Courts in the Classroom
Supreme Court of Indiana
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian Street, Ste 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Dr. Elizabeth R. Osborn
Court History and
Public Education Programs
History Project Award
from the National Council
on Public History
The Indiana Supreme Court held a free CLE event, "Pioneer Justice," on Tuesday, September 25, 2012 from 3:00 - 4:30 pm in the Supreme Court.
This is a free CLE event sponsored by the Indiana Supreme Court Legal History Lecture Series and Indiana Humanities as a part of their Legal History Grant program. The program is also supported by the Indiana Commission for Continuing Legal Education. It has been assigned course number 156468 for 1.5 hours. Registration will be completed at the door.
Although Indiana's 1816 Constitution forbade slavery and involuntary servitude, both continued despite two landmark Indiana Supreme Court rulings in 1820 and 1821. In the years following the Court’s decisions, the legislature enacted several pieces of legislation restricting African-Americans rights in Indiana. One law required African Americans to produce legal documentation proving that they were free and another to post a $500 bond to guarantee their good behavior.
At the same time that anti-black sentiment seemed to growing in the State, several little known cases involving African Americans were working their way through the local courts. Some of the cases originated before statehood, and several were settled in favor of African American plaintiffs. The presentation will focus on a few of these early cases.
Maxine F. Brown, a preservationist and local historian from southern Indiana, and Judge Maria Granger, Floyd Superior Court, will be the keynote speakers.