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The Northwest Territory sparked heated debates over race and civil rights in the nascent United States from the moment of its founding. The compromise measure in the Northwest Ordinance, which established the territory in 1787, said there would be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude there, but to mollify southern delegates in the Continental Congress, the compromise only applied to lands that were east of the Mississippi River, south of the Great Lakes, and west of the Ohio River-and it contained a fugitive slave clause permitting southerners to recover escaped slaves there. Many thought this ordinance would resolve the issue of slavery in the Northwest, but in reality it left the way open for contention over slavery's status throughout the new region-and such contention is the subject of this bracing new history by Dana Weiner. The newest addition to the Mellon-sponsored Early American Places series, Race and Rightswill be a much welcomed contribution to the study of slavery and social activism in 19th-century America.