John C. Underwood was one of the
most conspicuous antislavery
activists in Virginia during the 1850s, one of the first members of the Republican Party
in Virginia, a federal judge from 1863 to 1873, and the president of the Constitutional Convention
of 1867–1868. Born in New York, Underwood practiced law before moving to
Virginia. There his condemnations of slavery were such that his wife, a cousin of the future Confederate general
Thomas J. Jacks. . .
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