Beyond State v. Mann Thomas Ruffin’s Jurisprudence

Alfred L. Brophy

in University, Court, and Slave

Published in print September 2016 | ISBN: 9780199964239
Published online August 2016 | e-ISBN: 9780190625931 | DOI:
Beyond State v. Mann Thomas Ruffin’s Jurisprudence

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  • History of the Americas
  • Political History


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“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

Chapter.  7045 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; Political History

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