Sunday, October 4, 2015

Steven Lubet

Steven Lubet is the Williams Memorial Professor of Law and Director, Bartlit Center for Trial Strategy at Northwestern University School of Law. His books include Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial.

Lubet's his new book is The "Colored Hero" of Harper's Ferry: John Anthony Copeland and the War against Slavery.

From the author's Q & A at the Cambridge University Press blog:

Your book traces the life of John Anthony Copeland, Jr. How did you discover the story of such a little-known historical figure?

I first encountered John Copeland when researching my earlier book, Fugitive Justice, about resistance to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. Four chapters in that book covered the Oberlin Rescue and focused on the subsequent trials of the rescuers. Copeland was indicted for his role in the rescue, but he was never arrested and therefore did not appear at the trials. I made a mental note to return to his story, which ultimately led to three years of research into his life.

Tell us a bit about Copeland and his place in American history.

African-American resistance to slavery took three forms: flight from the slave states, rescue and support for fugitives, and eventually armed resistance. John Anthony Copeland was one of the few people who engaged in all three. As a child, he fled North Carolina with his parents, eventually settling in Oberlin, Ohio. As a young man, he was one of the leaders of the Oberlin Rescue, in which a fugitive was wrested from the grasp of slavehunters. And of course, he joined John Brown at Harper’s Ferry, in their failed attempt to...[read on]
The Page 99 Test: Fugitive Justice: Runaways, Rescuers, and Slavery on Trial.

The Page 99 Test: The "Colored Hero" of Harper's Ferry.

--Marshal Zeringue