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Edmund Ruffin

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Scientist

The Resume

    (January 5, 1794-June 18, 1865)
    Born in Prince George County, Virginia
    Plantation owner, agronomist, and secessionist
    Edited 'The Farmer's Register'
    Experimented with crop rotation and the addition of lime and marl to restore soils exhausted from tobacco cultivation
    Served in the Virginia State Senate (1823-27)
    Participated in the firing on Fort Sumter, the first battle of the Civil War (April 12-13, 1861)

Why he might be annoying:

    He dropped out of college after one year.
    His advice on soil rejuvenation was largely ignored in his time, with the South suffering from widespread soil exhaustion after the Civil War.
    He advocated secession and armed conflict to preserve slavery.
    His attempt to witness the execution of abolitionist John Brown resulted in his being arrested as 'a suspicious person' and expelled from Charles Town.
    After learning that only military personnel would be allowed to watch the execution, he disguised himself and joined a group of cadets from the Viriginia Military Institute. (In his diary, he admitted he looked 'somewhat ridiculous' among the 'company of boyish soldiers.'
    After the South lost the Civil War, he wrapped himself in a Confederate flag and shot himself in the head to escape 'Yankee rule.'

Why he might not be annoying:

    He started out with moderate (for a Southern slaveholder) racial views, including intervening on behalf of a black man wrongly accused of involvement in the Nat Turner slave revolt.
    He outlived eight of his eleven children.
    He avoided capture by <3214>Grant's Army of the Potomac by hiding under a load of hay in a wagon heading west (1864).
    He is known as 'the father of soil science' in the US.

Credit: C. Fishel


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    For 2021, as of last week, Out of 5 Votes: 60.0% Annoying