John B. Minor joined the faculty of the University of Virginia in 1845 at the age of thirty-two. An 1834 graduate of the university, Minor began his teaching career following a decade in private practice. Minor, along with James P. Holcombe, directed the law program at UVA amidst national debates over slavery and ultimately during the Civil War. Following the war, Minor and his colleagues presided over a post-war enrollment boom that saw over 100 students in the law program. Meanwhile, Minor took an active role in reforming Virginia's public education system and published major legal works that established his reputation as one of the South's leading legal minds.
The papers offered here for transcription are wide and varied. They include Minor's lecture notes, legal work, documentation on slaves, correspondence about secession in the Civil War, and post-war politics. They shed important light on Virginia in the Civil War era and illuminate the development of legal education during a period of national upheaval and resonstruction.