Sally Hadden

Sally Hadden

Sally Hadden

Dr. Katherine Sorrels
Dr. Sally Hadden
Associate Professor of History
Ph.D., Harvard University (1993)
J.D., Harvard Law School (1989)
American Legal, Social and Cultural History; Colonial America; Revolutionary Era America; Antebellum America; Southern History; Race and Slavery

Office: (269) 387-4187


4408 Friedmann Hall

Mailing Address
Department of History
Western Michigan University
1903 W Michigan Ave
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5334

Curriculum Vitae


My principal research and teaching is in American legal and constitutional history. These interdisciplinary fields overlap heavily with social and cultural history, and for my first book, Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas (2001), intersected with the history of slavery and race before 1865. My temporal focus is on American history prior to 1865, particularly the eighteenth century; this period forms the setting for my current monograph on legal professionals in Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston. I have taught a wide variety of courses, including: Colonial America; Colonial Women's History; Revolutionary America; the Old South; the Civil War; English Legal History; the Atlantic World; Historical Methods; and Historiography. My graduate students have worked on a variety of American and Atlantic World topics, including women's history, newspapers and readership, the early American navy, British politics of the Georgian period, religion and the Bill of Rights, the Florida and Northwest Territories, and antebellum legal history.

Recent and Forthcoming Publications

"State Constitutions, 1776-1800: New States Teach the Old Some Different Tricks,” in The Revolutionary Constitution, or the Constitution Born of Revolution, eds. Marie-Elisabeth Baudoin and Marie Bolton (University of Auvergne Law School, forthcoming).

The Blackwell Companion to American Legal History, co-edited with Alfred Brophy (Wiley-Blackwell, 2013).

Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History, co-edited with Patricia Minter (University of Georgia Press, 2013).

Traveling the Beaten Trail: Charles Tait’s Charges to Federal Grand Juries, 1822-1825, co-authored with David Durham and Paul Pruitt. (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama School of Law, 2013).

"The Business of Justice: Merchants in the Charleston Chamber of Commerce and Arbitration in the 1780s and 1790s." In The Southern Middle Class in the Long Nineteenth Century, edited by Jonathan Wells and Jennifer R. Green (LSU Press, 2011, 16-39).

"A Legal Tourist Visits Eighteenth-Century Britain: Henry Marchant's Observations on British Courts, 1771-1772," with Patricia Minter. Law and History Review 29 (2011): 133-179.

"DeSaussure and Ford: A Charleston Law Firm of the 1790s." In Transformations in American Legal History: Essays in Honor of Professor Morton J. Horwitz, edited by Daniel Hamilton and Alfred Brophy (Harvard University Press, 2009), 85-108.

"The Fragmented Laws of Slavery in the Colonial and Revolutionary Eras." In Cambridge History of Law in America, edited by Christopher Tomlins and Michael Grossberg, 3 volumes (Cambridge University Press, 2008), 1: 253-87, 646-57.

Professional Affiliations and Awards

National secretary and member of the Executive committee, American Society for Legal History

Editorial board, Law and History Review

Member of the Massachusetts Bar Association

Fellow, Massachusetts Historical Society


Department of History
4301 Friedmann Hall
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5334 USA
(269) 387-4650 | (269) 387-4651 Fax