Making Their Case
Religion, Pedagogy, and the Slavery Question at Antebellum Emory College
On a spring evening in March 1858 at Emory College in Oxford, Georgia, twenty-two-year-old George Wren listened intently to his professor lecture the class on the morality of slavery. “In the first place slavery is right per se,” Professor William Sasnett told the class. “It is right … to the slaves themselves; and it is right for the good it does the white race.” He added: “Many slaves that have been brought here heathens have been sent back Christians and in this way much good [has] been done by the single act of bringing away one slave.” Sasnett repeatedly returned to his argument that slavery was not simply a necessary evil, as defenders of the peculiar institution had long argued, but rather an inherently righteous practice that benefited both masters and slaves. “People are in necessity of this government,” he said. “The government of negroes must be strong, from their inferiority and their natural instinct differing from the white race. They need superior minds to govern them, which we may learn from the state of those who live to themselves and are shut out from the authority of the white race.”1
Sasnett’s notion that slaves were in need of a “superior mind” to rule and govern them was not uncommon by 1858. White southerners and many northerners alike had long perceived blacks as inferior beings, allowing pro-slavery thinkers to advance an argument that blacks were in need of the protection and guidance enslavement afforded. In an analogous vein, well-known proslavery author George Fitzhugh wrote, “The weak in mind or body require guidance, support, and protection; they must obey and work for those who protect and guide them—they have a natural right to … masters.”2 Fitzhugh, like Sasnett, believed strongly that “nature” made slaves and that law and government existed to “regulate, modify, and mitigate” the peculiar institution.3
Southern educators not only accepted but actively embraced a responsibility to the economically and politically powerful slaveholding class to educate the young men of the South about slavery’s value and benevolence. The antebellum southern college, including Emory College, went beyond indoctrinating its students with a worldview compatible with slavery. It sought to influence all of southern society through religion, pedagogy, and print culture. William Sasnett’s lecture to his students exemplifies the prevailing proslavery arguments of the late antebellum period, as well as the way in which southern educators incorporated proslavery arguments into their teachings. His lecture also sheds light on Emory’s student culture and how the college’s students were being prepared to become defenders of the South’s most vital institution. Emory College did more than shape the lives of the few thousand students and professors who lived and studied in Oxford before the Civil War. Its faculty developed, elaborated, and propagated numerous arguments to explain and justify the peculiar institution, placing the college at the forefront of the proslavery defense.
This chapter investigates Emory’s intellectual investment in the peculiar institution in three brief parts: first, by looking at the 1844 schism of the Methodist Church; next, by surveying moral philosophy and political economy classes and textbooks at Emory; and lastly, by discussing student culture as examined through wealth, social status, and participation in college debating societies.
Emory College was born in 1836 in the midst of the movement to open more church colleges to train the future clergy of the Methodist Church and the future leaders of southern society.4 Less than a decade later, the college was already embroiled in a significant controversy over the slavery question. In early May 1844 a group of Methodist preachers traveled from Oxford to New York to attend the general conference of the Methodist Church. Among this group were Bishop James Osgood Andrew, the first president of Emory’s board of trustees, and Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, president of Emory College. Almost immediately after the conference began, northern delegates called for an investigation of Andrew’s ownership of slaves and his proslavery stance. While Andrew was willing to resign from his leadership post at the conference, Longstreet and other members of the Georgia delegation pressed him to stay. After efforts to reconcile their competing positions over whether a bishop could own slaves, the southerners, realizing they were in the minority, began to look for ways to secede from the church. Thus began the “Methodist Civil War” and the schism that split the church between North and South over the slavery question.
Born in Augusta, Georgia, in 1790, Augustus Longstreet was an esteemed jurist and minister in the Methodist Church prior to assuming the presidency at Emory. Shortly after the 1845 schism of the Methodist Church, he published a powerful proslavery pamphlet, Letters on the Epistle of Paul to Philemon, in which he set out to demonstrate the scriptural legitimacy of slavery. Longstreet based the pamphlet on the New Testament story of Philemon, particularly on a passage invoked by both proslavery and antislavery activists to demonstrate the Bible’s stance on slavery—a passage that “invited fits of temper” between northerners and southerners.5 In the story, an imprisoned Paul wrote to Philemon, a slaveholder, on behalf of Philemon’s slave, Onesimus, who had apparently run away. What is clear from the letter is that Paul urged reconciliation between Philemon and Onesimus. Whether the passage endorses or condemns slavery is as unclear today as it was during the time Longstreet was writing.6 Longstreet, however, interpreted the passage as a staunch endorsement of slavery in the Greco-Roman world, noting that the letter established that “there is no sin in holding slaves” and that “slaveholding is no disqualification for the ministry.” “If Paul and his colleagues thus esteemed Philemon,” Longstreet concluded, “how can you and your colleagues reconcile it to your consciences to treat Bishop Andrew as you have treated him and as you are still treating him?”7 Though directed at northern Methodists, the pamphlet was widely republished throughout the South.8
Two years later, Longstreet published his most influential defense of slavery, A Voice from the South. The pamphlet contained a series of letters ostensibly authored by “Georgia” addressed to “Massachusetts,” the state Longstreet considered the “mother of Abolitionism.” Two related themes emerge from this work. First, Longstreet attempted to portray the transatlantic slave trade as an abominable and barbarous system propagated by northerners. Second, his explanation of how southerners “coped with” slavery—the manner in which he believed they managed their slaves—is, at its core, an argument rooted in the paternalist rhetoric of the Old South.
One of Longstreet’s primary aims was to demonstrate to his readers that northerners were far from innocent with respect to the transatlantic slave trade. Longstreet was certainly not the first to embrace this argument. Indeed, Thomas Jefferson, in an early draft of the Declaration of Independence, attempted to lay the blame for the slave trade squarely on England, characterizing the slave trade as a “cruel war against human nature itself, violating it’s [sic] most sacred rights of life and liberty in the persons of a distant people who never offended [the king].”9
Because slaves were “fasten[ed]” upon Georgia, in Longstreet’s words, southerners were left with little choice but to impose Christianity and moral values on them. Thus emerges a very recognizable brand of slaveholder paternalism. “That my children, in purchasing slaves from yours,” Longstreet wrote, “delivered them from the most cruel bondage that man ever groaned under, is most true—that there was pity and compassion on the side of the purchasers, and none on the side of the vendors is equally true; but for these things I give them no credit, because selfishness and not humanity urged them to traffic.” In making this argument, Longstreet emphasized how the South’s paternalism brought order and morality to the institution the South had inherited instead of created.10
During the eight years Longstreet served as president of Emory College (1840–48), he authored several other important pamphlets on the scriptural legitimacy of slavery. He also gave numerous sermons and lectures on the subject. While his works certainly influenced the Emory community, his voice carried far beyond the boundaries of Oxford. Longstreet’s words continued to fan the flames of the fire over proslavery and secessionist arguments during his tenure at Emory College, ultimately contributing to the growing sectional divide of the nation.11
At the time of Emory’s founding, both northern and southern educators were contemplating whether a curriculum based on the classics should be supplemented or replaced with a practical one. Supporters of practical education advocated replacing classical texts with modern ones and adding courses in science and mathematics. Many elite schools North and South resisted this change, however, because they “maintained primarily an elite clientele and a focus on classical literary attainments.”12 Reform at some elite southern schools did happen, albeit gradually.13 Basil Manly, the eminent president of the University of Alabama, sought to supplement the classics with practical courses in the mechanical arts, mathematics, and science. “It is a fact that you may make the best mathematicians, and scientific scholars, generally, out of those who have learned the classics best,” Manly wrote in defense of the modernized curriculum at Alabama.14
Emory College primarily offered a classical education throughout the antebellum period, with little variation in its course offerings from 1838 to 1861. In 1838, with just five faculty members and twenty students, the school boasted courses in ancient languages and literature and in moral and mental philosophy. The college did, however, offer courses in mathematics and the natural sciences, including chemistry, mineralogy, and geology.15 By 1845 Emory’s course offerings had expanded to include Greek Tragedies, Greek Testament, Xenophon’s Memorabilia, Homer or Herodotus, and Virgil’s Georgics. The college required both “composition” (writing essays) and “declamation” (oral recitation in front of a group) in all courses.16 During their senior year of study, students were also required “to deliver original orations in the College Chapel, several times during the year, in addition to the usual exercises at commencement.”17
The curriculum at Emory in multiple ways reinforced ideas about the essential rectitude of slavery. More than any other subjects at Emory College, moral philosophy and political economy were the primary forums in which students and professors explored prevailing proslavery theories. These courses, as part of the larger academic and theological discipline of moral science, were crucial in the intellectual development of the young southern gentleman.
The need for a strong moral foundation built on Christian theology was clear to educators. “Young Southerners, in particular the young men slated to steer southern slave society through times of mortal danger,” Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese tell us, “had to be steeped in moral philosophy.”18 Southern educators increasingly sought to align their proslavery lectures with the prevailing defenses of the peculiar institution in a move that created continuity and broader appeal throughout southern intellectual circles. Indeed, the move to imbed the topic of slavery within moral philosophy courses in effect created an early social science course of study for students while further legitimizing proslavery theories.19
The character of any moral philosophy course depended on the professor’s choice of textbook. Several moral philosophy texts dominated higher education in the nineteenth century. Anglican theologian William Paley authored one of the most notable works of the period, Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, first published in 1785. The text was popular at many southern colleges, including Emory, where professors assigned it beginning in 1847, if not earlier.20 Paley’s text could hardly be considered a proslavery text at the time, however, as it condemned slavery in numerous places. Commenting on the fact that many proslavery advocates believed slavery was not prohibited in the Bible, Paley noted, “It is unjust to infer from this silence, that Christ deemed all the then existing institutions right, or that he forbade the worse to be bettered.” He also called for gradual emancipation, noting that it would be the only way to truly “correct the wickedness and folly” of the institution of slavery.21
The available moral philosophy texts posed a unique problem for southern educators: they contained not only agreeable ideas to southerners but also elements that were difficult for southerners to digest. Both northern and southern colleges often assigned Brown University president Francis Wayland’s The Elements of Moral Science (1835) for moral philosophy courses.22 While many of slavery’s apologists agreed with Wayland’s beliefs on legitimate authority in society, they disagreed with his views on slavery.23 Wayland’s text carried inklings of antislavery sentiment. In his 1835 edition, Wayland wrote in a section titled “The Violation of Personal Liberty by the Individual” that domestic slavery is “the most common form of this violation.” “Slavery … violates the personal liberty of man as a physical, intellectual, and moral being.”24 Way-land ultimately became embroiled in a public controversy over the issue of slavery when his correspondence with Richard Fuller, a proslavery apologist, was published in 1845. Despite the controversy, Wayland largely held, as one historian has argued, a “centrist position” on the slavery question.25 Wayland was antislavery but did not support the abolitionist movement. He believed from a pragmatic standpoint that the extremism of the abolitionist movement only further agitated the slavery debate and could have dire consequences for the Union. “Slavery in this country will yet cease, for it is wrong,” Wayland wrote to a correspondent in 1837. “But it will never be made to cease by the present efforts… . They may destroy the union, plunge this country into a civil war, break us up into a half dozen different confederacies, but abolish slavery as they are now attempting to do it—they never will. You may note my words, they never will.”26 Basil Manly, who used Wayland’s political economy text in his own class, reflected on Wayland’s stance on slavery in 1845: “The truth is that his heart is right, his head is wrong.”27
Though it is unclear whether Wayland’s Moral Science was assigned to Emory students, his 1837 text The Elements of Political Economy was assigned by 1853, if not earlier, and it remained mandatory reading even after the Civil War. While Wayland grounded Political Economy in the classical tradition, he insisted on a connection between economics and Christian natural theology. In Political Economy, Wayland argued that the slave trade “caused the impoverishment of another nation.” The result, he wrote, “has been the almost ultimate depopulation of the slave coast.” Wayland also commented extensively on capitalism and the nature of free labor. “The accumulation of capital is more for the advantage of the laborer than of the capitalist,” he wrote. “The greater the ratio of capital to labor, the greater will be the share of the product that falls to the laborer.” Wayland concluded that the laboring classes, more so than the wealthy classes, were more interested in increasing the capital of the country.28
On the eve of the Civil War, southern academics began to adopt texts that explicitly endorsed slavery, displacing Paley’s and Wayland’s moral philosophy texts. In moral philosophy courses, Emory switched to Methodist preacher and educator R. H. Rivers’s Elements of Moral Philosophy (1859). Rivers’s book was divided into two sections: theoretical ethics, where the author criticized and argued against Francis Wayland’s definition of moral law; and practical ethics, complete with an entire chapter devoted to the defense of slavery.
Rivers’s book and its subsequent revisions were written to appease a southern audience. The southern Methodist Quarterly Review praised the text as possessing a “rare excellence,” noting, “So far as we know it, it is the only textbook of Moral Philosophy which takes the Southern side of this question.”29 Introducing the subject of slavery, Rivers wrote, “Most of the philosophical writings of American authors are exhibitions of fanaticism rather than of sound logic or scriptural truth when they discuss the subject of slavery.” Rivers divided his discussion on slavery into sections on everything from the “delicacy of the subject” to an argument that slavery was “a blessing to the slave.” Above all else, Rivers argued, “slavery is not a sin … [because] it has done more to Christianize the African race than all else combined.”30
Rivers satisfied the demands of southern intellectuals who desired a textbook that embraced their point of view. His argument that slavery “is not a sin” because it Christianized the African race was commonplace by the time of the book’s publication. Seeking to answer abolitionist charges that slavery was immoral and un-Christian, proslavery writers stressed the positive connections between slavery and morality, arguments contributing to the widespread appeal of paternalism as the answer to the antislavery movement. Exemplary of this principle is Thornton Stringfellow’s argument in the pro-slavery pamphlet Cotton Is King (1860). Stringfellow emphasized that God ordained slavery and that Christian masters had an obligation to convert and baptize their slaves. “Masters give unto your servants that which is just and equal, knowing that you also have a master in heaven,” he wrote.31 The striking similarities between Rivers’s college textbook and the writings of proslavery thinkers such as Stringfellow are not surprising, as Rivers was most likely influenced by many of their works when drafting his own book.
The skirmish over textbooks in antebellum southern colleges was one front in a war for ideological control over students. The choices professors made in choosing particular texts are crucial to understanding the proslavery atmosphere at Emory College. Texts, however, were often supplemented with additional lecture material from the professor.
On the eve of the Civil War, Professor William Sasnett held the ideological reins of proslavery instruction in many classes at Emory College. A lecture Sasnett delivered in 1858, later remembered by student George Wren, was typical. Invoking prevailing paternalist ideas of slavery as a boon to the enslaved, Sasnett argued that slaves, though not paid in money, were, in fact, “better paid than any other class of laborer.” When ill, “they have some one to wait on them and administer their wants, while the poor class of people of the black and white have to labor much harder and with but little pay not even enough generally for sustenance.”32
Sasnett’s teachings complemented his book, Progress: Considered with Particular Reference to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, published in 1855. The book served as a commentary on the functions of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in society and included suggestions for how it “ought to be developed.” Proslavery ideology occupied an important position in the book. Sasnett considered slavery “both abstractly and concretely … defensible on the ground of both philosophy and Scripture.”33 The author subscribed to a highly paternalistic view of slavery, arguing that masters must take care of their slaves just as parents do their children, in language and ideology that were very similar to his classroom lectures.
Both Sasnett and Rivers advanced similar arguments about slaveholder paternalism, the positive good of the institution, and slaveholders’ responsibilities to Christianize and care for their slaves. The arguments also responded to antislavery propagandists by attacking free labor and factory owners in the North.
Many southerners argued that slavery was a better and more humane alternative to the North’s free-labor marketplace. Factory owners did not “care” for their workers, did not protect them from the vicissitudes of nineteenth-century life, did not “save” them with Christianity, and did not provide them with job security. Slave masters, many in the South argued, did all of this.34 The similarities between arguments for slavery in moral philosophy courses and the proslavery writings of leading southern intellectuals only further highlight the extraordinary power of slaveholder paternalism and the hegemonic attitudes of the master class. Additionally, they help highlight why secession would become so accepted by many southerners in 1860.
Throughout its antebellum years, Emory was a church college, attracting primarily the children of ministers and occasionally the children of area planters. The students at Emory College did not exclusively come from the wealthy families of antebellum Georgia. In addition to tuition being less expensive—$135 at Emory compared to as much as $171 at Franklin College (later the University of Georgia) in 1838—church colleges generally attracted students who were more likely to be the sons of ministers than the sons of planters. South Carolina College, among the most prestigious colleges in the antebellum South, attracted almost exclusively the sons of prominent planters and politicians. Some students at Emory did, however, come from prominent slaveholding families. Lewis Graves, a graduate of the class of 1845 and the son of wealthy Newton County planter and entrepreneur Iverson L. Graves, came from a household that in 1840 had thirty-two slaves, twelve of whom were under the age of ten.
A college education elevated the standing of a southern male significantly. Students came to Emory with aspirations for future prosperity. With only a minority of students becoming ministers following their graduation, many Emory students went on to careers in law, education, politics, business, or farming. Students would often move up to positions within southern society in which they could afford to purchase slaves. William W. Flewellen, a graduate of the class of 1845, for instance, had already acquired a forty-three-year-old female slave less than five years after graduating.35 John W. Hudson, class of 1846, who moved to Putnam County, Georgia, after graduating, had thirty-seven slaves in 1860.36 Robert W. Lovett, of the class of 1843, owned eight slaves by 1850.37 Gustavus John Orr, a graduate of the class of 1844, returned to Emory to become a professor of mathematics. In 1850 he had at least four slaves residing at his home in Oxford. His personal records indicate he owned at least nine slaves in 1860 on the eve of the Civil War.38
College literary societies were a primary forum for students to complement their classroom studies and debate the virtues of the peculiar institution with their peers. Literary societies were a mainstay of almost all antebellum colleges, and the societies were perhaps one of the few outlets for students to entertain themselves outside of their rigorous academic and devout religious lives. Emory student Joseph Addison Turner later remembered his time in the Phi Gamma literary society as productive and essential. “I gained my reputation for talent more by the speeches I made in the Phi Gamma Society than by any proficiency in my text-books,” he noted.39 Students were intensely loyal to their respective societies. The societies organized debates, usually held on Saturdays, on a variety of topics. They also hosted famous speakers and served as the intellectual and social epicenter of the college.40 As the debate societies were perhaps the most important aspect of extracurricular life for many college students, the topics of debates reveal issues students felt were important and relevant outside of their classroom education.
Two literary societies existed at Emory throughout most of the antebellum period: the Phi Gamma Society and the Few Society. Both societies were interested in debating issues related to slavery, as well as other topics under discussion in the surrounding culture. Topics connected either to slavery or to states’ rights were debated a total of 43 times between the two societies out of a total of 832 recorded debates in the antebellum period, or about 5 percent of the debates, according to the records available.41 Other popular topics included women’s suffrage, temperance, constitutional questions, and other current political topics.
Of the debates recorded in the societies’ record books, twenty-four debates were directly on the subject of slavery, while nineteen were on the subject of states’ rights. Within those debates on slavery, ten centered on the morality of slavery, and eight focused on whether the slave trade should be reopened or abolished. Topics on slavery varied, from the scriptural legitimacy of the peculiar institution to the morality of owning slaves. The question of whether slavery should be abolished appeared often as well—and at an increasing frequency on the eve of the Civil War. Questions debated included “Is it right for us to bring Africans over to America to become Slaves?” and “Is Slavery justified by natural rights and the principles of human equality?” Students debated whether slavery should be abolished in October 1859 and asked whether the Union should be dissolved in 1860. The societies asked whether the slave trade was “right” and whether slavery “as it exists in the South” was a “moral evil.”42
Antebellum students debated similar topics at other colleges as well. In 1850 in the Dialectic Society at the University of North Carolina, students argued the question, “Should slavery as it now exists in our country be justly considered a reproach?” In 1855 students debated the question, “Is southern slavery justifiable?” Topics of secession and states’ rights were also common: in 1859 UNC students debated “Would disunion be profitable to the South?”43 Slavery appeared as a topic in an increasingly frequent fashion at both institutions as the war neared. Indeed, as one historian has noted, debates on slavery “waxed and waned at intervals, but became a subject of intense interest in 1860 and 1861.”44 Students recognized the important political and social questions of the day and sought to include them in this extracurricular outpost.
George Wren, the student who transcribed William Sasnett’s 1858 lecture on slavery, graduated from Emory College in 1859, ripe to join the ranks of the Confederacy. Wren joined Company G, Eighth Louisiana Infantry Regiment, just two months after war broke out. He survived the conflict and was released from Union capture after taking the oath of allegiance in June 1865. Following the war, he went on to become a teacher in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
Wren is truly a member of a group that historian Peter Carmichael has called the “last generation”: southern men who came of age in college on the eve of the war.45 Wren and his peers cultivated their identities as students, Methodists, and, ultimately, as Confederate soldiers during their time at Emory College. Emory’s students were not simply a passive audience of the pro-slavery rhetoric that surrounded them in their years at the college. As future leaders, clergymen, planters, and soldiers they actively thought and wrote on the virtues of slaveholding and southern society.
What emerges from looking at Emory and its relationship to proslavery thought in this period is a microcosm for the larger political and social realities in southern society. Indeed, the college was an important center not only for the creation of proslavery thought but also for its dissemination. At a time when slavery was increasingly coming under intellectual attack, many of the students and faculty at Emory were deeply committed to preserving it. Faculty members authored proslavery treatises and lectured their students on the inherent good in slavery, nurturing a vision of southern slavery as a benign, paternalistic institution. Many students left Emory with a desire to become members of the slaveholding class, and many realized that desire. These stories reveal that the world of antebellum Emory was inextricably linked to the institution of slavery. Emory’s story is that of many colleges, northern and southern, revealing rich and important connections between the institution of slavery and the university.
1. Sasnett’s lecture was recounted nearly word for word in a student’s diary. See George Lovick Pierce Wren Diary, March 1858, MSS 249, Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Emory University.
2. Here, Fitzhugh’s argument adds an additional dimension to Sasnett’s by inverting the prevailing rights language of the time in arguing that slaves have a right to a master.
3. George Fitzhugh, Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society (Richmond, Va.: A. Morris, 1854), 178.
4. On the growing number of southern evangelicals and the slavery question, see Christine L. Heyrman, Southern Cross: The Beginnings of the Bible Belt (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1997), 3–27. On the growing number of church colleges, see Donald George Tewksbury, “The Founding of American Colleges and Universities Before the Civil War, with Particular Reference to the Religious Influences Bearing Upon the College Movement” (PhD diss., Columbia University, 1932); Ralph Eugene Reed, “Fortresses of Faith: Design and Experience at Southern Evangelical Colleges, 1830–1900” (PhD diss., Emory University, 1991).
5. Elizabeth Fox-Genovese and Eugene Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class: History and Faith in the Southern Slaveholders’ Worldview (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2005), 518.
6. The Genoveses have highlighted the ambiguity of Philemon with respect to the slavery question, referencing both sides of the argument. See ibid., 519n24.
7. Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, Letters on the Epistle of Paul to Philemon (Charleston, S.C.: B. Benkins, 1845), 177, 179.
8. On Emory College’s involvement in the 1844 split of the Methodist Church, see Mark Auslander, The Accidental Slaveowner: Revisiting a Myth of Race and Finding an American Family (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 2011), 129–32, 71–77. On the significance of Longstreet’s 1845 pamphlet, see Christopher H. Owen, The Sacred Flame of Love: Methodism and Society in Nineteenth Century Georgia (Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1998), 63.
9. Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, Vol. 1, 1760–1776 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1950), 243–47.
10. Augustus Baldwin Longstreet, A Voice from the South: Comprising Letters from Georgia to Massachusetts, and to the Southern States (Baltimore, Md.: Western Continent Press, 1847), 6, 10, 5.
11. Lewis M. Purifoy, “The Southern Methodist Church and the Proslavery Argument,” Journal of Southern History 32, no. 3 (August 1966): 326.
12. Jennifer Green, Military Education and the Emerging Middle Class in the Old South (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008), 135.
13. On the debate over classical versus practical education, see Green, Military Education, 130–50; Caroline Winterer, The Culture of Classicism: Ancient Greece and Rome in American Intellectual Life, 1780–1910 (Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2002), 77–98. See also Wayne K. Durrill, “The Power of Ancient Words: Classical Teaching and Social Change at South Carolina College, 1804–1860,” Journal of Southern History 65, no. 3 (August 1999): 469–98.
14. As quoted in A. James Fuller, Chaplain to the Confederacy: Basil Manly and Baptist Life in the Old South (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2000), 163.
15. “Catalogue of the Officers & Students, in Emory College, GA, and the Report of the Board of Trustees to the Georgia Conference,” Oxford, Ga., 1839, Emory University Archives (hereafter EU-A).
16. “A Catalogue of the Officers and Students of Emory College, 1845, Oxford, Newton Co., GA.,” EU-A.
17. Catalogue of the Officers, Students & Alumni of Emory College, Oxford, Georgia (Macon, Ga.: Printed by Benjamin F. Griffin, 1853), EU-A.
18. Fox-Genovese and Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class, 566.
19. See Drew Gilpin Faust, “The Proslavery Argument in History,” in Southern Stories: Slaveholders in Peace and War, ed. Drew Gilpin Faust (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1992), 80.
20. Emory College records prior to 1847 do not indicate which text was used in a particular class.
21. William Paley, Paley’s Moral and Political Philosophy (as Condensed by A. J. Valpy) (Philadelphia: U. Hunt & Son, 1845), 111.
22. Joseph L. Blau, introduction to The Elements of Moral Science, by Francis Wayland, ed. Joseph L. Blau (1835; Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1963), xliii–xlix.
23. Fox-Genovese and Genovese, The Mind of the Master Class, 570.
24. Francis Wayland, The Elements of Moral Science (New York: Cooke and Co., 1835), 103, 225.
25. Matthew S. Hill, “God and Slavery in America: Francis Wayland and the Evangelical Conscience” (PhD diss., Georgia State University, 2008), 1, 18.
26. Francis Wayland to James Hoby, December 25, 1837, as quoted in Brown University, Slavery and Justice: Report of the Brown University Steering Committee on Slavery and Justice, accessed September 15, 2012, http://brown.edu/Research/Slavery_Justice/documents/SlaveryAndJustice.pdf.
27. Basil Manly to Basil Manly Jr., March 15, 1845, as quoted in Fuller, Chaplain to the Confederacy, 216.
28. Francis Wayland, The Elements of Political Economy (New York: Leavitt, Lord & Company, 1837), 186, 131.
29. Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Quarterly Review of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (Published by John Early for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, 1860), 186. Interestingly, this review was written in Oxford, Georgia, most likely by an author affiliated with Emory College. Unfortunately, the publication does not indicate the reviewer’s name.
30. R. H. Rivers and Thomas O. Summers, Elements of Moral Philosophy (Nashville, Tenn.: Southern Methodist Publishing House, 1860), xv, 329, 348, 355.
31. Thornton Stringfellow, “The Bible Argument: Or, Slavery in the Light of Divine Revelation,” in Cotton Is King, and Pro-slavery Arguments: Comprising the Writings of Hammond, Harper, Christy, Stringfellow, Hodge, Bledsoe, and Cartwright, on This Important Subject, by E. N. Elliott (Augusta, Ga.: Pritchard, Abbott & Loomis, 1860), 461–521.
32. Wren Diary, entry for March 1858.
33. William Jacob Sasnett, Progress: Considered with Particular Reference to the Methodist Episcopal Church, South (Nashville, Tenn.: E. Stevenson & F. A. Owen, 1855), 11, 211.
34. See Faust, “The Proslavery Argument,” 81. “The proslavery argument asserted its opposition to the growing materialism of the age and offered the model of evangelical stewardship as the best representation of its labor system” (81).
35. 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, District 8, Georgia (Muscogee County).
36. 1860 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, District 311, Georgia (Putnam County).
37. 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, District 74, Georgia (Screven County).
38. 1850 U.S. Census, Slave Schedules, Subdivision 65, Georgia (Newton County); Auslander, The Accidental Slaveowner, 59–60. Following the war, Orr signed a contract with his former slaves, agreeing to provide them with some basic necessities. A copy of the contract appears in Auslander, The Accidental Slaveowner, 59–60. In a recent article, Royal Dumas estimated that the student body of the University of Alabama in 1845 came from families that owned at least 3,343 slaves (as recorded in the 1840 census). See Royal C. Dumas, “My Son and My Money Go to the University of Alabama? The Students at the University of Alabama in 1845 and the Families That Sent Them,” Alabama Civil Rights & Civil Liberties Law Review 1 (2011): 77.
39. Diary entry for January 10, 1850, in “Notes on Autobiography,” by Joseph A. Turner, EU-A.
40. On literary societies generally, see Thomas Spencer Harding, College Literary Societies: Their Contribution to Higher Education in the United States, 1815–1876 (New York: Pageant Press International, 1971). On literary societies at Emory College, see Mark Swails, “Literary Societies as Institutions of Honor at Evangelical Colleges in Georgia” (MA thesis, Emory University, Atlanta, Ga., 2007). A good study on literary societies at the University of North Carolina is Timothy J. Williams, “Intellectual Manhood: Becoming Men of the Republic at a Southern University, 1795–1861” (PhD diss., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, 2010).
41. See the appendix in Swails, “Literary Societies.”
42. For debate topics, see ibid.
43. Erica Lindermann, “The Debating Societies,” in True and Candid Compositions: The Lives and Writings of Antebellum Students at the University of North Carolina, online exhibition, Documenting the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, http://docsouth.unc.edu/true/chapter/chp05-02/chp05-02.html (accessed March 18, 2011).
44. Harding, College Literary Societies, 156.
45. Peter S. Carmichael, The Last Generation: Young Virginians in Peace, War, and Reunion (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2005), 6.