|Jonathan M. Bryant|
|Pages/Publication Date:||376 / 2015|
"Fascinating and engagingly written" (Douglas Egerton), this Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist illuminates the overlooked Supreme Court case of the Spanish slave ship Antelope, apprehended in 1820 off the Florida coast with almost 300 African captives. Though the international slave trade had been outlawed, slavery remained a key part of the U.S. economy, and in Jonathan Bryant's vivid account we see Francis Scott Key arguing passionately for their liberty before a Court stacked with slaveholders, who ultimately uphold property rights over personal rights. The case was an eight-year legal struggle—during which time the prisoners were forced to labor like slaves on Georgia plantations.