Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date

Fall 2013

Publication Citation

105 Law Library Journal 540 (2013)


In 1842, the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision in Prigg v. Pennsylvania, resolving a dispute about fugitive slave rendition that had raged between the states for decades. H. Robert Baker’s analysis of the decision and the events that led up to it is the first book-length work to investigate Prigg and its place in American history. Baker traces the development of fugitive slave laws and recounts the heart-wrenching story that lies behind Prigg to shed light on the Supreme Court’s decision and the gradual clarification of American federalism.


Review of:

Baker, H. Robert. Prigg v. Pennsylvania: Slavery, the Supreme Court, and the Ambivalent Constitution. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2012. 202p. $34.95