The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939

Book Reviews

demeanors of slaves, the hire of slave children, and the gift of
slaves may be studied from the many references found under such
headings to the case material on any one area.
There is a brief introduction to the material on each state or
area which gives a background for the material and in some in-
stances a short characterization or running comment on the nature
of the material. This historical setting is a very valuable feature
of the work.
This collection of material is invaluable for the study of the
institution of slavery. It makes possible a comparative study of
the legislatures and the courts as to their attitude toward the
slave or free negro. The courts which were a little further away
from the people than the legislatures and, therefore, more inde-
pendent were more humanitarian in their attitude.
While the index to the various volumes is a very valuable aid
to the study of the material, if the cases were grouped under sug-
gestive headings on the basis of subject matter rather than accord-
ing to chronology the material would be much more available. If,
for instance, one wanted to make a study of whether the slave
enjoyed trial by jury or could act as a witness or could bring
suit in his own name, he would have to cover the entire material
to find what the law was on any such subject. One has the feeling
that the material has only been collected, that it has not been
analyzed and classified, and, therefore, only partially edited.
This collection constitutes a very valuable amount of source
material for the study of slavery not merely in its legal aspects
but also in its social and political relations to the problems of
its time. The elaborateness of the police system involved is very
illuminating. In essence the material is an interpretation of the
slave codes and what is revealed is frequently more important
than what is said. C. PERRY PATTERSON.
The University of Texas.
The Old South: Struggles for Democracy. By William E. Dodd.
(New York: The Macmillan Company, 1937. Pp. xii, 312.
Illustrations, maps, $3.75.)
With this volume the first of a series of four volumes on "the
evolution and collapse of the South" makes its appearance. In

Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 42, July 1938 - April, 1939. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101107/. Accessed April 21, 2014.