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Making Legal HistoryEssays in Honor of William E. Nelson$
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Daniel J. Hulsebosch and R. B. Bernstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780814725269

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814725269.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 29 May 2020

The Landscape of Faith

The Landscape of Faith

Religious Property and Confiscation in the Early Republic

(p.13) 1 The Landscape of Faith
Making Legal History

Sarah Barringer Gordon

NYU Press

This chapter explores the fascinating story of the legal battles over colonial church property ownership in the new republic. Much is known about the law and politics of disestablishment in the early Republic. But what happened to all the land, such as glebe lands, that established churches had received from colonial governments before the Revolution? Forgotten today, this question burned brightly in a few of the postrevolutionary states. Fights over how best to disestablish—how to think about church property in a newly disestablished jurisdiction—consumed state legislatures and courts for decades. The discussion focuses on the litigious fate of Church of England lands in Virginia and Vermont.

Keywords:   colonial church property ownership, new republic, glebe lands, Church of England, Virginia, Vermont

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