Publications (selected)

For popular audiences:

No, Thomas Jefferson didn’t Rig the Vote Count, Washington Monthly, January 5, 2021. For my other Washington Monthly articles, see their website.

More on this Jefferson Nonsense” January 5, 2021.

Slavery-Entangled Philosophy: Does Locke’s Entanglement with Slavery Undermine his Philosophy? AEON, September 12, 2018.   

Race & the Enlightenment: The Story of a SlanderLiberties Journal 2 (Autumn, 2021). It is behind a paywall. Here is a Link to PDF (provided with permission from the publisher).


By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, and the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority Chapel Hill: Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture and UNC Press, 2005. You can read large portions of it free on google books.
     2008 Order of the Coif Book Award, Order of the Coif
     2006 Cromwell Prize, American Society for Legal History
     2006 James Willard Hurst Prize, Law and Society Association

Articles related to slavery, law, and power:

Creating a Common Law of Slavery for England and its New World Empire,” Law and History Review 39 (November, 2021), 765-834. Open access. ttps:// Earlier versions of this article (dating back to 2010) available on SSRN, including Creating a Common Law of Slavery for England and its Empire,” Yale Law School October, 2014.

Slavery, Sovereignty, and “Inheritable Blood”: Reconsidering John Locke and the Origins of American Slavery,The American Historical Review,” Volume 122, Issue 4, October 2017, Pages 1038–1078.

Subjects by Allegiance to the King? Debating Status and Power through the Religious Debates of the Early British Atlantic,” in Peter Onuf and Peter Thompson, eds., State and Citizen in British America and the Early United States, Charlottesville, University of Virginia Press, 2013, 25-51. (from a 2009 conference in Oxford, UK).

 “Power and Authority in the Colonial South: The English Legacy and its Contradictions,” in Britain and the American South: Encounters and Exchanges from the Colonial Times to the Present, University of Mississippi Press, 2003 (from a 2001 conference in Oxford, Mississippi).

 Tocqueville as Historian of the Struggle Between Democracy and Aristocracy in America,” The Tocqueville Review, 27 (Fall, 2006), 381-402.

Entailing Aristocracy in Colonial Virginia, ‘Ancient Feudal Restraints’ and Revolutionary Reform,William and Mary Quarterly, 1997. PDF available here. 

Not ‘Beyond the line’: Reconsidering Law and Power and the Origins of Slavery in England’s Empire in the Americas.” Early American Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal, vol. 20 no. 4, 2022, p. 619-639. Project MUSE, doi:10.1353/eam.2022.0022.

Articles related to children, law, and power:

The Transformation of Domestic Law.” Christopher Tomlins & Michael Grossberg, eds., The Cambridge History of Law in America 1 (2008): 288-323.

By Birth or Consent: Children, Law, & the Anglo-American Revolution in Authority (UNC Press for the Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2005). You can read large portions of it free on google books.

Apprenticeship Policy in Virginia: From Patriarchal to Republican Policies of Social Welfare” in Children Bound to Labor in Early America , ed. By Ruth Herndon and John Murray, Cornell UP, 2009, pp. 183-197.

The Historical Links between Children, Justice, and Democracy” in Hamline Journal of Law and Public Policy (Special Issue resulting from the Conference on “Reassessing the Past, Present and Future Role of Children and Their Participation and Protection in American Law”) 28 (Fall, 2006), 339-355.

“Age of Reason?: Children, Testimony and Consent in Early America,” in Christopher Tomlins and Bruce Mann, eds., The Many Legalities of Early America, Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, 2001, 293-332.

Beyond Education:  Thomas Jefferson’s ‘Republican’ Revision of the Laws Regarding Children,” in James Gilreath, ed., Thomas Jefferson and the Education of a Citizen: The Earth Belongs to the Living, Library of Congress: Washington, D.C., 1999, 48-62.

Other, recent scholarship & links to manuscripts on SSRN:

“Hearing Nat Turner: Within the 1831 Slave Rebellion,” Law & Social Inquiry 46(3), August 2021, 910-916.

SSRN author page–link to many of my papers, including earlier versions of published papers, and my Common Law of Slavery article in 2010 (called first “Before Somerset: Debating Slavery and Absolutism in England’s 17th century Empire” and then, in 2012, “Twelve Judges in Scarlet: Creating a Common Law of Slavery for England and its empire”). All of these are in the form they were delivered at major conferences/venues and/or shared online to be read and discussed by peers.