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Newspaper & Magazine Archives
Slavery & the Law Digital Archives
Slavery and the Law (Proquest History Vault)
Slavery and the Law features petitions on race, slavery, and free blacks that were submitted to state legislatures and county courthouses between 1775 and 1867. These petitions were from hundreds of courthouses and historical societies in 10 states and the District of Columbia. This database also includes the State Slavery Statutes collection, a comprehensive record of the laws governing American slavery from 1789-1865.
Slavery and the Law in Virginia
A timeline of slave laws passed in Virginia.
Missouri’s Dred Scott Case, 1846-1857
“This site from the Missouri Secretary of State’s Office provides background information and primary sources on the landmark case.”
The Missouri Compromise of 1850 and the Fugitive Slave Act
“The Compromise of 1850 consists of five laws passed in September of 1850 that dealt with the issue of slavery. In 1849 California requested permission to enter the Union as a free state, potentially upsetting the balance between the free and slave states in the U.S. Senate.” Includes document, additional electronic resources and bibliography.
The Kansas Nebraska Act
"Introduced by Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois, the Kansas-Nebraska Act stipulated that the issue of slavery would be decided by the residents of each territory, a concept known as popular sovereignty. After the bill passed on May 30, 1854, violence erupted in Kansas between pro-slavery and anti-slavery settlers, a prelude to the Civil War.” Includes document, additional electronic resources and bibliography.
Long Road to Justice: The African American Experience in the Massachusetts Courts
This website from the Massachusetts Historical Society includes information about the Anthony Burns Trial and other important cases.
The Geography of Slavery in Virginia
This site from U.V.A. has a collection of digitized ads from the 18th and 19th centuries with historical contextualization.
Plessy V. Ferguson
Cornell’s Legal Studies Institute supplies the full document of Justice Brown’s 1896 opinion and Harlan’s dissent.