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Law and Gender

2010

Race

Boston University School of Law

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Full-Text Articles in Law

Go West Young Woman!: The Mercer Girls And Legal Historiography, Kristin Collins Jan 2010

Go West Young Woman!: The Mercer Girls And Legal Historiography, Kristin Collins

Faculty Scholarship

This essay is a response to Professor Kerry Abrams’s article The Hidden Dimension of Nineteenth-Century Immigration Law, published in Vanderbilt Law Review. The Hidden Dimension tells the story of Washington Territory’s entrepreneurial Asa Shinn Mercer, who endeavored to bring hundreds of young women from the East Coast to the tiny frontier town of Seattle as prospective brides for white men who had settled there. Abrams locates the story of the Mercer Girls, as they were called, in the history of American immigration law. My response locates The Hidden Dimension in American legal historiography, both that branch of American ...