H-NET BOOK REVIEW
Published by H-South@h-net.msu.edu (January, 2002)
Sally E. Hadden. _Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and
the Carolinas_. Harvard Historical Studies. Cambridge: Harvard
University Press, 2001. xi + 340 pp. Tables, maps, illustrations,
notes, bibliography, and index. $35.00 (cloth), ISBN 0-674-00470-1.
Reviewed for H-South by Laura Croghan Kamoie ,
Department of History, American University
The History, Methods, Composition, and Legacy of Southern Slave
In _Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas_,
Sally E. Hadden examines the public regulation of slavery through
slave patrols in Virginia and the Carolinas between the early
eighteenth century and the Civil War. Hadden sets out the following
goals: to "better understand how the laws of slavery actually
applied to slaves" (p. 2); to "flesh out our understanding of how
slave laws were actually enforced, day to day" (p. 2); to "test the
long-held, though unproven, view that patrols were composed of the
poorest whites of Southern society" (p. 3); and to examine all of
these questions comparatively across the South by focusing on the
three eastern seaboard states that had the longest tradition of
employing slave patrols and thus offer "a stable view of how patrols
functioned through multiple decades, wars, and slave revolts" (p.
3). Hadden offers a well-written and thoroughly researched work
that combines legal and social history to address these questions.