American Slavers and the Federal Law, 1837-1862

American Slavers and the Federal Law, 1837-1862

American Slavers and the Federal Law, 1837-1862

American Slavers and the Federal Law, 1837-1862

Excerpt

This book is a study of crime and punishment, or, more precisely, a story of crime that was not punished. Federal laws forbade the service of American citizens, vessels, and port facilities in the African slave trade, yet for a quarter century American criminals greatly aided the smuggling of African Negroes into Cuba and Brazil, and at length even brought Africans into the United States itself. Yet the federal government could do little to crush the trade. This study is concerned with the reasons for this impotence.

The help of many persons has made this book possible. Dr. Brainerd Dyer, Professor of History at the University of California, Los Angeles, gave me numberless encouragements during the years when it was taking shape first as seminar papers, then as a doctoral dissertation, and finally in its present form. My thanks here are a feeble recompense for help so freely given. Dr. Malbone W. Graham of UCLA's Department of Political Science spent many tedious hours rescuing me from blunders of composition, and his generous efforts are deeply appreciated. Dr. Clinton N. Howard of the Department of History gave freely of time and encouragement in reading the manuscript, as well as throughout my graduate study; and for their time, instruction, personal advice, and encouragement I likewise am indebted to John S. Galbraith, Yu-Shan Han, George E. Mowry, and the late David K. Bjork, professors in the Depart-

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