James and His Striped Velvet Pantaloons

The striped velvet pantaloons of James, an enslaved man in the South Carolina upcountry, might not seem like an important legal artifact, but they are. Laura F. Edwards discusses how the legalities of textiles recast our understanding of Americans’ relationship to law and the economy in the decades between the Revolution and the Civil War. 

Image courtesy of Laura F. Edwards

Image courtesy of interviewee

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