Caleb Strong – lawyer of the case

Our class was first introduced to Caleb Strong by the book “Love of Freedom”. Here, he is introduced as a Northampton lawyer that defended for Flora and Exeter’s lawsuit against Hanchett. He helped Exeter win the local case at 1783. Caleb Strong, as a young lawyer, helped out Exeter using the fact that Hanchett had a bad image in the region, which means that juries will be harsh on Hanchett. [1]

Caleb Strong was born in 1745 in Northampton. Graduating from Harvard, he got elected to the Massachusetts general court at 1776. He played a big role in the development of United States Constitution in 1788. He advocated strong central government. He successfully moved that the House of Representatives should originate all money bills and sat on the drafting committee. He voted in favor of equal representation in the Senate and proportional in the House. He became a U.S senator for Massachusetts in 1789 and became the Massachusetts governor in 1800. He was in positon from 1800 to 1807, then got reelected and was in office from 1812 to 1816 [2].

As shown, He was certainly a powerful figure in the society. It is very interesting to find out that a talented lawyer, in the start of his career, decided to defend a small slave case in Suffield. Northampton Historic Society notes that he was a well respected man of gentle spirit, simple tastes and manners, frugal, modest, prudent, dignified, and discreet [3].

Although there are plenty of information about his career, unfortunately, a source that records Caleb Strong’s performance as a lawyer in Flora’s case could not be found online. However, looking at his career, it is indubitable that he was a influential character in Massachusetts and his abolitionist movement helped many lives. Also, while researching about Strong, I found his memoir being sold in Amazon. Delving into his memoir can not only help us understand better about him and his career, but also help us know about Flora’s case from his point of view and how he thought about it. He is a figure who is certainly worth researching, and if there is a written record of the case from a third person point of view, it would be a great resource for us to investigate the case.
I learned various skillset of research during the class; however, I could not fully utilize it in this research since the information related to the case was limited. A lot of information was available for Caleb Strong, but there was a lack of information of him being a lawyer in Exeter’s case. I wish that I can find more about his performance in the court in the memoir.
[1] Love of Freedom


5 thoughts on “Caleb Strong – lawyer of the case

  1. cxcoco

    Really thorough background information about Caleb Strong. Do you know how Caleb Strong reached out Exeter and helped him in the lawsuit? Add more details and make the relationship between Strong and Exeter clearer will make the story more smooth.


  2. frankwxxxx

    As a information fraction of our research, you did a great job explaining Caleb Strong and his role in the case. Is it possible for us to find out the reason that Caleb Strong helped Exeter by arguing his power greater than slave owner’s? You should make more connections between these two key players.


  3. hykshannon

    Your post is well organized and you did spend quite a lot of effort in getting to know about this character. What are you going to do if you can further find information, especially regarding to Flora’s case? I think you can focus more on contrasting the differences of Strong with other cases and Exeter’s.


  4. vicky19970601

    well organized and complete information. What can we do to match those information to Flora’s case?relationship between Strong and Exeter?


  5. barrett914

    The organization is very meticulous and proves a good point, I think as a class we should focus on this relationship between Strong and Exeter. That might prove to be a better place to move the search to.



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