NEW YORKER on Bankruptcy and Debtors' Prison
A recent issue of the New Yorker (April 13, 2009) has an excellent article by Jill Lepore. Entitled"I.O.U.: How We Used to Treat Debtors," it reviews the evolution in both Britain and the United States from debtors' prison to bankruptcy. My only disappointment is that she neglected to mention that Kentucky became the first state to eliminate all imprisonment for debt (except for fraud) under the leadership of that great Jacksonian radical, Colonel Richard M. Johnson, who went on to regularly propose similar legislation in Congress and eventually served as Martin Van Buren's Vice President. The link to the article is here, but unfortunately it is gated.