Crimes of Discontent: The Contours of Black Women's Law Breaking in Civil War Era Washington, D.C., 1830-1865
Richeson, Tamika, History - Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, University of Virginia
Varon, Elizabeth, Department of History, University of Virginia
My dissertation, “Crimes of Discontent: The Contours of Black Women’s Law Breaking in Civil War Era Washington, D.C., 1830-1865,” interrogates the racial and gendered context in which American criminal law took shape. Organized into five thematic chapters, this study is rooted in police precinct records, nineteenth-century slave law and black codes, criminal court dockets, jail registers, and newspaper coverage. I argue that many enslaved and free black women’s actions that were construed as crimes within the white culture of the period can also be understood as strategies of survival, resistance, or self-expression.
PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
American slavery, Civil War, African American women's history, American Criminal Law
All rights reserved (no additional license for public reuse)