bound to the Fire not only uncovers their rich and complex stories and illuminates their role in plantation culture, but it celebrates their living legacy with the recipes that they created and passed down to future generations.
The civil rights revolutions of the 1950s and 1960s transformed the literature on Reconstruction in America by emphasizing the social history of emancipation and the hopefulness that reunification would bring equality. Much of this revisionist work served to counter and correct the racist and pro-Confederate accounts of Reconstruction written in the early twentieth century. While there have been modern scholarly revisions of individual states, most are decades old, and Michael W. Fitzgerald’s Reconstruction in Alabama is the first comprehensive reinterpretation of that state’s history in over a century. Fitzgerald’s work not only revises the existing troubling histories of the era, it also offers a compelling and innovative new look at the process of rebuilding Alabama following the war. Attending to an array of issues largely ignored until now, Fitzgerald’s history begins by analyzing the differences over slavery, secession, and war that divided Alabama’s whites, mostly along the lines of region and class. He examines the economic and political implications of defeat, focusing particularly on how freed slaves and their former masters mediated the postwar landscape. For a time, he suggests, whites and freedpeople coexisted mostly peaceably in some parts of the state under the Reconstruction government, as a recovering cotton economy bathed the plantation belt in profit. Later, when charting the rise and fall of the Republican Party, Fitzgerald shows that Alabama's new Republican government implemented an ambitious program of railroad subsidy, characterized by substantial corruption that eventually bankrupted the state and helped end Republican rule. He shows, however, that the state’s freedpeople and their preferred leaders were not the major players in this arena: they had other issues that mattered to them far more, like public education, civil rights, voting rights, and resisting the Klan’s terrorist violence. After Reconstruction ended, Fitzgerald suggests that white collective memory of the era fixated on black voting, big government, high taxes, and corruption, all of which buttressed the Jim Crow order in the state. This misguided understanding of the past encouraged Alabama's intransigence during the later civil rights era. Despite the power of faulty interpretations that united segregationists, Fitzgerald demonstrates that it was class and regional divisions over economic policy, as much as racial tension, that shaped the complex reality of Reconstruction in Alabama.
A leading African-American historian of race in America exposes the uncomfortable truths about race, slavery and the American academy, revealing that our leading universities, dependent on human bondage, became breeding grounds for the racist ideas that sustained it.
Machine generated contents note: -- Introduction: A Civil War Of, By, and For Lawyers? -- Prologue: The Inseparability of Politics and Law: The First Lincoln-Douglas Debate -- Chapter One: The Contested Legality of Secession -- Chapter Two: A Tale of Two Cabinets and Two Congresses -- Chapter Three: In Re Merryman and its Progeny -- Chapter Four: Was Secession a Crime? -- Chapter Five: An Emancipation Proclamation -- Chapter Six: "A New Birth of Freedom"--Epilogue: The Lawyers' Reconstruction -- Conclusion: The Lawyers' Civil War in Retrospect
After the Civil War, the South was divided into five military districts occupied by Union forces. Out of these regions, a remarkable group of writers emerged. Experiencing the long-lasting ramifications of Reconstruction firsthand, many of these writers sought to translate the era's promise into practice. In fiction, newspaper journalism, and other forms of literature, authors including George Washington Cable, Albion Tourgee, Constance Fenimore Woolson, and Octave Thanet imagined a new South in which freedpeople could prosper as citizens with agency. Radically re-envisioning the role of women in the home, workforce, and marketplace, these writers also made gender a vital concern of their work. Still, working from the South, the authors were often subject to the whims of a northern literary market. Their visions of citizenship depended on their readership's deference to conventional claims of duty, labor, reputation, and property ownership. The circumstances surrounding the production and circulation of their writing blunted the full impact of the period's literary imagination and fostered a drift into the stereotypical depictions and other strictures that marked the rise of Jim Crow. Sharon D. Kennedy-Nolle blends literary history with archival research to assess the significance of Reconstruction literature as a genre. Founded on witness and dream, the pathbreaking work of its writers made an enduring, if at times contradictory, contribution to American literature and history.
An analysis of slave and slaveholder understanding and manipulation of formal legal systems in the region known as the American Confluence during the antebellum era.
In ruling after ruling, the three most important pre-Civil War justices--Marshall, Taney, and Story--upheld slavery. Paul Finkelman establishes an authoritative account of each justice's proslavery position, the reasoning behind his opposition to black freedom, and the personal incentives that embedded racism ever deeper in American civic life.
The Key to the Door frames and highlights the stories of some of the first black students at the University of Virginia. This inspiring account of resilience and transformation offers a diversity of experiences and perspectives through first-person narratives of black students during the University of Virginia’s era of incremental desegregation. The authors relate what life was like before enrolling, during their time at the University, and after graduation. In addition to these personal accounts, the volume includes a historical overview of African Americans at the University—from its earliest slaves and free black employees, through its first black applicant, student admission, graduate, and faculty appointments, on to its progress and challenges in the twenty-first century. Including essays from graduates of the schools of law, medicine, engineering, and education, The Key to the Door a candid and long-overdue account of African American experiences at the University’ of Virginia.
In the two decades before the Civil War, free Americans engaged in 'history wars' every bit as ferocious as those waged today over the commemoration at the Smithsonian Institution of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Michael F. Conlin investigates the different ways antebellum Americans celebrated civic holidays, read the Declaration of Independence, and commemorated Revolutionary War battles, revealing much about their contrasting views of American nationalism.
America's legal consciousness was high during the era that saw the imprisonment of abolitionist editor William Lloyd Garrison, the execution of slave revolutionary Nat Turner, and the hangings of John Brown and his Harpers Ferry co-conspirators. Jeannine Marie DeLombard examines how debates over slavery in the three decades before the Civil War employed legal language to "try" the case for slavery in the court of public opinion via popular print media. Discussing autobiographies by Frederick Douglass, a scandal narrative about Sojourner Truth, an abolitionist speech by Henry David Thoreau, sentimental fiction by Harriet Beecher Stowe, and a proslavery novel by William MacCreary Burwell, DeLombard argues that American literature of the era cannot be fully understood without an appreciation for the slavery debate in the courts and in print. Combining legal, literary, and book history approaches, Slavery on Trial provides a refreshing alternative to the official perspectives offered by the nation's founding documents, legal treatises, statutes, and judicial decisions. DeLombard invites us to view the intersection of slavery and law as so many antebellum Americans did--through the lens of popular print culture.
Between 1854 and 1864, more than a hundred free African Americans in Virginia proposed to enslave themselves and, in some cases, their children. Ted Maris-Wolf explains this phenomenon as a response to state legislation that forced free African Americans to make a terrible choice: leave enslaved loved ones behind for freedom elsewhere or seek a way to remain in their communities, even by renouncing legal freedom. Maris-Wolf paints an intimate portrait of these people whose lives, liberty, and use of Virginia law offer new understandings of race and place in the upper South. Maris-Wolf shows how free African Americans quietly challenged prevailing notions of racial restriction and exclusion, weaving themselves into the social and economic fabric of their neighborhoods and claiming, through unconventional or counterintuitive means, certain basic rights of residency and family. Employing records from nearly every Virginia county, he pieces together the remarkable lives of Watkins Love, Jane Payne, and other African Americans who made themselves essential parts of their communities and, in some cases, gave up their legal freedom in order to maintain family and community ties.

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