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"The Eight: The Lemmon Slave Case and the Fight for Freedom" by Albert Rosenblatt from SUNY Press

Book cover for "The Eight" by Albert Rosenblatt
SUNY Press

The Lemmon Slave Case of 1852 was a groundbreaking case dealing with establishing the right of personhood for slaves. The case and its impact on the issue of slavery is the subject of the book “The Eight: The Lemmon Slave Case and the Fight for Freedom” by former NYS Associate Judge of the Court of Appeals Albert Rosenblatt.

Rosenblatt was inspired to learn more about the case while he was serving on the New York State Court of Appeals from 1999-2007. The retired judge teaches at NYU School of Law.

The case started when the Lemmon family decided to move from their home in Virginia to Texas and had to switch ships in New York. On the ship from traveling to New York, the eight slaves are met in steerage by a free man named Nathan Lobam who asks if they want to be free. What happens next is a quick moving effort by New York abolitionists to persuade a judge to sign a writ of habeas corpus on behalf of the slaves.

Judge Rosenblatt was struck by the sheer humanity of the case. Again, the new book is: “The Eight: The Lemmon Slave Case and the Fight for Freedom.” Albert Rosenblatt teaches at the New York University School of Law and is a retired Judge of New York State Court of Appeals.

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