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Other titles in the Studies in Legal History series:
Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619-1860 (Studies in Legal History)by Thomas D. Morris
Synopses & Reviews
This volume is the first comprehensive history of the evolving relationship between American slavery and the law from colonial times to the Civil War. As Thomas Morris clearly shows, racial slavery came to the English colonies as an institution without strict legal definitions or guidelines. Specifically, he demonstrates that there was no coherent body of law that dealt solely with slaves. Instead, more general legal rules concerning inheritance, mortgages, and transfers of property coexisted with laws pertaining only to slaves. According to Morris, southern lawmakers and judges struggled to reconcile a social order based on slavery with existing English common law (or, in Louisiana, with continental civil law.) Because much was left to local interpretation, laws varied between and even within states. In addition, legal doctrine often differed from local practice. And, as Morris reveals, in the decades leading up to the Civil War, tensions mounted between the legal culture of racial slavery and the competing demands of capitalism and evangelical Christianity.
This fine book is now the standard work concerning the legal history of slavery in the United States.
Journal of Southern History The fullest and most probing explication to date of the policies and practices of the 'laws' of slavery.
Historian Brimming with knowledge and insight about a horrific aspect of our legal culture that continues to affect us.
Washington Post Book World One of the most impressive and thoughtful volumes on slavery in the last twenty years.
History: Reviews of New Books One of the most significant works on Southern slave law.
Law and Politics Book Review
A comprehensive history of the evolving relationship between American slavery and the law from colonial times to the Civil War.
About the Author
Thomas D. Morris, professor of history at Portland State University, is author of Free Men All: The Personal Liberty Laws of the North, 1780-1861.
Table of Contents
Part I. Sources: Racial and Legal
Chapter 1 The Function of Race in Southern Slave Law
Chapter 2 The Sources of Southern Slave Law
Part II. Slaves as Property
Chapter 3 Slaves as Property—Chattels Personal or Realty, and Did It Matter?
Chapter 4 Slavery and the Law of Successions
Chapter 5 Contract Law in the Sale and Mortgaging of Slaves
Chapter 6 The Slave Hireling Contract and the Law
Part III. Slaves as Persons
Chapter 7 Southern Law and the Homicides of Slaves
Chapter 8 Law and the Abuse of Slaves
Chapter 9 Jurisdiction and Process in the Trials of Slaves
Chapter 10 Slaves and the Rules of Evidence in Criminal Trials
Chapter 11 Masters and the Criminal Offenses of Their Slaves
Chapter 12 Obedience and the Outsider
Chapter 13 Slave's Violence against Third Parties
Chapter 14 Slaves, Sexual Violence, and the Law
Chapter 15 Property Crimes and the Law
Chapter 16 Police Regulations
Chapter 17 Wrongs of Slaves and the Civil Liability of Masters
Part IV. Manumission
Chapter 18 Emancipation: Conceptions, Restraints, and Practice
Chapter 19 Quasi and In futuro Emancipations
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History and Social Science » African American Studies » General