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dc.contributor.authorKeeling, John Robert
dc.date.accessioned2014-03-03T20:20:40Z
dc.date.available2014-03-03T20:20:40Z
dc.date.issued2002-12
dc.identifier.otherkeeling_john_r_200212_phd
dc.identifier.urihttp://purl.galileo.usg.edu/uga_etd/keeling_john_r_200212_phd
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10724/20599
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation examines the legal culture of antebellum planters and businessmen in Louisiana through the litigation of one of its number, John F. Miller, and his business associates. Arriving in New Orleans in 1808, Miller earned much of his wealth through his ownership of a sawmill in the city. In the 1830s he became the owner of sugar and cotton plantations in the Attakapas region of southern Louisiana. This dissertation utilizes local court records and conveyances to examine Miller’s business and legal activities, sources seldom used in previous studies of antebellum planters. It also pays attention to how Louisiana’s unique legal system, based on civil, or Roman, law, shaped the course and outcome of Miller’s litigation. Though the volume of Miller’s litigation made him atypical, his legal disputes demonstrate the variety of legal areas that could affect a planter in the course of the operation of a plantation. This dissertation argues that the operation of the law and success before the courts were vital factors that determined the success or failure for antebellum planters. The dissertation considers five varieties of litigation involving Miller. In the first chapter, Miller’s purchase of a sugar plantation shows the effect of Louisiana inheritance law on the administration of estates. The second chapter explores the varieties of property and business litigation that sugar planters encountered in the course of operating their enterprises. The third chapter focuses on Miller’s sawmill in New Orleans and shows the tensions between municipal eminent domain power and private rights during the construction of a wharf in front of the mill. The fourth chapter reveals the strategies of Miller and his business partner to avoid financial failure and their manipulation of legal formalities to fend off creditors. The final chapter analyzes Miller’s most notable case, in which one of his former slaves secured her freedom by claiming that she was a white woman enslaved by Miller. This chapter examines the ambiguities of race in antebellum Louisiana as well as Miller’s fight to preserve his honor and reputation.
dc.languageeng
dc.publisheruga
dc.rightspublic
dc.subjectLouisiana
dc.subjectPlanters
dc.subjectEntrepreneurs
dc.subjectCivil Law
dc.subjectBusiness
dc.subjectAntebellum
dc.subjectAttakapas
dc.subjectSugar Plantations
dc.subjectBankruptcy Law
dc.subjectHonor
dc.subjectEminent Domain
dc.subjectRiparian Law
dc.subjectLand Law
dc.subjectEstate Law
dc.subjectNew Orleans
dc.subjectRacial Identity
dc.subjectLegal Culture
dc.titleA planter and the courts in antebellum Louisiana : the cases of John F. Miller
dc.typeDissertation
dc.description.degreePhD
dc.description.departmentHistory
dc.description.majorHistory
dc.description.advisorPeter Charles Hoffer
dc.description.committeePeter Charles Hoffer
dc.description.committeeJohn C. Inscoe
dc.description.committeeEmory M. Thomas
dc.description.committeeFred Bateman


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