Slaves and the Courts, 1740-1860 is the latest addition to the more than
one hundred online collections that are a part of the American Memory
Historical Collections presented by the Library of Congress. This new
collection features about one hundred pamphlets and books documenting the
difficult experiences of African and African-American slaves in the
American colonies and the United States. Drawn from the Law Library and
the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress,
these materials include an assortment of trials and cases, reports,
arguments, examinations of cases and decisions, proceedings, and other
works of historical importance concerning slaves in free jurisdictions,
fugitive slaves, slave revolts, the African slave trade, and abolitionists
in the North and South.
Highlights of the collection include the cases of Somerset v. Stewart,
1772, which laid the groundwork for the abolition of slavery in England,
and Dred Scott, 1857, which helped precipitate the Civil War, as well as
the memoirs of Daniel Drayton, who helped slaves escape to freedom. Other
materials document the work of John Quincy Adams and William Lloyd Garrison
to abolish slavery and the trial of John Brown. The collection contains
courtroom transcripts, important speeches from trials, lawyers' trial
arguments, and Supreme Court decisions. A special presentation shows a
manuscript slave code of 1860 from the District of Columbia.
The collection can be found at the following url: <
Please direct any questions to <http://www.loc.gov/rr/askalib/ask-memory.html>.