Skip to main content

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 family trees and charts to help you get a better sense of the relationships. The first chapter looks at affective labor (work related to the presence and performance of emotion) in familial correspondence and argues that such affective labor, which was gendered female, worked to extend and maintain the family ties necessary to conduct business and political endeavors. The first chapter examines the image created by such affective labor in correspondence of a happy, united, and affectionate family. The second chapter looks at the business side of those family networks, examining business culture and the affective labor that ensured trust and credit within business networks before turning to look at the actual economic actions and transactions within the networks to reveal the webs of credit and debt that sustained elite families. I argue that such actions reveal that family was central to business in this period, bringing the economic realm into the domestic realm. The third chapter looks at the political work of such families, including the use of the term public servant to describe political work. Essentially, I argue that by conceptualizing themselves as public servants, men cast themselves in positions of servitude, working for the good of the public. The last chapter examines the effect of violence on this conceptualization of nation as family that I examine in the chapter you'll be reading – a conceptualization that couldn't handle conflict of any kind and that they were forced to rethink as sectional tensions grew. 

Please find the paper here.  Contact Ashton Merck if you have questions or need access to the paper.

We look forward to seeing you on Friday!


Popular posts from this blog

Babie and Orth Speaking at UNC Law, November 7

It is my pleasure to announce that Paul Babie, professor of law and associate dean at Adelaide University, Australia, and my UNC colleague John Orth will both by speaking at lunchtime on November 7 at UNC Law, on the Torrens title system.  The title of their program is “Property Stories: How Torrens Title Failed to Solve All the Problems, and Actually Created Some.”

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.

Her paper is entitled "Luisa Coleta and the Capuchin Friar: Slavery, Salvation, and the Legal Adjudication of Status":

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…