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A New Birth of Freedom: The Republican Party and Freedmen's Rights, 1861-1866, is an account of how laws, policies and constitutional amendments defining and protecting the personal liberty and civil rights of the country's African American population were adopted during the Civil War. A study in legal and constitutional history, it complements and forms a necessary predicate to the social history of emancipation that is the principal focus of contemporary Civil War scholarship. The relevance of the legal dimension in the struggle for black freedom is attested by the observation that many slaves learned the letter of the law so they could seemingly recite from memorypassages from congressional measures prohibiting the return of escaped slaves to disloyal owners and guaranteeing their personal liberty.
Fordham University Press
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