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To Bring Law Home
The Federal Judiciary in Early National Rhode Island
D. Kurt Graham
“A fascinating book describing how the federal judiciary (looked upon by many during the debate over the ratification of the Constitution as a potential engine of despotism) was readily, easily, and overwhelmingly accepted in Rhode Island. Graham writes in an easily understood prose and avoids jargon.” —John Kaminski, University of Wisconsin-Madison
“A superb, well-written, and much needed study of the early federal judiciary. It is a model of historical scholarship.”—Gordon S. Wood, Brown University, author of Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789-1815
“Does much more than fill a major gap in the scholarship of the Early Republic. By showing how a state that rejected ratification of the Constitution quickly came to accept national authority and to favor federal courts over its own state courts, To Bring Law Home expands our understanding of law and the legal profession at a formative point in our history.”—David T. Konig, Washington University in St. Louis
In this original study, Kurt Graham sheds light on both an understudied institution and an underappreciated period in our nation’s judicial history with an examination of the federal judiciary—the district and circuit courts—during the early national period. Using Rhode Island as a case study, Graham argues that the federal judicial system exerted a significant nationalizing influence on the citizens and states of the new American nation.
(2010) 194 pp.
D. Kurt Graham is the Housel Director of the McCracken Research Library and Co-Director of the Cody Institute for Western American Studies, both at the Buffalo Bill Historical Center in Cody, Wyoming. He holds a Ph.D. in American history from Brown University.
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