A lifetime of fallacy, I thought there were no slaves in MY county

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peteanddelmar

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Location
Missouri
I thought we were a free county in sea of slave counties but I was way wrong. According to the 1860 census now in the National Archives there were 340 slaves in my county at that time.

What got me looking was local lore about a doctor who treated slaves on the down low, and even helped some escape. I am talking to his gg granddaughter at a local nursing home where my dad lives now. She has paperwork and news clippings. Its actually pretty exciting.

When I was a teenager I helped clean up a slave cemetery near this man's practice of slaves who he couldn't help enough and payed for their burial. It was part of an FFA project.

Philip
 

ErnieMac

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Seems like there is always something new to learn (or unlearn). How did you come to think there were no slaves in your county? Was that taught in school or common belief?
 

peteanddelmar

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Location
Missouri
Seems like there is always something new to learn (or unlearn). How did you come to think there were no slaves in your county? Was that taught in school or common belief?

Well my family was pro union and even more anti-slavery. But I NEVER heard that there were slaves in this particular county so far south and west. We were south of the Burnt District, officially. There just wasn't plantations here hardly. I only know of 2.
It does not support plantation agriculture very well.

This town's schools never said anything except that we were the Union center during the war and that's why our town was burned 3 times by guerillas. NO mention of pre war slavery.

That is the long way of saying IT was allowed to become common belief.

Philip
 
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Patrick H

Lt. Colonel
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Mar 7, 2014
Philip, you already know that lots of things out here in Missouri just don't seem logical when it comes to the CW years. Take heart. Slave holders were everywhere in Missouri, but I don't believe they were ever in the majority of residents--no where near that. Even up here in Little Dixie, I think people who could afford to own slaves were very much in the minority of the population. I can hardly believe I just wrote that. But, in terms of pure economics of the era, I think I wrote a reasonably accurate statement.
 

peteanddelmar

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Location
Missouri
Philip, you already know that lots of things out here in Missouri just don't seem logical when it comes to the CW years. Take heart. Slave holders were everywhere in Missouri, but I don't believe they were ever in the majority of residents--no where near that. Even up here in Little Dixie, I think people who could afford to own slaves were very much in the minority of the population. I can hardly believe I just wrote that. But, in terms of pure economics of the era, I think I wrote a reasonably accurate statement.

Well, I just dug up an old book about my town and county's history at Missouri Secretary of State Historical site.
It is scary, disappointing and horrific in both directions.
I am going to post it soon as I get the credits down.

Ya, we were all over the map. People who hated slavery were still so racist! We STILL have sundown towns all around the area. The one I now live in was NOT one thankfully. Full of German immigrant farmers at the time. Still very open minded, but Ive only seen 1 black resident ever live here in a town of 1000.
Ya, we had a 15 years civil war didn't we? Kansas gets the press but Missouri was bleeding the whole time too!

Philip
 
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peteanddelmar

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Location
Missouri
Philip, please explain what this means? I've never hear the reference. Thanks.
It used to be posted on the entrance to towns for blacks to be out of town before sundown or face the consequences, up to and including lynching. Sad. Still there but no signs.

I can take you straight to a corner store that sells KKK type stuff, but just brushes up against it...in the displayed items. You have to ask for the "worse" or insider stuff. This is current activity. I don't know how much or widespread, but I have some idea. This is all within an hour of me.

No wonder a black teenager I helped after a car wreck was so horrified and wanted taken back to town from a country road!

Philip
 

ErnieMac

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Unfortunately sundown towns were not limited to your area. A number of towns near my home in Pittsburgh had that reputation though they did not go so far as to openly post warnings. There were no lynchings, but a violater could be pretty badly roughed up. It's only been in the last few years some of those towns began to integrate.
 

peteanddelmar

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Nov 29, 2014
Location
Missouri
Unfortunately sundown towns were not limited to your area. A number of towns near my home in Pittsburgh had that reputation though they did not go so far as to openly post warnings. There were no lynchings, but a violater could be pretty badly roughed up. It's only been in the last few years some of those towns began to integrate.
Even Springfield MO lynched and chased out blacks in the early 1900's. Small towns near here don't integrate.
Philip
 
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KLSDAD

First Sergeant
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Jan 31, 2009
Location
Fremont, MI
I thought we were a free county in sea of slave counties but I was way wrong. According to the 1860 census now in the National Archives there were 340 slaves in my county at that time.
What percentage of the total population is that? It would also be interesting to know their ages.

I'm no expert but Missouri was the frontier at the time with alot of movement into it by Southerners who brought their slaves with them whether or not it was a prime "plantation" area.
 

Henry Whitworth

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Joined
Oct 21, 2013
Unfortunately sundown towns were not limited to your area. A number of towns near my home in Pittsburgh had that reputation though they did not go so far as to openly post warnings. There were no lynchings, but a violater could be pretty badly roughed up. It's only been in the last few years some of those towns began to integrate.
My hometown in Illinois is also on the list of sundown towns from before the Civil Rights era. I never once heard about this growing up even though we had our sesquicentennial when I was in school and we spent a year supposedly learning about our local history. We lived in a town of all white people just because.
 
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southern blue

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Virginia
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I had never heard of them until I was an adult despite living in the south. We had black people living in our small towns around here. I just assumed they were descendants of slaves who just stayed and the white community apparently had little problem with that. The further south you went in the state the African American population does seem to trickle down to almost nothing until you get to the Richmond area.
 

Allie

Captain
Joined
Dec 17, 2014
Nutbush, of "Nutbush City limits" fame, was a sundown town. It's just straight down the road a piece from my relatives' place at Orysa.

Black people lived there but were not allowed to shop except during certain hours.
 

DanF

Captain
Joined
Feb 29, 2012
Peteanddalmar,

I feel your pain, I bought the fable that slavery had been abolished. Now after 30 years of marriage I know better!

:cry:
 
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Allie

Captain
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Dec 17, 2014
I was surprised to learn that there were slaves in York County, Pennsylvania.
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March 30, 1811 York Recorder newspaper:
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They turn up on some of the census reports, too.
That second one has a term of service. What's up with that? It's usually seen in states such as Pennsylvania which were phasing out slavery through gradual emancipation.
 

ErnieMac

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Pennsylvania
That second one has a term of service. What's up with that? It's usually seen in states such as Pennsylvania which were phasing out slavery through gradual emancipation.
The Pennsylvania Emancipation Acts of 1780 provided that a child born of slave parents after the passage of the act (March 1, 1780) was to be considered an indentured servant until their 28th birthday at which time he or she would be free. The parents were to remain slaves for the remainder of their lives. The law also required slave owners to register the names of those who would remain in slavery in their respective counties by November 1, 1780. The penalty for failure to register them was the freedom of the slave. The slave owners realized taking a pregnant slave to another state for the birth of her child negated the emancipation provisions. The Pennsylvania legislature amended the law in 1788 so that any child born to a slave mother after March 1, 1780, had to be registered with the county by April 1, 1789. Children born of slave parents had to be registered within six months of their birth. Failure of the owner to comply meant immediate freedom for the slave child.

The 1811 notice you cite showing the slave woman with five years to serve would have been then 23 years of age with a birth date sometime in 1784. She was due to receive her freedom in 1816. A notice that a slave was duly registered meant the registration legalities had been met and the prospective buyer did not have to be concerned that his 'property' would be declared free under those parts of the laws. It would not be until 1847 that Pennsylvania enacted legislation emancipating the remaining slaves, the number of which had dwindled to 64 according to the 1840 census. When freed in 1847 the youngest remaining slave was 67 years of age.
 
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peteanddelmar

2nd Lieutenant
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Nov 29, 2014
Location
Missouri
What percentage of the total population is that? It would also be interesting to know their ages.

I'm no expert but Missouri was the frontier at the time with alot of movement into it by Southerners who brought their slaves with them whether or not it was a prime "plantation" area.
Sorry that wasn't available.
 
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