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The 2012 Surrency Prize is awarded to Rebecca J. Scott for her essay, “Paper Thin: Freedom and Re-enslavement in the Diaspora of the Haitian Revolution,” which appeared in Law and History Review, Volume 29, Number 4, pages 1061-87. The citation is: Rebecca Scott’s “Paper Thin: Freedom and Re-enslavement in the Diaspora of the Haitian Revolution” carefully reconstructs the passage of thousands of individuals who had been displaced by the Haitian Revolution from Saint-Domingue to Cuba and on to New Orleans. Scott chronicles the shifting status of these refugees after the abolition of slavery by decree and then by the French National Convention from slave to free to slave and sometimes back again. Her analysis of the bureaucracy of slavery – the process of designation that sometimes occurred peremptorily on the deck of a ship – and individual resistance to such designations scrutinizes an underexplored aspect of slavery’s machinery. Scott’s detailed micro-history of the legal struggles of Adélaide Métayer/Durand in New Orleans to maintain her freedom and that of her children is a work of art. “Paper Thin” is richly sourced from multiple archives and in secondary literature in multiple languages, and the story-telling is gripping. The Surrency Prize Committee was impressed by Scott’s mastery of this transnational tale and commends the essay as a model work of social, cultural, and legal history that challenges scholars to think about the ill-focused border between slavery and freedom in the Americas.