Popular Sovereignty: A Case Study from the Antebellum Era

  • Elizabeth DaleEmail author
Part of the Studies in Public Choice book series (SIPC, volume 23)


For 2 days, Singleton Mercer stalked Mahlon Hutchinson Heberton through Philadelphia’s streets. Finally, late in the afternoon of Friday, February 10, 1843, Mercer tracked Heberton onto the John Finch, a steamboat that ferried people between Philadelphia and Camden, New Jersey. As that boat docked on the Jersey shore, Mercer walked over to the carriage carrying Heberton, pulled out a gun, and fired four shots. Only one hit his target, but that was enough. Heberton died within the hour and Mercer, who had been seized immediately after the shooting, was taken to the Woodbury County Jail, where he was held without bail for a month and a half.


Police Power Sovereign Power Constitutional Order Grand Jury Popular Sovereignty 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of History and Levin College of LawUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

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