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Law, Culture and the Humanities


In the years before the Missouri Compromise, petitioners who won their freedom suits based upon their ancestral links to white women, with land, could participate in thebody politic. However, as Maryland legislators began to identify with the plantation south, they invented a legal understanding that would deny ambiguously freed blacks freedom, and justices would re-invent proslavery jurispudence, using the attachment clause, which would remand the previously freed into a status worse than before they had petitioned the court. Those who were freed and could claim citizenship in the years immediately after the American Revolution, by 1810, case law had changed and they lost many of their rights they once held. By using a slave state like Maryland as a microcosm, this research hopes to show the gradual way African Americans were not only denied claims to legal protections but, were deprived of their rightful place as agents in this new democratic experiment.



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The document available for download is the author's accepted manuscript, provided with the permission of the author and in compliance with publisher policies on self-archiving. Permission documentation is on file.

Paper was first published online on June 20, 2016, ahead of printing.


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