Michael Powell, "Underwood, John Curtiss," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/11/11-00866.html.
Underwood attracted attention in both the North and South during his lifetime. Northern editors, politicians, and abolitionists applauded his attempts to reform the South. At the same time, he was viewed by southerners with contempt for his position on slavery and for the opinions he issued from the bench. While Underwood, who lived his last years in Alexandria, Virginia, but died in Washington, D.C., has been labeled as a Radical Republican carpetbagger, more recent historiography portrays him as an advocate of equality and freedom of expression. His concrete antebellum attempts to employ free labor in the South set him apart from many abolitionists; his efforts after the Civil War reflect his continued interest in the freedom and equality of all Americans.