Cover image for The bondsman's burden : an economic analysis of the common law of Southern slavery
Title:
The bondsman's burden : an economic analysis of the common law of Southern slavery
Author:
Bourne, Jenny.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Physical Description:
xii, 277 pages ; 24 cm.
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780521592383
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library KF4545.S5 W34 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Central Library KF4545.S5 W34 1998 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Were slaves property or human beings under the law? In crafting answers to this question, Southern judges designed efficient laws that protected property rights and helped slavery remain economically viable. But, by preserving property rights, they sheltered the persons embodied by that property - the slaves themselves. Slave law therefore had unintended consequences: it generated rules that judges could apply to free persons, precedents that became the foundation for laws designed to protect ordinary Americans. The Bondsman's Burden, first published in 1998, provides a rigorous and compelling economic analysis of the common law of Southern slavery, inspecting thousands of legal disputes heard in Southern antebellum courts, disputes involving servants, employees, accident victims, animals, and other chattel property, as well as slaves. The common law, although it supported the institution of slavery, did not favor every individual slave owner who brought a grievance to court.


Table of Contents

1 American slavery and the path of the law
2 The law of sales: slaves, animals, and commodities
3 The law of hiring and employment: slaves, animals, and free persons
4 The law regarding common carriers: slaves, animals, commodities, and free persons
5 The law regarding governments, government officials, slave patrollers, and overseers: protecting private property versus keeping public peace
6 The legal rights and responsibilities of strangers toward slaves, animals, and free persons
7 Treatment of one's slaves, servants, animals, and relatives: legal boundaries and the problem of social cost
8 The south's law of slavery: reflecting the felt necessities of the time

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