Author: Sarah Funderburke

an editor at Liberty University Press
ENTRY

Tucker, George (1775–1861)

George Tucker was a lawyer, philosopher, economist, historian, novelist, politician, and teacher. Born in Bermuda and cousin to the famed jurist St. George Tucker, Tucker served in the House of Delegates (1815–1816) representing Pittsylvania County and won election to three terms in the United States House of Representatives (1819–1825) before, at the invitation of Thomas Jefferson, joining the faculty of the newly opened University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Tucker owned slaves but opposed slavery as a moral evil. During debate over the Missouri Compromise (1820), he argued that emancipation was impractical and that slavery would eventually die out. By the end of his life, his opposition to abolitionists had turned him into an apologist for the “peculiar institution.” He was the author of a novel of the U.S. South that dramatized the evils of slavery, The Valley of Shenandoah (1824); two science fiction novels, including A Voyage to the Moon (1827); a biography of Jefferson (1837); a four-volume history of the United States (1856–1857); and numerous essays on aesthetics, metaphysics, causality, morality, economics, slavery, and the nature of progress. Tucker was married three times, including to relatives of William Byrd II and George Washington. He died in 1861 from injuries he sustained after being hit by a falling cotton bale.

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