Archival material related to race, slavery, and free Blacks petitions to southern legislatures and southern courts. The collection includes:
Series I: Petitions to State Legislatures offers access to important but virtually unused primary source materials that were scattered in state archives of Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Mississippi, Missouri,North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. The collection includes virtually all extant legislative petitions on the subject of race and slavery.
Series II: Petitions to Southern County Courts were collected from local courthouses,and candidly document the realities of slavery at the most immediate grassroots level in southern society. It was at county courthouses where the vast majority of disputes over the institution of slavery were referred. The petitions that were filed provide some of the most revealing documentation in existence on the functioning of the slave system.
Slavery and the Law also includes State Slavery Statutes, a master record of the laws governing American slavery, covering 1789–1865.