In the Shadow of Freedom: The Politics of Slavery in the National Capital

Front Cover
Paul Finkelman, Donald R. Kennon
Ohio University Press, Jun 13, 2011 - History - 272 pages

Few images of early America were more striking, and jarring, than that of slaves in the capital city of the world’s most important free republic. Black slaves served and sustained the legislators, bureaucrats, jurists, cabinet officials, military leaders, and even the presidents who lived and worked there. While slaves quietly kept the nation’s capital running smoothly, lawmakers debated the place of slavery in the nation, the status of slavery in the territories newly acquired from Mexico, and even the legality of the slave trade in itself.

This volume, with essays by some of the most distinguished historians in the nation, explores the twin issues of how slavery made life possible in the District of Columbia and how lawmakers in the district regulated slavery in the nation.

Contributors: David Brion Davis, Mary Beth Corrigan, A. Glenn Crothers, Jonathan Earle, Stanley Harrold, Mitch Kachun, Mary K. Ricks, James B. Stewart, Susan Zaeske, David Zarefsky

 

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Contents

Slavery in the Shadow of Liberty
3
Congress and Slaveryin Context
17
The Politics of Slavery in the District of Columbia
139
Contributors
239
Index
241
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About the author (2011)

Paul Finkelman is an expert on constitutional history, the law of slavery, and the American Civil War. He coedits the Ohio University Press series New Approaches to Midwestern Studies and is the president of Gratz College.

Donald R. Kennon is the former chief historian and vice president of the United States Capitol Historical Society. He is editor of the Ohio University Press series Perspectives on the History of Congress, 1789–1801.

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