Monday, December 6, 2010

McClain on a Legal Carpetbagger

Charles J. McClain, University of California, Berkeley School of Law, has posted California Carpetbagger: The Career of Henry Dibble, which also appears in Quinnipiac Law Review 28 (2010). Here’s the abstract:
The subject of this article is Henry Dibble, a lawyer and politician who led an extraordinary career in two different states, California and Louisiana, in the years following the Civil War. He was a leader of the California legislature in the 1890's and was the author of California’s first civil rights law, enacted in 1897. He was also one of the lawyers who regularly represented Chinese immigrants in their battles in the courts over the Chinese Exclusion laws. Before coming to California he had spent some twenty years in Louisiana, where he had been at the center of the tumultuous events that marked the history of Reconstruction in that state. While there, he served as confidant of the state’s two Reconstruction governors, as judge of the state’s most important trial court and as president of the New Orleans school board during the period when it oversaw the only serious experiment in school integration ever undertaken in the post-Civil War South. This article traces the arc of Dibble’s career and seeks to situate him in the context of Reconstruction history and the early modern political history of California.
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