Talk:George Wythe

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Question about will[edit]

"Wythe provided for his slaves in his will, and his other heir...": this can't be quite right, surely? Does it mean "only heir"? Or "one of his heirs"? VivaEmilyDavies 00:29, 10 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Wythe didn't have any surviving children (his daughter died in infancy). In the will made several months before his death, Wythe made one relative (the George Wythe Sweeney who murdered him) his principal heir, and also made provisions for the already-freed Lydia Broadnax, and for the education of Michael Brown by Thomas Jefferson, who was to receive Wythe's renowned library (perhaps as partial payment). Wythe revised his will after Brown died, making other decendants of his sister his heirs. Jweaver28 (talk) 01:39, 8 November 2012 (UTC) revised Jweaver28 (talk) 01:05, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

Pronunciation[edit]

I reside in Wythe County, Virginia. Locals pronounce Wythe just like "with". However I have heard on several occasions that the name Wythe was originally pronounced with a long-I sound, like "wīth". It would be useful to note the proper pronunciation in the article when it can be determined. I will check locally to try to verify which is correct. For some reason names are pronounced oddly around here. There is a nearby town named Fries, which is pronounced "freeze". --Dan East 06:00, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

The George Wythe College's website says that his name is properly pronounced "with".

I don't believe the article gives sufficient attention to the degree that George Wythe served as a companion and intellectual model to Thomas Jefferson, almost as a second father. I will try to lightly revise the article to reflect this.

Andrew Szanton, 7/06

I have never heard Wythe's name pronounced any way other than "with". Wythe County, Virginia is pronounced that way, also. I'd suggest that there is a 19th-century and later tendency to pronounce words that way based on spelling, even when there was no original distinction; for example, the name "Smythe", which is just an alternate spelling of "Smith". Rklear (talk) 08:53, 2 March 2009 (UTC)

Having lived in Philadelphia, I want to pronounce his name like those of the famous painter Wyeths of the Delaware valley. But those are of course different names. All the Virginians I've met who are familiar with Wythe (especially denizens of Williamsburg and Richmond) pronounce it "with" so I presume that's the correct pronunciation. Other pronounciations in the county named for him may well be derived from that area's German and Scots-Irish settlers.Jweaver28 (talk) 01:40, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

The other name whose pronunciation differs from the now-US normal is that of his wife's family, apparently pronounced 'Tolliver' in Virginia. I had a schoolmate with that name (clearly not related to the Virginia family), who pronounced it the Italian way.Jweaver28 (talk) 01:09, 7 December 2012 (UTC)

George Wythe's pupils[edit]

Although Wythe did teach both Thomas Jefferson and Henry Clay, he did not do so while he was the Chair of Law at William & Mary. He taught Jefferson and Clay prior to that (Neither Jefferson nor Clay is an alum of the William & Mary Law School). It was Wythe's meaningful instruction to Jefferson that inspired Thomas Jefferson to appoint Wythe as the first professor of law in the United States when Jefferson was Governor of Virginia.

John Marshall did attend butt head Law School under Wythe's instruction. Monroe left William & Mary to fight in the Revolution, but returned to study law in 1880, although I don't know if he studied at the W&M Law School or if he studied directly under Jefferson.

At the William & Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law, Wythe's name is indeed pronounced "with." 68.13.202.140 23:37, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

New and old references[edit]

I Am Murdered by Bruce Chadwick reviewed in Crime and Justice in Colonial America in the Boston Globe at http://www.boston.com/ae/books/articles/2009/02/23/crime_and_justice_in_colonial_america/ rumjal 20:17, 3 March 2009 (UTC). —Preceding unsigned comment added by Rumjal (talkcontribs)

Wythe's jurisprudence extended far beyond Hudgins v Wright, and if someone has time, perhaps a reference could be added to Wythe's being overruled numerous times by Edmund Pendleton. I'm not near a library now, but in addition to the death scandal books, I have seen a couple of biographies in several Virginia public libraries which don't figure here. One is called "American Aristides."Jweaver28 (talk) 01:52, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

I have done some research on Questia. Questia does not have "American Aristides." I found none of the sources that have Pendleton and Wythe together in a search remarked on this point. Wythe is referred to in hundreds of other books and articles. It seemed too big a project to go through them all. I suppose someone will need to find "American Aristides" or perhaps another full biography of Wythe or perhaps a specialized book on early Virginia law if there is one in order to find a reference. Sorry, I gave it a try. I'll try to keep it in mind if I come across it later since I sometimes work on colonial and early American articles. Donner60 (talk) 22:51, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the fairly short books appear confined to the noncirculating Virginia rooms of libraries or the Library of Congress (LOC.gov). I'm starting to read them and correct the references, starting with the shortest (published by Virginia's Bicentennial Commission). Imogene E Brown's American Aristides: A Biography of George Wythe was published by New Jersey's Fairleigh Dickinson University, one of the Associated University Presses in 1981. The other somewhat common books that go beyond the death scandal are Joyce Blackburn's George Wythe of Williamsburg: America's Forgotten Founding Father by Harper and Row in 1975. Frankly, Alonzo Dill's published by the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Virginia's Bicentennial Commission in 1976 is better than the more recent booklet by Loker, probably in print at the site, which I haven't visited in years. While Wythe's anti-slavery stance is important, even the Cover book barely touches on it, so I'm leaving most of that to a subsection, not the main bio header. Jweaver28 (talk) 22:58, 30 November 2012 (UTC) revised 01:16, 7 December 2012 (UTC)Jweaver28 (talk) 23:53, 20 December 2012 (UTC)

The Chadwick references (and those to Morgan and Finkleman) may be messy, since I have time constraints and started from pages that referred to a written article by Chadwick and a video on history.com, I believe both created while Chadwick was promoting his book circa 2009-2010. I tried to reference pages from the book itself, but it's not really chronological (giving a lot of background on Richmond's boom town era). Plus, I haven't had a chance to check his references (or locate the Morgan and Finkleman articles), and was a little surprised to find Chadwick missed both the Chesterville/traitor and Hudgins connection in Kirtland's thesis and book. But Kirtland, a priest who I believe became the dean of the University of Toledo law school, died in 2008. His PhD thesis from 1983 (based in part on research the ABA funded in 1969), is actually easier to locate via the ProQuest database than the book published (in double-spaced pages) by Garland (now a subsidiary of a larger publisher) in 1986. While I'd prefer to cite the more polished work, I haven't had the time to compare them (the latter's only available in the Library of Congress' law reading room, not accessible to the public outside 9-5 (M-Sat) and with a difficult parking situation. I'm not sure when I'll have the time to read the few other bios, by Clarkin (reserve only at lva and loc) and Julian Boyd (in rare book room only), and would prefer to cite them rather than scandal chapters in various books.Jweaver28 (talk) 23:46, 20 December 2012 (UTC)Jweaver28 (talk) 00:47, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

Also, BTW, the Pendleton/Wythe comparison is apparently discussed at length in the 2 volume Pulitzer Prize winning (1953) biography by David J. Mays, again basically available in noncirculating reference rooms.Jweaver28 (talk) 00:06, 21 December 2012 (UTC)

The academic.udayton.edu/legaled/Race/Cases weblink now calls the second party Wrights, which agrees with both Kirtland at pp 166-167 and Brown at pp. 266-267, but the online print from the Swem library's St. George Tucker papers shows appellant as Jackey Wright. Neither Kirtland nor Brown gives the slave's first name. Usual practice has the losing party as the first name on an appeal, and both agreed that Wythe declared the slave free. Both Brown and Kirtland agree the original Wythe opinion being appealed vanished, and I cannot identify the handwriting of the surviving papers online. The weblink's excerpt only gives a slave's first name as Hannah, but it appears one issue below was the grandmother's identity. I confirmed last month at both the Library of Virginia (which maintains the state court system's archives) and the Virginia Supreme Court library that the fire which burned Richmond as the confederates left destroyed the chancery court files. However, in the 1950s files related to other controversial cases were recovered from a state office building basement by David J. Mays, enabling him to write Pendleton's biography. Brown cites the 1903 reprint of Henning and Munford's reports at pp. 71-74; the webpage does not give an edition date. I probably cannot get access to the rare book room at the law library of congress in the near future to check if any changes occurred, since that republication might relate to the original clerk's son, who became Confederate General Thomas T. Munford. Jweaver28 (talk) 16:15, 26 December 2012 (UTC)

The references to the 1954 UVa microfilm are to that available at the Library of Congress, which may have the original volumes as well in its rare law book collection, but such is not available on Saturdays unlike the microfilm. I do not know if I will be able to see the original volumes within the next month or months, given my other responsibilities. According to Mays, Pendleton's friends assured him that only 20 copies of the single-volume work had been sold. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jweaver28 (talkcontribs) 21:24, 29 December 2012 (UTC)

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