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Baltimore history, Co-conspirator exemption, international slave trade, John Gooding, privateering, Slave Trade Act, transatlantic slave trade


In United States v. Gooding, the Supreme Court quashed an indictment against John Gooding for engaging in international slave trading, a violation of the Slave Trade Act of 1818. The Slave Trade Act of 1818 modified the penalties for engaging the in slave trading, and switched the burden of proof to the defendant, to disprove the presumption that the defendant had engaged in the slave trade. This article looks at how United States v. Gooding stands as a step backwards toward condoning and legitimizing the international slave trade. This paper also examines the moral relativism expressed in the United States’ social and legal positions on both domestic and international slave trading, while exploring the uniqueness of Baltimore, Maryland’s role in the domestic and international slave trade.


Law | Legal History

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