Law and History Review


A “Triumph of Freedom” After All? Prigg v. Pennsylvania Re-examined

Leslie Friedman Goldstein c1

Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), has puzzled scholars for generations. Law professor David Currie has called it “perplexing.” It is a case over which scholars have come to a wide array of conflicting conclusions.



Leslie Friedman Goldstein is Morris Professor of Political Science and International Relations at the University of Delaware and worked on this article while a visiting research associate at the University of Pennsylvania Center on Democracy, Citizenship, and Constitutionalism and University of Pennsylvania Law School <>.