1832 (Arguing for Justice) Thomas Roderick Dew

Thomas Roderick Dew (College of William and Mary)

Life & Family
Thomas Roderick Dew did not have any children. He married Natilia Hay in 1845, but died the following year in Paris, France.

Sources
After Nat Turner’s revolt in 1832, Dew published Review of the Debate in the Virginia Legislature, 1831-1832. In 1853 it was republished in The Pro-Slavery Argument, as maintained by the most distinguished Writers of the Southern States. In addition, Dew’s lectures at the College of William and Mary were published as Digest of the Laws, Customs, Manners, and Institutions of the Ancient and Modern Nations (1853). Dew also wrote several other books, including Lectures on the Restrictive System (1829).  His correspondence is in the Dew Family Papers at the Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

Peter Wallenstein’s essay in The Historical Encyclopedia of World Slavery (1997) provides an overview of Dew’s perspective on slavery. Other secondary sources include Eugene D. Genovese’s Western Civilization through Slaveholding Eyes: The Social and Historical Thought of Thomas Roderick Dew (1986), Lowell Harrison’s “Thomas Roderick Dew: Philosopher of the Old South,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 57 (1949): 390-404, and Stephen Mansfield’s “Thomas Roderick Dew at William and Mary: ‘A Main Prop of That Venerable Institution,’ ” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography 75 (1967): 429-442.

Places to Visit
Dew taught classes at the College of William and Mary, which you can visit in Williamsburg, Virginia.

Images
A picture of Dew’s portrait (see image above) is avaliable in the “Office of the President. Thomas Roderick Dew, 1830-1967” at the College of William and Mary. While Dew was originally buried in France, he was reburied at the College of William and Mary in April 1939. An image of this event is available in the Memorial Services Records at the College of William and Mary.

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