Writing a book or, as in this case, compiling documents, can sometimes be a lonely undertaking. Encouragement from friends and scholars is vital. I was fortunate enough to have friends and colleagues who inspired me during some lonely times. It is impossible to identify each person by name, but I salute them all here. I especially appreciate my colleagues in the History Department at North Carolina State University who frequently inquired about my progress. They provided helpful suggestions about choosing a publisher for this book. I also appreciate encouragement from Burton F. Beers, a generous scholar, and the comments of Alexander DeGrand and Richard Slatta. The members of the department's occasional seminar on African-American/Southern history--James Crisp, William Harris, Walter Jackson, Linda McMurry, Gail O'Brien, John David Smith, Pamela Tyler, and Joanne Woodard--also read and commented on parts of this manuscript.
I have been aided by the works of many scholars, and inspired by their interest and questions about my pursuits. Paul Finkelman's books have steered me to the Old Northwest and the black laws. Thomas D. Morri's answered my query during the early stages of this project and assured me that it was worthwhile: "Such collections are an invaluable source for scholars precisely because much of the documentary information is so deeply buried that it is nearly inaccessible."
Helpful librarians at the Library of Congress, Ohio Historical Society, Western Reserve Historical Society, North Carolina Supreme Court Library, Duke University Law School, and the University of North Carolina Law School in Chapel Hill made my task easier. Consultants in the Humanities Lab at North Carolina State University also provided technical support. They