Examines the Impact of the Idealism of the Personal Liberty Laws of Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin
The Personal Liberty Laws reflected the social ethical commitment to freedom from slavery and as such were among the bricks that laid the foundation for the Fourteenth Amendment. Morris examines those statutes as enacted in the five representative states Pennsylvania, New York, Massachusetts, Ohio and Wisconsin, and argues that these laws were an alternative to the violence allowed by the southern slave codes and the extreme abolitionist viewpoints of the north.
Thomas D. Morris [1938-] taught in the Department of History, Portland State University and is the author of Southern Slavery and the Law, 1619-1860.
I. Slavery and Emancipation: the Rise of Conflicting Legal Systems
II. Kidnapping and Fugitives: Early State and Federal Responses
III. State "Interposition" 1820-1830: Pennsylvania and New York
IV. Assaults Upon the Personal Liberty Laws
V. The Antislavery Counterattack
VI. The Personal Liberty Laws in the Supreme Court: Prigg v. Pennsylvania
VII. The Pursuit of a Containment Policy, 1842-1850
VII. The Fugitive Slave Law of 1850
IX. Positive Law, Higher Law, and the Via Media
X. Interposition, 1854-1858
XI. Habeas Corpus and Total Repudiation 1859-1860