The Legal Emancipations of Leander and Caesar: Manumission and the Law in Revolutionary South Carolina and MassachusettsSlavery and Abolition (2007)
During the Revolutionary era, two slaves, one named Leander from South Carolina and another named Caesar from Massachusetts, legally verified their new free status after long battles to become free. These two cases expose some similarities in the slave systems of Massachusetts and South Carolina. However, they more strongly show deep differences in the legal status of slaves in the emerging nation. Caesar legally established his freedom by suing his master, and Leander registered his emancipation with the South Carolina Secretary of State's office. While the legal system in Massachusetts protected Caesar's right to own property, to make a contract, to sue and have other blacks testify on behalf of him, Leander's legal action marked a protection for him against re-enslavement since free blacks and slaves had practically no legal status in South Carolina. These two legal systems were always fundamentally different, but it was not until the American Revolution when many slaves like Caesar and Leander demanded freedom that these divisions became evident.
Publication DateAugust, 2007
Citation InformationEmily V Blanck. "The Legal Emancipations of Leander and Caesar: Manumission and the Law in Revolutionary South Carolina and Massachusetts" Slavery and Abolition Vol. 28 Iss. 2 (2007) p. 235 - 254
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/emily-blanck/4/