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Triangle Legal History Seminar

Welcome to the Triangle Legal History Seminar's new webpage.  I'm delighted that -- thanks to Ashton Merck's talent and energy -- we have a new blog for the Triangle Legal History Seminar.  By way of background, Ed Balleisen founded the Triangle Legal History Seminar back in 2006 under the umbrella of the Carolina Seminars Program.  And he ran it -- along with a rotating set of co-convenors, including Adrienne Davis, Laura Edwards, and Jonathan Ocko -- until last year, when he entered the provost's office at Duke.

We currently have four conveners -- Al Brophy of UNC, Emiliano Corral of Duke, David Gilmartin of NC State, and Ashton Merck of Duke.  And we are in the process of putting together an exciting schedule for this year.  We typically meet once a month, on Fridays at the National Humanities Center.  But in recent years we've branched out to other meeting spots around the Triangle.

Our website was hosted at Duke Law School for many years -- and the website in fact is still up there -- though given the inter-school nature of our enterprise these days, we wanted a website that each of us could access and post to.

We'll be posting the schedule here and occasionally information about talks in the area, as well as publications that have been presented at the TLHS.  One of the things we want to do is keep a running list of who's presented and what -- and where those papers appear.

Thanks for visiting and we hope to see you at a Triangle Legal History Seminar soon!


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Babie and Orth Speaking at UNC Law, November 7

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Babie's talk is entitled "The Carey Gulley Squatter: Crown and Possessory Title of Torrens Land in South Australia." You may have heard that Babie gave one of the best of the talks at the North Carolina Law Review's terrific symposium on Magna Carta last fall.  And that's really saying something because those talks were fabulous. Babie asked the intriguing question, why did do we remember Magna Carta but not other charters from that era. He focused on the forest charter, for instance, of 1217.  And then he also unfolded how that charter has other implications for progressive property.  I can't d…

Rebecca Scott at TLHS, Feb. 24

The next meeting of the Triangle Legal History Seminar will be this Friday, February 24, at the National Humanities Center from 4-6 pm.  Our presenter will be Rebecca Scott, Charles Gibson Distinguished University Professor of History and Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and John Hope Franklin Visiting Professor of Law at Duke University for spring 2017.

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This essay explores the adjudication of status, asking to what extent the exercise of authority under slavery was constrained by law. Was the Caribbean war refugee named Coleta a slave, or was she a free woman? When a Capuchin friar prepared to administer the last rites at Coleta’s deathbed in Havana in December of 1816, she refused absolution, instead obliging the friar on pain of conscience to transcribe her final confession and submit her words to a judge in order to initiate a suit for free…

Mandy Cooper at TLHS, Friday, April 21

The next meeting of the Triangle Legal History Seminar will be this Friday, April 21, at the National Humanities Center from 4-6 pm.  Our presenter will be Mandy Cooper, PhD Candidate in History at Duke University.

Her paper is entitled "The Family State: Family Credit and the Public Good in the Antebellum U.S.":

What you'll be reading is the fourth chapter of my dissertation. My dissertation as a whole uses emotions as a lens to examine the economic and political work done by elite families in building the U.S. in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. I focus on two large family networks - the Coles and the Camerons - which were centered in the South, spread across the U.S., and extended across the Atlantic. My introduction will have the main historiographical points as well as introduce the different individuals in these large families. Since there won't be much background on many of the individuals in this chapter, I've included the attached fam…