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September 02, 2014


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Bill Turnier

A great story! Thanks.

Alfred L. Brophy

This is a really interesting story -- let me begin by saying that my colleague Eric Muller has an excellent article that discusses how Ruffin treated his own enslaved humans (not well is the short version). This raises for me the question, again, of whether lawyers who represented slaves (or free people) often (or ever) had an ideological commitment to the anti-slavery cause. Obviously the answer for Ruffin is no, though this may be yet another instance in which a personal connection causes someone to rethink his position (at least in one instance).


It's weird to me in that if a master has the right to kill a slave at will, that master should also have the right to do pretty much anything else at will, including lying, cheating and swindling the slave.

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