Sally E. Hadden, 2023–24 | National Humanities Center

Sally E. Hadden (NHC Fellow, 2023–24)

Project Title

One Supreme Court

GlaxoSmithKline Fellowship, 2023–24

Professor of History, Western Michigan University

photo of Sally Hadden

Sally E. Hadden is a legal historian of early America and the antebellum United States. She received her history doctorate and law degree from Harvard University. Her book, Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas, describes the white-on-black violence that pervaded America’s slave societies (Harvard University Press, 2001). She coedited the Blackwell Companion to American Legal History (with Al Brophy, 2013) and Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History (with Patricia Minter, 2013). Hadden is the author of more than 25 articles and book chapters, more than 30 book reviews, and more than 50 scholarly presentations at academic conferences. She is the recipient of grants from the American Historical Association, the American Antiquarian Society, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the William Nelson Cromwell Foundation, the American Philosophical Society, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other scholarly organizations.

With Maeva Marcus, she is writing a study of the first Supreme Court and its English, colonial, and Revolutionary forebears which forms the subject of her NHC fellowship. Hadden is also completing a study entitled “Cities of Lawyers: Legal Professionals in Boston, Philadelphia and Charleston” that examines the working lives of attorneys in three eighteenth-century seaports. As part of the Ames Foundation, she leads a project to digitize and annotate the records created by the eighteenth-century Massachusetts’s Superior Court of Judicature. She is a past officer and board member of the American Society of Legal History and recipient of its Craig Joyce Medal. Hadden serves on the editorial board of Law and History Review. She is Editor of Publications for the Colonial Society of Massachusetts. She is a member of the history faculty at Western Michigan University.

Selected Publications


  • Hadden, Sally E. London’s Middle Temple and Law Students from the New World.” In English Law and Colonial Connections: Histories, Parallels, and Influences, edited by Cerian Griffiths and Łukasz Korporowicz. Oxford, UK: Routledge. Forthcoming.
  • Hadden, Sally E. “Lawyering for the Loyalists.” In The Consequences of Loyalism: Essays in Honor of Robert M. Calhoon, edited by Rebecca Brannon and Joseph S. Moore, 135–47. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2019.
  • Hadden, Sally E., and Patricia Hagler Minter., eds. Signposts: New Directions in Southern Legal History. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2013.
  • Hadden, Sally E., and Alfred L. Brophy, eds. A Companion to American Legal History. Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.
  • Hadden, Sally E. Slave Patrols: Law and Violence in Virginia and the Carolinas. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2001.
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