The Cornerstone Gift: John Armfield and the University of the South

By Tanner Potts
Research Associate
The Sewanee Project on Slavery, Race, and Reconciliation

John Armfield (1797-1871), who made his fortune in  the 1820s and 1830s in the slave-trading firm of Franklin & Armfield, was a critically important operator in the founding of the University of the South in the late 1850s. However, much misinformation and exaggeration surround his involvement and contributions.

This slideshow feature, prepared by the Project’s researcher Tanner Potts C’15, outlines Armfield’s importance to the founding of the university and in light of his formative influence in shaping the slaveholding order of the antebellum southern region.

Please email us (slaveryproject@sewanee.edu) with comments or questions.

One Reply to “The Cornerstone Gift: John Armfield and the University of the South”

  1. Thank you for your scholarship. I am interested to know more about your work and especially any Quaker connections such as John Armfield. I have emailed separately about the USS conference in 2020 at Guilford College in Greensboro NC.

    Thank you again
    John Bell Chapel Hill NC

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