Further Reading on Slavery in St. Louis and Missouri

Text of an 1847 law banning the teaching of reading and writing for Black Missourians.
In 1847, the Missouri State Legislature passed a law banning the teaching of reading and writing to all Black Missourians, whether free or enslaved. The law also stated that Black Missourians could not hold religious services without a White official present.

Missouri State Archives

The following resources provide additional information on the history slavery in St. Louis and the state of Missouri more broadly. These primary and secondary sources were utilized by park staff at Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site during the creation of Slavery in St. Louis, a traveling exhibit currently on display at the park and in digital form on the park's website.

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Kevin D. Butler, Slavery, Religion, and Race in Antebellum Missouri: Freedom from Slavery and Freedom from Sin (Washington, D.C.: Lexington Books, 2023)
  • Gerald Early, ed. “Ain’t But a Place”: An Anthology of African American Writings About St. Louis (St. Louis: Missouri Historical Society Press, 1999)
  • Kristen Epps, Slavery on the Periphery: The Kansas-Missouri Border in the Antebellum and Civil War Eras (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2016)
  • Lorenzo J. Greene, Gary R. Kremer, and Antonio Holland, eds., Missouri’s Black Heritage (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1993 [revised edition])
  • Louis Gerteis, Civil War St. Louis (Lawrence: University of Kansas Press, 2001)
  • Douglas R. Hurt, Agriculture and Slavery in Missouri’s Little Dixie (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992)
  • Bryan M. Jack, The St. Louis African American Community and the Exodusters (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2008)
  • Deborah Keating, “Spotswood Rice,” Civil War on the Western Border, 2011
  • Kelly Kennington, In the Shadow of Dred Scott: St. Louis Freedom Suits and the Legal Culture of Slavery in Antebellum Missouri (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2017)
  • Gary R. Kremer, James Milton Turner and the Promise of America (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991)
  • Melton A. McLaurin, Celia, A Slave: A True Story of Violence and Retribution in Antebellum Missouri (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1991)
  • Missouri State Archives, “Missouri’s Early Slave Laws: A History in Documents
  • Missouri State Archives, “Laws Concerning Slavery in Missouri: Territorial to 1850s”
  • Missouri Slave Narratives: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1938 (Carlisle, MA: Applewood Books, 2006)
  • Diane Mutti Burke, On Slavery’s Border: Missouri’s Small Slaveholding Households, 1815-1865 (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010)
  • National Park Service, “Slavery: Cause and Catalyst of the Civil War
  • Matthew Pinsker, “Slave Stampedes and the Meaning of Mobile Insurrections
  • Sharon Romeo, Gender and the Jubilee: Black Freedom and the Reconstruction of Citizenship in Civil War Missouri (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2010)
  • Nick Sacco, “Missouri Compromised: Anti-Slavery Protest During the Missouri Statehood Debate,” Journal of the Civil War Era, March 10, 2020
  • Eric Sandweiss, ed., St. Louis in the Century of Henry Shaw (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2003)
  • Paul Simon, Freedom’s Champion: Elijah Lovejoy (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1994)
  • Jeffrey C. Stone, Slavery, Southern Culture, and Education in Little Dixie, Missouri, 1820-1860 (New York: Routledge, 2012)
  • Anne Twitty, Before Dred Scott: Slavery and Legal Culture in the American Confluence, 1787-1857 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016)
  • Lea VanderVelde, Mrs. Dred Scott: A Life on Slavery’s Frontier (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009)
  • Washington University in St. Louis University Libraries, “Select Readings on Enslavement in St. Louis and Missouri

Part of a series of articles titled The History of Slavery in St. Louis.

Ulysses S Grant National Historic Site

Last updated: March 23, 2023