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Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott Dec 2016

Social Facts, Legal Fictions, And The Attribution Of Slave Status: The Puzzle Of Prescription, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

In case after case, prosecutors, judges and juries therefore still struggle to come up with a definition of slavery, looking for some set of criteria or indicia that will enable them to discern whether the phenomenon they are observing constitutes enslavement. In this definitional effort, contemporary jurists may imagine that in the past, surely the question was simpler: someone either was or was not a slave. However, the existence of a set of laws declaring that persons could be owned as property did not, even in the nineteenth century, answer by itself the question of whether a given person was ...


Slavery And The Law In Atlantic Perspective: Jurisdiction, Jurisprudence, And Justice, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2011

Slavery And The Law In Atlantic Perspective: Jurisdiction, Jurisprudence, And Justice, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

The four articles in this special issue experiment with an innovative set of questions and a variety of methods in order to push the analysis of slavery and the law into new territory. Their scope is broadly Atlantic, encompassing Suriname and Saint-Domingue/Haiti, New York and New Orleans, port cities and coffee plantations. Each essay deals with named individuals in complex circumstances, conveying their predicaments as fine-grained microhistories rather than as shocking anecdotes. Each author, moreover, demonstrates that the moments when law engaged slavery not only reflected but also influenced larger dynamics of sovereignty and jurisprudence.


Paper Thin: Freedom And Re-Enslavement In The Diaspora Of The Haitian Revolution, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2011

Paper Thin: Freedom And Re-Enslavement In The Diaspora Of The Haitian Revolution, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

In the summer of 1809 a flotilla of boats arrived in New Orleans carrying more than 9,000 Saint-Domingue refugees recently expelled from the Spanish colony of Cuba. These migrants nearly doubled the population of New Orleans, renewing its Francophone character and populating the neighborhoods of the Vieux Carre and Faubourg Marigny. At the heart of the story of their disembarkation, however, is a legal puzzle. Historians generally tell us that the arriving refugees numbered 2,731 whites, 3,102 free people of color, and 3,226 slaves. But slavery had been abolished in Saint-Domingue by decree in 1793, and ...


Jim Crow Ethics And The Defense Of The Jena Six, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 2009

Jim Crow Ethics And The Defense Of The Jena Six, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

This Article is the second in a three-part series on the 2006 prosecution and defense of the Jena Six in LaSalle Parish, Louisiana. The series, in turn, is part of a larger, ongoing project investigating the role of race, lawyers, and ethics in the American criminal-justice system. The purpose of the project is to understand the race-based, identity-making norms and practices of prosecutors and defenders in order to craft alternative civil rights and criminal-justice strategies in cases of racially-motivated violence. To that end, this Article revisits the prosecution and defense of the Jena Six in the hope of uncovering the ...


She...Refuses To Deliver Up Herself As The Slave Of Your Petitioner': Émigrés, Enslavement, And The 1808 Louisiana Digest Of The Civil Laws (Symposium On The Bicentennial Of The Digest Of 1808--Collected Papers), Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2009

She...Refuses To Deliver Up Herself As The Slave Of Your Petitioner': Émigrés, Enslavement, And The 1808 Louisiana Digest Of The Civil Laws (Symposium On The Bicentennial Of The Digest Of 1808--Collected Papers), Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

Philosophically and juridically, the construct of a slave-a "person with a price"--contains multiple ambiguities. Placing the category of slave among the distinctions of persons "established by law," the 1808 Digest of the Civil Laws Now in Force in the Termtoiy of Orleans recognized that "slave" is not a natural category, inhering in human beings. It is an agreement among other human beings to treat one of their fellows as property. But the Digest did not specify how such a property right came into existence in a given instance. The definition of a slave was simply ostensive, pointing toward rather ...


Reinventar La Esclavitud, Garantizar La Libertad: De Saint-Domingue A Santiago A Nueva Orleáns, 1803-1809, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2009

Reinventar La Esclavitud, Garantizar La Libertad: De Saint-Domingue A Santiago A Nueva Orleáns, 1803-1809, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

From French and Creole to Spanish, the domain of the Napoleonic Empire to the king of Spain, crossing the strait separating the French colony of Saint-Domingue and the Spanish colony of Cuba entailed a change of language and government. Some 18,000 people made that transition between the spring and summer of 1803 during the Revolutionary War in Saint-Dominque. Six years later, many crossed the Gulf of Mexico from Cuba to New Orleans and the recently acquired Louisiana Territory under the authority of a territorial governor and the United States Congress. What would these crossings lead to for those who ...


Prosecuting The Jena Six, Anthony V. Alfieri Jan 2008

Prosecuting The Jena Six, Anthony V. Alfieri

Articles

No abstract provided.


Public Rights, Social Equality, And The Conceptual Roots Of The Plessy Challenge, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2008

Public Rights, Social Equality, And The Conceptual Roots Of The Plessy Challenge, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

This Article argues that the test case that gave rise to the 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson is best understood as part of a wellestablished, cosmopolitan tradition of anticaste activism in Louisiana rather than as a quixotic effort that contradicted nineteenth-century ideas of the boundaries of citizens' rights. By drawing a dividing line between civil and political rights, on the one hand, and social rights, on the other, the Supreme Court construed challenges to segregation as claims to a "social equality" that was beyond the scope of judicially cognizable rights. The Louisiana constitutional convention of 1867-68, however, had defined ...


Servitude, Liberté Et Citoyenneté Dans Le Monde Atlantique Des Xviiie Et Xixe Siècles: Rosalie De Nation Poulard…, Rebecca J. Scott, Jean Hebrard Jan 2008

Servitude, Liberté Et Citoyenneté Dans Le Monde Atlantique Des Xviiie Et Xixe Siècles: Rosalie De Nation Poulard…, Rebecca J. Scott, Jean Hebrard

Articles

On December 4, 1867, the ninth day of the convention to write a new post-Civil War constitution for the state of Louisiana, delegate Edouard Tinchant rose to propose that the convention should provide “for the legal protection in this State of all women” in their civil rights, “without distinction of race or color, or without reference to their previous condition.” Tinchant’s proposal plunged the convention into additional debates ranging from voting rights and equal protection to recognition of conjugal relationships not formalized by marriage.

This article explores the genesis of Tinchant’s conceptions of citizenship and women’s rights ...


Les Papiers De La Liberté: Une Mère Africaine Et Ses Enfants À L'Époque De La Révolution Haïtienne, Rebecca Scott, Jean M. Hebrard Jan 2007

Les Papiers De La Liberté: Une Mère Africaine Et Ses Enfants À L'Époque De La Révolution Haïtienne, Rebecca Scott, Jean M. Hebrard

Articles

During the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1867-1868, the young Edouard Tinchant proposed measures to protect the civil rights of women. He suggested that the State adopt legal measures to allow all women, regardless of race or color, to more easily bring complaints in the event of a breach of a marriage promise. He also proposed additional measures to prevent women from being forced into “concubinage” against their will. While that constitutional Convention was open to men of color and guaranteed a number of the rights for which Tinchant and his friends were fighting, the assembly did not adopt his propositions ...


Public Rights And Private Commerce: A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Creole Itinerary, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2007

Public Rights And Private Commerce: A Nineteenth-Century Atlantic Creole Itinerary, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

Tracing the history of a family across three generations, from enslavement in eighteenth-century West Africa through emancipation during the Haitian Revolution and subsequent resettlement in New Orleans, then France, then Belgium, can shed light on phenomena that are Atlantic in scope. A business letter written in 1899 by the cigar merchant Edouard Tinchant to General Máximo Gómez in Cuba frames an inquiry that opens out onto a family itinerary that spanned the long nineteenth century. Rosalie Vincent’s achievement of freedom in the shadow of slavery in Saint-Domingue in 1793–1803 can be seen as linked to her grandson Edouard ...


Grados De Libertad: Democracia Y Antidemocracia En Cuby Y Luisiana, 1898-1900, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2006

Grados De Libertad: Democracia Y Antidemocracia En Cuby Y Luisiana, 1898-1900, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

This comparative study between the quest for political racial inclusivity in 1890s Louisiana and the fight against state-sanctioned racialized violence in Cuba in the early 1900s exposes similarities, tensions, and differences between the two systems. The article traces the evolving contests for citizenship and suffrage in each climate at the end of the 19th century and into the beginning of the twentieth, juxtaposing the expression of race, suffrage, and citizenship in the constitution and political climate of each locale. In 1898, the new Louisiana state constitution disenfranchised African-Americans, while in 1900 Cuba was positioning itself for a grant of universal ...


Derechos Y Honra Públicos: Louis Martinet, Plessy Contra Ferguson Y El Acceso A La Ley En Luisiana, 1888-1917, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2004

Derechos Y Honra Públicos: Louis Martinet, Plessy Contra Ferguson Y El Acceso A La Ley En Luisiana, 1888-1917, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

Rebecca J. Scott explores the historical context of Plessy v. Ferguson to two ends. First, Scott argues that that the historical situation, including everyday legal practice, helps us understand the source of the arguments in the case. In particular, the plaintiffs based their understanding of their rights in the French revolution, the Louisiana Constitution, and their experience exercising their rights through notaries. Second, Scott argues that the plaintiffs and defendants sought to frame the case with different rights. For the plaintiffs, the issue with the Separate Car Act was "public rights" and "the dignity of citizenship." The defendants instead framed ...


Degrees Of Freedom: Building Citizenship In The Shadow Of Slavery, Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2004

Degrees Of Freedom: Building Citizenship In The Shadow Of Slavery, Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

By seeing events in the past as part of a dynamically evolving system with a large, but not indefinite, number of degrees of freedom, we can turn our attention to the multiple possibilities for change, and to the ways in which societies that are initially similarly situated may go on to diverge very sharply. Thus it is, I will argue, with societies in the 19th century that faced the challenge of building citizenship on the ruins of slavery.


Se Battre Our Ses Droits Écritures, Litiges Et Discrimination Raciale En Louisiane (1888-1899), Rebecca J. Scott Jan 2003

Se Battre Our Ses Droits Écritures, Litiges Et Discrimination Raciale En Louisiane (1888-1899), Rebecca J. Scott

Articles

Title in English: Fighting for public rights: writing, lawsuits and racial segregation in Louisiana (1888-1889).

This article explores the links between the fight against compulsory racial segregation and the day–to–day operation of the law in nineteenth century Louisiana. Using the figure of Louis A. Martinet, one of the organizers of the test case that yielded the U.S. Supreme Court decision Plessy v. Ferguson, the essay argues that Martinet’s role as notary reflects the central importance to the community of color of questions of public standing and written records. The article also identifies the concepts of "public ...