Brown Bag "Things are not invariably so here": Sheriffs, Capitalism, and the Formation of Legal Authority in Nineteenth-century America 5 June 2019.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Chad Holmes, West Virginia University Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/Brown_Bags//1126_jeremiahallen_work_lg.jpg

This project focuses on the sheriff as an upper class representative whose authority and responsibility were altered by the democratic and capitalistic transformations of nineteenth-century America. The sheriff was not the gun-slinging officer of the American Wild West. The sheriff’s image—once grounded in pomp and regal status—evolved into one of market regulator and his own individual success. Increased responsibility for collecting debts and conducting sheriff sales redefined how Americans understood law and order in commercial terms.