"The Development of State Legislation Concerning the Free Negro is an odd but very important and extremely useful book. Written nearly a century ago, it is an example of the best of the Ph.D. dissertations of the first generation of doctoral students in the social sciences. It lacks any great theoretical framework or much analysis, but it is chock full of information, facts, tables, and excerpts from laws. It is also useful because many of the laws set out in this volume are not easily found otherwise. Despite the massive growth of material on the internet or in machine readable form, early laws are still hard to locate. Anyone interested in the history of segregation and racism will find Johnson's pioneering work invaluable."
-- Paul Finkelman, Introduction iii