University, Court, and Slave: Pro-Slavery Thought in Southern Colleges and Courts and the Coming of Civil War

ISBN : 9780190933760

Alfred L. Brophy
408 ページ
156 x 234 mm

University, Court, and Slave reveals long-forgotten connections between pre-Civil War southern universities and slavery.
Universities and their faculty owned people-sometimes dozens of people-and profited from their labor while many slaves endured physical abuse on campuses. As Alfred L. Brophy shows, southern universities fought the emancipation movement for economic reasons, but used their writings on history, philosophy, and law in an attempt to justify their position and promote their institutions. Indeed, as the antislavery movement gained momentum, southern academics and their allies in the courts became bolder in their claims. Some went so far as to say that slavery was supported by natural law. The combination of economic reasoning and historical precedent helped shape a southern, pro-slavery jurisprudence. Following Lincoln's November 1860 election, southern academics joined politicians, judges, lawyers, and other leaders in arguing that their economy and society was threatened.
Southern jurisprudence led them to believe that any threats to slavery and property justified secession. Bolstered by the courts, academics took their case to the southern public-and ultimately to the battlefield-to defend slavery.
A path-breaking and deeply researched history of southern universities' investment in and defense of slavery, University, Court, and Slave will fundamentally transform our understanding of the institutional foundations pro-slavery thought.


Part I: The Contours of Academic Proslavery Thought
1. The Rebel and the Professor: Nat Turner and Thomas Dew
2. Proslavery Academic Thought in the 1840s and 1850s
3. The Southern Scholar: College Literary Addresses
4. Brown University's President Confronts Slavery
5. The Chancellor, the Slave, and the Student
Part II: Connecting Moral Philosophy and Legal Thought
6. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850: The Grammar of Proslavery Thought
7. The Novelist and the Jurist: Harriet Beecher Stowe's Jurisprudence of Sentiment
Part III: The Core of Southern Legal Thought
8. Beyond State v. Mann: Thomas Ruffin's Jurisprudence
9. Joseph Henry Lumpkin: Industrialism and Slavery in the Old South
10. Proslavery Jurisprudence: Thomas Reade Roots Cobb's An Inquiry Into the Law of Negro Slavery
11. The dictate of a wise policy: Precedent, Utility, Progress, Humanity, and the Empirical in Antebellum Jurisprudence
12. Slavery, Property, and Constitutionalism in the Secession Debates


Alfred L. Brophy is the Judge John J. Parker Distinguished Professor of Law at University of North Carolina and the author of Reparations Pro and Con and Reconstructing the Dreamland.