Anne Twitty, "Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857" (Cambridge UP, 2016)


Anne Twitty is the author of Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857, published by Cambridge University Press in 2016. Before Dred Scott looks at numerous freedom suits filed in the St. Louis circuit court in order to examine the legal history of slavery and freedom. In this area, known as the American Confluence, a unique legal culture developed characterized by a sophisticated and widespread knowledge of formal law. From enslaved people to slaveholder, Twitty illustrates the many ways people in this area were deeply enmeshed in law. Twitty is Associate Professor of History at the University of Mississippi. She studies 19th century American social and cultural history. More specifically, Twitty works on legal and labor history, slavery and freedom, gender and women’s history, and the history of the South and Midwest.

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Derek Litvak

Derek Litvak is a PhD candidate at the University of Maryland—College Park. His dissertation, "The Specter of Black Citizens: Race, Slavery, and Citizenship in the Early United States," examines how citizenship was used to both bolster the institution of slavery and exclude Black Americans from the body politic.

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