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Eric Scott Gardner
Saginaw Valley State University (University Center, MI 48710-0001)
The Rhetoric of Slavery and Freedom in the Antebellum St. Louis Freedom Suits

The St. Louis Circuit Court Archives has identified close to 300 "freedom suits"--suits by St. Louis slaves seeking their freedom. This rich, un-tapped collection offers not only a new picture of urban slavery in a Western border state, but also of the lives and voices of individual enslaved people heretofore unheard of. This project will use the suits to better understand *how* different individuals talked about slavery and race. Specifically, as the first step toward a book on the rhetoric of slavery and freedom, the stipend will allow the applicant to transcribe representative case files; research biographical, cultural, and other contextual information on cases; articulate a typology for the rhetoric in the suits; and begin to share this work with the public.

[Grant products][Prizes]

Project fields:
American Studies

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

$5,000 (approved)
$5,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2005 – 6/30/2005