College of Law

Book Launch & Lecture


Thursday, March 22, 2018
Noon-1 pm
McQuade Law Auditorium


Professor Rebecca Zietlow

"The Forgotten Toledoan: James Ashley and the Ohio Anti-Slavery Movement"

Professor Rebecca E. Zietlow
Charles W. Fornoff Professor of Law and Values
The University of Toledo College of Law

Celebrate the release of The Forgotten Emancipator: James Mitchell Ashley and the Ideological Origins of Reconstruction (Cambridge University Press, 2017) by Professor Rebecca Zietlow. In her lecture, Zietlow will discuss the anti-slavery movement and explain how Ohioans helped to transform our constitution to end slavery and establish fundamental rights for freed slaves and all people in the United States.

James Mitchell Ashley represented northwest Ohio in the United States House of Representatives from 1858 to 1868. A resident of Toledo, Ashley was a staunch opponent of slavery and an advocate for workers' rights and equal rights for freed slaves. In Congress, Ashley led the fight to end slavery in the District of Columbia and U.S. territories and proposed the first Reconstruction measure. He was also the first to propose amending the Constitution to abolish slavery. At the side of President Abraham Lincoln, Ashley led the fight to approve the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery and involuntary servitude.

Ashley was an important figure not only in our nation's history, but also in the history of Toledo and the state of Ohio. In the 1840s and 1850s, Ohio was a hotbed of anti-slavery activism. Many leaders of the political anti-slavery movement were from Ohio, including prominent figures in the American Anti-Slavery Association and the Liberty Party. Those leaders developed a theory of rights that influenced Ashley and his allies in the Reconstruction Congress.

Professor Zietlow is a leading expert on constitutional theory. She teaches in the areas of Constitutional Law, Federal Courts, and Constitutional Litigation. Zietlow holds degrees from Barnard College (BA) and Yale University (JD). In 2012, she received The University of Toledo Outstanding Faculty Research Award.

Free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. Book sales and signing to follow.


McQuade Law Auditorium is within the Law Center, which is located at 1825 West Rocket Drive (immediately inside the UT West Entrance off Secor Road and south of Bancroft Street). Parking is available in Parking Area 12, the lot adjacent to the law school, with no ticketing except for metered, reserved or handicap spaces.

Last Updated: 3/12/18