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George Fitzhugh, lawyer, planter, newspaperman, sociologist, was born in Virginia in 1806. He married in 1829, had nine children, and lived until the Civil War in his wife's home in Port Royal, Virginia. During this period he practiced law, was employed briefly in the Attorney General's office, wrote for various periodicals and newspapers, and published two books, Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society (1854) and Cannibals All! (1857). After a foray into abolitionist territory in 1856, including a debate in New Haven with Wendell Phillips, he returned to the South more convinced than ever of his position, and up to the War he remained hopeful of converting the North. Fitzhugh died in Texas in 1881.Review:
George Fitzhugh was possibly the best-known, and probably the best, apologist of the system of Negro slavery which prevailed in the South of the United States until the Civil War. In 1854 he published "Sociology for the South, or the Failure of Free Society," and in 1857 "Cannibals All!, or, Slaves Without Masters..".Fitzhugh was that rare thing, an American conservative; indeed his conservatism was so radical that, apart from his support for the American Revolution, he was almost an American Tory. Professor Woodward traces the influence of Carlyle and Disraeli, and the earlier tradition of Aristotle and Filmer...Yet Fitzhugh was really, as Professor Woodward says, "an American original," and "Cannibals All!" is a highly readable text in the John Harvard Library of documents of American cultural history. Fitzhugh was drastically, even deliberately, old-fashioned in his views, but at the same time remarkably modern in the way he came to them through sociology and psychology rather than philosophy, religion, economics or law.
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