Research Programs: Fellowships for University Teachers

Period of Performance

7/1/2004 - 3/31/2005

Funding Totals

$40,000.00 (approved)
$40,000.00 (awarded)

The Right to Have Rights: Engaging the Law in Slavery and Freedom

FAIN: FA-50365-04

Rebecca J. Scott
Regents of the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1382)

Drawing on records generated by legal proceedings in Louisiana and in Cuba, this project examines the ways in which slaves and former slaves engaged the law prior to and following the abolition of slavery. It juxtaposes two different but intertwined legal systems and polities to explore the interplay between law and the assertion of rights. Louisiana and Cuba shared an economy based on sugar production, a civil law tradition, and a history of emancipation in the context of war. The post-emancipation histories, however, yielded very different racial orders. By linking the study of ground-level mobilization and litigation to national policy and jurisprudence, this study places cases such as Plessy v. Ferguson into a dynamic relationship with local initiatives. The resulting book will explore the ways in which the assertion of legal standing formed part of the written and oral expression of "the right to have rights."

Associated Products

Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba After Slavery (Book)
Title: Degrees of Freedom: Louisiana and Cuba After Slavery
Author: Scott, Rebecca J.
Year: 2005
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: WorldCat entry
Publisher: Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 9780674027596