Slavery, Freedom and Contract: Blurred Lines and Historical Resistance

Eli Cook, Anat Rosenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hendrik Hartog's The Trouble with Minna complicates the binary between freedom and unfreedom in American history by probing the mixture of slavery and contract in antebellum New Jersey's regime of gradual emancipation. This Essay argues that if Hartog's narrative is read for more general patterns - in addition to everyday lived experiences which Hartog emphasizes - it also reveals resistance to such line-blurring, and historical efforts to construct conceptual boundaries that would separate slave relations from capitalist ones. That resistance should assume a more central conceptual place within the current tide of historiographical emphasis toward blurred lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)526-533
Number of pages8
JournalLaw and Social Inquiry
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 American Bar Foundation.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • Law


Dive into the research topics of 'Slavery, Freedom and Contract: Blurred Lines and Historical Resistance'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this