"African Americans in St. Louis enjoyed greater autonomy and opportunity than those in urban areas of the South and East. Slaves in the city set legal precedent by filing hundreds of freedom suits, often based on the prohibition against slavery. This book explores the role of blacks in the history of St. Louis through the Civil War"--
Prologue -- Gateway to the west -- The color of law -- To the frontier -- "The dangerous class": women of color and the St. Louis frontier -- Sold west: the slave trade and the advancing frontier -- "Free with the world": the strange case of Milton Duty -- "As far as Kansas": slave resistance in the gateway -- Standing ground: free people of color and the St. Louis land court -- The civil war -- Epilogue. The bond of color: St. Louis people of color and the West
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