Slavery and the Law (ProQuest History Vault)
From the publisher: "The documents vividly portray
the contrasts, ambivalences, contradictions, ironies, and ambiguities that comprise southern history.
They reveal not only what southerners were saying, but what they were doing; not only what happened
to slaves, but how the slaves responded. They show how complex political, economic, legal, and social
conditions affected the lives of southerners, Black and white, male and female, slave and free."
"Series I: Petitions to State Legislatures offers access to important but virtually unused primary source
materials that were scattered in state archives of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri,
North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The collection includes virtually all
extant legislative petitions on the subject of race and slavery.
The documents in Series II: Petitions to Southern County Courts were collected from local courthouses,
and candidly document the realities of slavery at the most immediate grassroots level in southern society.
It was at county courthouses where the vast majority of disputes over the institution of slavery were
referred. The petitions that were filed provide some of the most revealing documentation in existence on
the functioning of the slave system.
Slavery and the Law also includes State Slavery Statutes, a master record of the laws governing American
slavery, covering 1789–1865. Materials in the collection cover virtually every aspect of the regulation of
Blacks of the period."