A People Between: Servitude and the Law in 18th Century Virginia

Join Virginia Humanities Residential Fellow and University of Oregon history professor Allison Madar for a discussion of her research on the history of early America and the early modern Atlantic world with a focus on unfreedom and the law.

Her book-in-progress examines the legal and social dynamics of servitude and the ways in which masters used the widespread establishment of permanent, racial slavery as a way to exploit those who remained temporarily bound. Drawing on research in county court records, servant and slave law, parliamentary legislation, servant contracts, family papers, newspapers, wills, and inventories, Madar argues that, in many significant ways, the legal structures colonists designed to control the enslaved enhanced masters’ power over servants, most notably, over women and mixed-race servants.

  • 145 Ednam Drive
  • Charlottesville, VA 22903-4629

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