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By Christian G. Samito

The 1st complete selection of felony historical past records from the Civil struggle and Reconstruction, this quantity exhibits the profound felony alterations that happened through the Civil battle period and highlights how legislation, society, and politics inextricably combined and set American criminal improvement on specific paths that weren't predetermined. Editor Christian G. Samito has conscientiously chosen excerpts from laws, public and legislative debates, proceedings, investigations of white supremacist violence within the South, and infrequent court-martial documents, extra his specialist research, and illustrated the choices with telling interval art to create an excellent source that demonstrates the wealthy and critical felony background of the era.           

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Lethe was sold to a planter of Baton Rouge, her eyes flashing with anger as she was led away. The same man also purchased Randall. The little fellow was made to jump, and run across the floor, and perform many other feats, exhibiting his activity and condition. All the time the trade was going on, Eliza was crying aloud, and wringing her hands. She besought the man not to buy him, unless he also bought herself and Emily. She promised, in that case, to be the most faithful slave that ever lived.

That though by the laws of a foreign state, meaning by “foreign,” in this connection, a state governed by its own laws, and between which and our own there is no dependence one upon the other, but which in this respect are as independent as foreign states, a person may acquire a property in a slave, such acquisition, being contrary to natural right, and effected by the local law, is dependent upon such local law for its existence and efficacy, and being contrary to the fundamental laws of this State, such general right of property cannot be exercised or recognized here.

The clause manifestly contemplates the existence of a positive, unqualified right on the part of the owner of the slave, which no state law or regulation can in any way qualify, regulate, control, or restrain. . . . If this be so, then all the incidents to that right attach also; the owner must, therefore, have the right to seize and repossess the slave, which the local laws of his own state confer upon him as property; and we all know that this right of seizure and recaption is universally acknowledged in all the slaveholding states.

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