Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Front Porch

Front Porch " The power of the master must be absolute to render the submission of the slave perfect." In the year 1829, Judge Thomas Ruffin of the North Carolina Supreme Court used these chilling words to settle the vexing case of State vs. Mann, a decisive legal battle in the evolution of American slavery. According to court records, one John Mann of Chowan County, North Carolina, had rented the services of a slave named Lydia, only to shoot and wound her when Lydia defied his authority and struggled to escape a whipping. In the view of modern historians of slavery, incidents like these were numbingly familiar in the antebellum South and rarely attracted official attention. Something about this incident stirred feelings in Chowan County, however, and John Mann was successfully prosecuted for battery. Lydia's story reached the state's highest court when Mann appealed his conviction, arguing that the law could place no limit on the violence that a master might visit on a slave. One of the South's most respected jurists, Thomas Ruffin acknowledged that above: In addition to her focus on Driving Miss Daisy, Eliza Russi Lowen McGraw discusses other southern films in "Driving Miss Daisy: Southern Jewishness http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Southern Cultures University of North Carolina Press

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-north-carolina-press/front-porch-7wljDI2Lqt
Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2001 Center for the Study of the American South.
ISSN
1534-1488
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

" The power of the master must be absolute to render the submission of the slave perfect." In the year 1829, Judge Thomas Ruffin of the North Carolina Supreme Court used these chilling words to settle the vexing case of State vs. Mann, a decisive legal battle in the evolution of American slavery. According to court records, one John Mann of Chowan County, North Carolina, had rented the services of a slave named Lydia, only to shoot and wound her when Lydia defied his authority and struggled to escape a whipping. In the view of modern historians of slavery, incidents like these were numbingly familiar in the antebellum South and rarely attracted official attention. Something about this incident stirred feelings in Chowan County, however, and John Mann was successfully prosecuted for battery. Lydia's story reached the state's highest court when Mann appealed his conviction, arguing that the law could place no limit on the violence that a master might visit on a slave. One of the South's most respected jurists, Thomas Ruffin acknowledged that above: In addition to her focus on Driving Miss Daisy, Eliza Russi Lowen McGraw discusses other southern films in "Driving Miss Daisy: Southern Jewishness

Journal

Southern CulturesUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Jan 5, 2001

There are no references for this article.