Chapter

Introduction

Don E. Fehrenbacher and Ward M. McAfee

in The Slaveholding Republic

Published in print December 2002 | ISBN: 9780195158052
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199849475 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195158052.003.0001
Introduction

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The Marigny D'Auterive and Antonio Pacheco controversies are minor but illuminating episodes in the great American struggle over slavery. Introduction of African slavery into the British North American colonies had been essentially an unmeditated action. By the time of the American Revolution there was in each colony an accumulated body of slave law that did not so much establish slavery as acknowledge its presence, sanction it, and regulate its conduct. After the achievement of independence, slavery remained what it had been before—an institution historically antecedent to the laws governing it and legally the creature of local authority. The framers of the Constitution, dealing with slavery as an incidental but troublesome circumstance, ended by extending it a kind of shamefaced recognition that included a measure of protection, but they contributed little to defining its national status.

Keywords: Marigny D'Auterive; Antonio Pacheco; slavery; colonies; American Revolution; independence

Chapter.  4883 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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