Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slaverys Frontier

Paperback | November 11, 2010

byLea Vandervelde

not yet rated|write a review
Among the most infamous U.S. Supreme Court decisions is Dred Scott v. Sandford . Despite the case's signal importance as a turning point in America's history, the lives of the slave litigants have receded to the margins of the record, as conventional accounts have focused on the case's judgesand lawyers. In telling the life of Harriet, Dred's wife and co-litigant in the case, this book provides a compensatory history to the generations of work that missed key sources only recently brought to light. Moreover, it gives insight into the reasons and ways that slaves used the courts toestablish their freedom. A remarkable piece of historical detective work, Mrs. Dred Scott chronicles Harriet's life from her adolescence on the 1830s Minnesota-Wisconsin frontier, to slavery-era St. Louis, through the eleven years of legal wrangling that ended with the high court's notorious decision. The book not onlyrecovers her story, but also reveals that Harriet may well have been the lynchpin in this pivotal episode in American legal history. Reconstructing Harriet Scott's life through innovative readings of journals, military records, court dockets, and even frontier store ledgers, VanderVelde offers a stunningly detailed account that is at once a rich portrait of slave life, an engrossing legal drama, and a provocative reassessment ofa central event in U.S. constitutional history. More than a biography, the book is a deep social history that freshly illuminates some of the major issues confronting antebellum America, including the status of women, slaves, Free Blacks, and Native Americans.

Pricing and Purchase Info

$28.98 online
$31.95 list price (save 9%)
Ships within 1-3 weeks
Ships free on orders over $25

From the Publisher

Among the most infamous U.S. Supreme Court decisions is Dred Scott v. Sandford . Despite the case's signal importance as a turning point in America's history, the lives of the slave litigants have receded to the margins of the record, as conventional accounts have focused on the case's judgesand lawyers. In telling the life of Harriet,...

Lea VanderVelde is Josephine Witte Professor of Law at the University of Iowa. She lives in Iowa City, Iowa.

other books by Lea Vandervelde

Format:PaperbackDimensions:496 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.68 inPublished:November 11, 2010Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019975408X

ISBN - 13:9780199754083

Look for similar items by category:

Customer Reviews of Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slaverys Frontier

Reviews

Extra Content

Table of Contents

Introduction1. Wife of a Celebrity2. 1835: Arriving on the Frontier3. Settling In4. Entertaining Guests at the Indian Agency5. Late Summer Harvest6. Wintering Over at St. Peter's Agency7. Winters Deep8. The Change of the Guard9. Celestial Explorers10. The Call of the Wood as a Prelude to Treaty11. A Treaty Made before Her Eyes12. The Master Departs, Together Alone13. Traveling the Length of the River14. New Baby in a New Land15. The Deteriorating Community16. Battles and Baptisms17. Taliaferro's Last Stand18. Leaving Minnesota Trying Courts: The Justice of Frontier Trials19. While the Doctor was Away: St. Louis, 1840-4320. The House of Chouteau21. Black Social Life of St. Louis22. The Doctor Returns23. 1843 Interlude: Jeff Barracks between Wars of National Expansion24. Harriet and Her Children in St. Louis25. The Courthouse and the Jail26. Other Matters at the Courthouse27. Filing Suit Again28. Trial by Pestilence, Trial by Fire29. Declared Free30. Missouri Changes its Course31. Before the High Court