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University, Court, and SlaveProslavery Academic Thought and Southern Jurisprudence, 1831–1861$
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Alfred L. Brophy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199964239

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199964239.001.0001

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Beyond State v. Mann Thomas Ruffin’s Jurisprudence

Beyond State v. Mann Thomas Ruffin’s Jurisprudence

(p.197) 8 Beyond State v. Mann Thomas Ruffin’s Jurisprudence
University, Court, and Slave

Alfred L. Brophy

Oxford University Press

“Beyond State v. Mann” builds on the previous chapter to evaluate how Justice Thomas Ruffin of the North Carolina Supreme Court decided cases involving slaves and sometimes other people. It shows that Ruffin’s cold calculations of utility, which were central to State v. Mann, extended to cases involving torts by slaves and attempted emancipation of slaves, as well as family law and workers. This reveals that Ruffin’s jurisprudence protected property rights and took into consideration the economic effects of his decisions. This links Ruffin to the reasoning styles of southern academics as well. Together they promoted a world of property, slavery, and economic efficiency.

Keywords:   Thomas Ruffin, slavery, emancipation, criminal law, divorce, State v. Mann, North Carolina jurisprudence

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