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North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction$
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Paul D. Escott

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832226

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807837269_escott

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Reconstruction and North Carolina Women's Tangled History with Law and Governance

Reconstruction and North Carolina Women's Tangled History with Law and Governance

Chapter:
(p.155) Reconstruction and North Carolina Women's Tangled History with Law and Governance
Source:
North Carolinians in the Era of the Civil War and Reconstruction
Author(s):

Laura F. Edwards

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807837269_escott.9

This chapter shows that women were no strangers to North Carolina courts during Reconstruction. They had little choice but to appear when they were the ones charged with crimes. That had always been the case, even before the upheaval of war and emancipation. Women—even African American women—regularly initiated complaints themselves during the Reconstruction era with the expectation that they would be heard and their concerns resolved. The presence of African American women was particularly unexpected because of all the legal barriers that stood in their way. These women nonetheless persevered, seeking out the assistance of the legal system—through the Federal army, the Freedmen's Bureau, and then state courts—even before they were formally emancipated or granted civil rights.

Keywords:   North Carolina courts, Reconstruction, Federal army, Freedmen's Bureau, state courts, civil rights

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