British Association for American Studies


Sally Hadden

Sally Hadden is a faculty member in the Department of History at Western Michigan University. She received her law degree and doctorate in history at Harvard University. She has written, co-written, or co-edited four books, including the Companion to American Legal History (Wiley, 2013). Her work on loyalist lawyers is part of a larger project on legal professionals in eighteenth-century America.

Loyalist Lawyers: Exiles from the American Revolution

For my book project, I’m investigating lawyers who lived in 18th century Boston, Philadelphia, and Charleston. Towards the end of the century, these individuals took a leading role in conducting the American Revolution, and also in the creation of the legal structures that became new state governments and the national government of the United States. As lawyers, they were also a bit of a closed community, speaking an arcane language filled with terms that others could not understand unless they shared the same training: words like fee tail male, executrix, intestacy, writs of attachment, or tripartite bonds were their stock in trade, plus Latin tags for every occasion. Being part of this community of men trained in the same field held them apart from all others, as well as holding them together in a sort of invisible association.