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Professor VanderVelde Publishes Groundbreaking Book - "Redemption Songs: Suing for Freedom before Dred Scott"

"In her path-breaking earlier work, Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slavery's Frontier (reviewed July 2010 in this magazine), legal historian Lea VanderVelde skillfully excavated the life story of Harriet Scott, the brave woman and wife of Dred Scott who spearheaded the famous case Dred Scott v. Sandford (60 U.S. 393 (1857)). In Redemption Songs, VanderVelde's remarkable follow-up, the University of Iowa law professor takes the ambitious step of researching the broader context of "freedom suits" filed in St. Louis, Missouri, between 1814 and 1860, in which hundreds of slaves petitioned the courts for their and their children's emancipation."

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Lea VanderVelde