In A Rape in the Early Republic, Randal L. Hall reproduces the complete trial testimony of Alexander Smyth, the prosecutor for Hanson's trial. Smyth's detailed record offers a revealing glimpse into how early rape cases moved through the legal system, first at the local level and then in the state's recently created district court system. It also shows that Deskins was not the only one on trial Hanson's character was being scrutinized as well.
Hall's introduction, rather than offering an analysis of Smyth's documents, provides important context and highlights historical themes that Hanson's situation illustrates. Featuring classroom discussion ideas and a list of suggested reading, A Rape in the Early Republic will be a valuable resource for students and scholars as well as anyone interested in gender, law, and society in the early republic.
About the Author
Table of Contents
The Invitation to Publish 29
The Testimony 31
The Argument to the Jury 63
The Sentencing 99
Appendix A "Rape," A section from The New Virginia Justice (1795), edited by William Waller Hening 103
Appendix B The Trial of Jason Fairbanks (1801) 109
Discussion Ideas for the Classroom 113
Suggested Reading 115