This weekend, I finished an initial draft of my introduction. For the time being, I will refocus my efforts on completing a draft of Chapter 1, my historiography chapter.
As I have already written the section regarding post-war views of commissioners, my next task will be to connect their evolving legacy in the late 19th century to strands of scholarship. Considering that the first major academic work on the Underground Railroad, authored by Wilbur Siebert, was contemporaneous to many of these laudatory accounts, this may be the best conduit into the latter portion of my first chapter. Notions of legal formalism, which portrayed judicial officers as passive actors, may account for the conspicuous absence of commissioners from the initial scholarship on the Underground Railroad and the 1850 law. Elsewhere, I will also need to work to incorporate the influential work of Stanley Campbell and later Richard Blackett.