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Credit NationProperty Laws and Institutions in Early America$
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Claire Priest

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780691158761

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691158761.001.0001

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Property Exemptions and the Abolition of the Fee Tail in the Founding Era

Property Exemptions and the Abolition of the Fee Tail in the Founding Era

(p.128) 7 Property Exemptions and the Abolition of the Fee Tail in the Founding Era
Credit Nation

Claire Priest

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores founding era property law and institutions. It discusses the aftermath of Parliament's Debt Recovery Act in state law both relating to creditors' claims and in the law of slavery. Although English abolitionists mounted an attack against the commodification of slaves in the Debt Recovery Act, American Southern states moved closer to full chattel slavery, retaining slaves' liquid features with respect to creditors' claims to promote Southern labor and credit markets. The chapter then assesses the diversity of views in the founding era on the question of protections to land from creditors. It also analyzes the abolition of the fee tail estate in land in many states, and the move toward greater transparency of institutions such as title recording.

Keywords:   property law, Debt Recovery Act, state law, creditors, chattel slavery, American Southern states, property exemptions, fee tail

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