Race, Slavery and Free Blacks, a primary source collection of court petitions and slavery statutes which was originally published on microfilm by University Publications of America, has received a second lease on life as a digital collection. It has been re-released in Proquest’s History Vault and is now called Slavery and the Law.
The collection covers the years 1777-1867 and consists of petitions to state legislatures and Southern county courts as well as state slavery statutes. The reproductions of the handwritten petitions are accompanied by petition analysis records (PAR) to facilitate access to the document. Each PAR contains an abstract of the petition besides dates, location, names of petitioners and defendants, the repository of the original document and subjects. As an added bonus the collection also includes the contents of two classical scholarly works related to the subject: Judicial Cases Concerning American Slavery and the Negro (1926) by Helen Catterall and James Hayden and The Law of Freedom and Bondage in the United States (1862) by John Hurd.