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Lawyering for Loyalists

July 29, 2023 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Learn about the lawyers who represented the Loyalists after the Revolutionary War

Join the Bidwell House Museum for our 4th history talk of the season with Western Michigan University Professor Sally Hadden who will present Lawyering for Loyalists.

In the wake of the American Revolution, recovering property lost (or confiscated) in the former colonies provided some lawyers with a new type of client. Individuals such as Christopher Gore and Harrison Gray Otis, John Lowell and William Tudor, lawyers of Boston, became adept at working with displaced loyalists located in many parts of the Atlantic (including family members), assisting them in efforts to regain elements of their shattered fortunes. This talk describes the work of Gore and Otis as leading exemplars of this kind of legal activity, which required them to explain legal intricacies to individuals far away and often untutored in legal technicalities.

Sally Hadden is a legal historian of early America and the antebellum United States. Her book Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas described the white-on-black violence that pervaded America’s slave societies. She co-edited the Blackwell Companion to American Legal History (with Al Brophy) and Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History (with Patricia Minter). She is completing a study entitled Cities of Lawyers: Lawyers in Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston that examines the working lives of attorneys in three eighteenth-century seaports. With Maeva Marcus, she is also writing a study of the first Supreme Court and its forebears. In 2023-2024, she will be working on that book at the National Humanities Center. Hadden is a past officer and board member of the American Society of Legal History and she serves on the editorial board of Law and History Review. She is a professor of history at Western Michigan University.

This lecture will be held on Zoom. Attendees will receive an email 1-2 days in advance of the talk with the link to access the Zoom presentation.

Presenter Sally Hadden



July 29, 2023
11:00 am - 12:00 pm


The Bidwell House Museum

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