In early-nineteenth-century America, and especially in the Old
South, the use of oratory appealed to legal professionals--judges
as well as advocates. Consistent with the humanism proclaimed in
classical and neoclassical works, appellate judges perceived their
civic duties to demand oratorical skill as well as legal expertise.
In "A Peculiar Humanism," William E. Wiethoff assesses the judicial
use of oratory in reviewing slave cases and the struggle to fashion
a humanist jurisprudence on slavery despite the customary
restraints placed on judicial advocacy.
Drawing attention to a neglected intersection of law and
letters, Wiethoff analyzes the proslavery discourse embedded in
antebellum judicial opinions by examining the public addresses,
judicial narratives, and private papers of sixty-nine appellate
judges. By contrasting the judges' proslavery appeals in a variety
of cases in the upper and deep South, Wiethoff shows how context
shaped the judges' perceptions, priorities, and arguments. An
outstanding contribution to the literature on law and slavery, "A
Peculiar Humanism" testifies to the character of the legal
profession in the Old South and serves as an index of the beliefs
and attitudes that coexisted with legal decision making.
Is the information for this product incomplete, wrong or inappropriate?
Let us know about it.
Does this product have an incorrect or missing image?
Send us a new image.
Is this product missing categories?
Add more categories.
Review This Product
No reviews yet - be the first to create one!