Please join us for a presentation and book signing with Tulane Law School's Vernon Palmer featuring his new book, THROUGH THE CODES DARKLY.
When it comes to demystifying slave law in Louisiana, Vernon Palmer is practically peerless. It’s probably because he is equally comfortable in the weeds of lived experience as he is poring over the pages of classical learning. These masterful essays on the Code Noir’s origins, plus Louisiana’s 150-year interplay between custom and legal practice, belong on the shelf of anyone with the faintest curiosity about human bondage and the laws fashioned to make it work.
Lawrence Powell, author of Accidental City
Palmer has written a path-breaking and splendid account of how Louisianians, newly under American rule, wrote the first modern codes that incorporated slavery in a systematic way into their civil law. Until now, ignored by scholars, these codifications moved slavery from the edges of the legal system to the very center stage in Louisiana courtrooms.
Judith Kelleher Schafer author of Slavery, the Civil Law and the Supreme Court of Louisiana and Becoming Free, Remaining Free: Manumission and Enslavement in New Orleans, 1846–1862
This comprehensive study analyzes the successive legal codes that framed life under slavery as the result of dynamic interactions among custom, doctrine, and experience. Professor Palmer makes it clear that the drafting and evolution of these codes reveals key structures of power and presumption, continually confronted by challenges to such formal rules by masters and by slaves themselves.Vernon Valentine Palmer is the Thomas Pickles Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Eason Weinmann Center for Comparative Law at Tulane University. He is the author of more than forty books and articles, including Mixed Jurisdictions Worldwide: The Third Legal Family, Mixed Jurisdictions Compared: The Private Law of Louisiana and Scotland, The Louisiana Civilian Experience: Critiques of Codifi cation in a Mixed Jurisdiction, Strict Liability in Europe (co-edited with Franz Werro), Pure Economic Loss in Europe (co-edited with Mauro Bussani), Louisiana: Microcosm of a Mixed Jurisdiction, and The Paths to Privity: The History of Third Party Beneficiary Contracts at English Law.
Rebecca J. Scott, co-author of Freedom Papers: An Atlantic Odyssey in the Age of Emancipation