Redemption songs : suing for freedom before Dred Scott / Lea VanderVelde.
Oxford [England] ; New York, NY : Oxford University Press, 
xii, 305 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Formatted Contents Note
A metaphor for the voices of the subordinate buried in history Peter's dual redemption The three daughters of Marie Scypion Winny and her children The kidnap of Lydia's children John Merry, also known as Jean Marie : free born David Shipman The Duncan Brothers : Black and white Leah Charleville Sex and servitude in women litigants' cases Yours truly, Lucy A. Delaney The slaves of Milton Duty Canadienne Rose The final chapter.
The Dred Scott case is the most notorious example of slaves suing for freedom. Most examinations of the case focus on its notorious verdict, and the repercussions that the decision set off-especially the worsening of the sectional crisis that would eventually lead to the Civil War-were extreme. In conventional assessment, a slave losing a lawsuit against his master seems unremarkable. But in fact, that case was just one of many freedom suits brought by slaves in the antebellum period; an example of slaves working within the confines of the U.S. legal system (and defying their masters in the process) in an attempt to win the ultimate prize: their freedom. And until Dred Scott, the St. Louis courts adhered to the rule of law to serve justice by recognizing the legal rights of the least well-off. For over a decade, legal scholar Lea VanderVelde has been building and examining a collection of more than 300 newly discovered freedom suits in St. Louis. In Redemption Songs, VanderVelde describes twelve of these never-before analyzed cases in close detail. Through these remarkable accounts, she takes readers beyond the narrative of the Dred Scott case to weave a diverse tapestry of freedom suits and slave lives on the frontier.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references (pages 211-287) and index.
KF4545.S5 V362 2014
9780199927296 hardback acid-free paper 0199927294 hardback acid-free paper