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View Diary: Robert Carter III—American History’s Forgotten Liberator (20 comments)

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  •  That his life was threatened perhaps shows how (4+ / 0-)

    others were discouraged from practicing emancipation as had been somewhat expected of that generation. The militia culture of suppression of revolts apparently won out over the founders' anticipation of a gradual transition to free labor. Southern abolitionist societies, at one time far more plentiful than in the North, were persecuted after the cotton gin took over. Poor Southern whites weren't necessarily defenders of slavery or the Confederacy, like in West Virginia or East Tennessee. 300,000 Southern Whites fought for the Union in addition to attacking the Confederacy through guerilla war inside the South. 200,000 freedmen fought for the North. Without the Southern troops and the internal civil war within the Confederacy, the Union likely would have lost the war. It did eventually lose in a series of military defeats suffered by Grant in 1874-5 and a Congress unwilling to fight the terrorist militias. Recent moral marches in North Carolina suggest the potential of popular resistance to the police states of the South.

    •  Thanks, Musial, yes, I'm sure that abolitionist (5+ / 0-)

      sentiments were discouraged in the South. In fact, Levy even states at one point in the book that by 1815 resistance to emancipating the slaves was much more entrenched than in 1790.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 11:01:56 AM PST

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      •  I recall that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Diana in NoVa, RiveroftheWest

        Virginia passed a law in that interim period requiring free blacks to leave the state within a year if they couldn't prove they'd been free before the end of 1806. Virginia seemed to wish to avoid, at all costs, having a large free black population. I can imagine there was pressure not to emancipate.

        “Republicans...think American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people... And they admire of Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it.” Harry S. Truman

        by fenway49 on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 01:07:20 PM PST

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        •  Good comment, fenway (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          Thanks for reading.

          "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

          by Diana in NoVa on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:24:59 PM PST

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        •  In the Special Collections of the Library of VA (3+ / 0-)
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          Diana in NoVa, Musial, RiveroftheWest

          there are folders of "freed papers" that free blacks had to carry on their persons at all time.  The papers listed name, age, birth place of the bearer, as well as a description and distinguishing birthmarks or scars on hands, arms and face, and was signed by an officer of the court from the county the free person was born in, or the man who freed the person from slavery.  

          There are also letters of inquiry and petitions filed on behalf of free men and women whose papers had been confiscated by individuals.  Without the physical possession of those papers, the individuals were subject to arrest and, after a short interval and cursory inquiry, resale by County government.  The county govts. in Virginia would profit from the capture and sale of free black men and women, so it's not a big surprise that the inquiries were routinely cursory at best.

          "I speak the truth, not as much as I would, but as much as I dare, and I dare a little the more, as I grow older." --Montaigne

          by DrLori on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 02:55:50 PM PST

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          •  Lost the comment I wrote in reply to your comment, (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            DrLori, RiveroftheWest

            DrLori. Briefly, what you've said is very much like what happened to the man in "Twelve Years A Slave." If memory serves, he lived in the North but was captured, brought South, and enslaved. What awful times those were!

            Thanks for reading and commenting!

            "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

            by Diana in NoVa on Tue Feb 11, 2014 at 03:32:42 PM PST

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