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Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South - North Carolina Scholarship Online
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Black Litigants in the Antebellum American South

Kimberly M. Welch


In the antebellum Natchez district, in the heart of slave country, black people sued white people in all-white courtrooms. They sued to enforce the terms of their contracts, recover unpaid debts, recuperate back wages, and claim damages for assault. They sued in conflicts over property and personal status. And they often won. Based on new research conducted in courthouse basements and storage sheds in rural Mississippi and Louisiana, Kimberly Welch draws on over 1,000 examples of free and enslaved black litigants who used the courts to protect their interests and reconfigure their place in a t ... More

Keywords: Property, Personhood, Slavery, Free Blacks, Citizenship, Rights, Louisiana, Mississippi, Courts, Litigation

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2018 Print ISBN-13: 9781469636436
Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636436.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Kimberly M. Welch, author
Vanderbilt University