"Provides a meaningful addition to our understanding of the antebellum Southern legal system. Its most important contribution is in its assessment of how Richmond's urban setting informed and transformed the legal system, both in its design and in its implementation." Civil War Book Review
"A thoughtful, heavily researched and deftly presented examination of historical injustice." The Midwest Book Review
"Offers an insightful discussion of race, class, and the law in antebellum Richmond. Campbell's research is thorough, and his knowledge of Richmond's legal system is comprehensie. Campbell's complex approach to the antebellum urban South provides useful and important insights." Journal of African American History
"James M. Campbell's thoroughly researched book is a valuable account of the interrelationships among race, class, and gender in the criminal justice system of Richmond, Virginia, during the antebellum period.Campbell's monograph is a rich study, one that will be valuable to historians of the South, of American law, and of American race relations." American Historical Review
"Though questions regarding relationships between racism, slavery, and legal notions remain unsettled, Slavery on Trial argues convincingly that Virginia's criminal justice system functioned in an urban context as a tool of its slaveholding regime. Unveiling the problematic aspects of crime control and racial tensions in an urban-industrial setting, Campbell also successfully emphasizes the fact that these attempts at social control sometimes met with failure due to resistance created by interracial and class tensions."
"Will appeal to a variety of scholars and readers interested in the manner in which an urban-industrial setting affected the slave experience." H-Net Reviews