A peaceable abolition

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
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Aug 25, 2012
After the Revolution, the small number of slaves in the Northeast were freed. New York had more slaves than all the other Northern states combined had a very instructive experience with emancipation. About 3,000 self-liberating people left New York City with the British when they retreated to Canada. In 1785, the first attempt at emancipation became a bill that made all children born to slaves free. In one of those odd things that are so hard to explain, the potential freedom that .08 of the population was seen as a potential political threat.

In 1788 the slave trade was outlawed in New York. Special slave courts that had dealt out harsh punishments for even trivial offensives for 80 years was disbanded. The municipal ordinances that had perpetrated the custom of public flogging for slaves who were out after curfew needed.

In 1799 the Legislature passed "An Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery". In a complex set of rules, the act was intended to secure the return on investment for slaveholders. For example, male children were held in bondage until age 28. A flock of kidnappers & cheats taking slaves south for sale. One way to cheat the ban on slave sales was 99 year leases. Free blacks were not safe. Professional kidnapping gangs preyed on them, often with the help of corrupt authorities. The last legal vestige of slaveholding was not taken of the books until 1841.

Historian Edgar J. McManus has analyzed census data that charts a sharp drop in the growth rate of the black population after 1800.

"The conclusions inescapable, that the exodus was largely the work of kidnappers & illegal traders who dealt in human misery."
Edgar J. McManus, A History of Negro Slavery in New York p. 7.



Note
<slavenorth.com> is an excellent source for information on the voluntary emancipation after the Revolution. My personal conclusion is that the moral rot inevitable with slaveholding means that slaveholders are slaveholders; the geographic location is merely a footnote.

How New York's emancipation of .08 of its population is any kind of indication of how South Carolina, which was staring an 80% slave population, might have managed voluntary emancipation defies my imagination.

I am assuming that in 100 years, that is by 1960, the dynamics of a slave labor based economics would have changed. I am unable to accurately predict what slavery in South Carolina would be like in 1960, just that in a 100 years some changes would occur. So possibly by 1960 South Carolina, like other slave labor states, just might be willing to agree to some form of peaceable abolition. I would fully understand if other forum members do not believe that the slave labor states might still not be willing to agree to some form of peaceable abolition in 1960.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
After 1860 there is an enormous wealthy economy next to the southern states, in which slavery had ended and blacks were getting some civil rights, slowly. After 1852 the British were making rapid progress in ending the international slave trade.
Each Republican President, after 1860, as the parties went back and forth controlling the Presidency, would have further weakened slavery.
And the northern railroads would have gradually bought their way down into the cotton zone.
It would have been a slow process until the ratio of states approached 30:10 and then the system would have collapsed.
And the world cotton textile market was never going to match the 1850's growth rate.
 

Rhea Cole

2nd Lieutenant
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Nov 2, 2019
Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
I am assuming that in 100 years, that is by 1960, the dynamics of a slave labor based economics would have changed. I am unable to accurately predict what slavery in South Carolina would be like in 1960, just that in a 100 years some changes would occur. So possibly by 1960 South Carolina, like other slave labor states, just might be willing to agree to some form of peaceable abolition. I would fully understand if other forum members do not believe that the slave labor states might still not be willing to agree to some form of peaceable abolition in 1960.
I think that South Carolina slaveholder's fear of annihilation at the hands of the black population was not just paranoia. Subject some white flight & the population was going to be 80-90% slave in less than 20 years. An 1811 German Coast type uprising leading to a Santo Domingo like massacre of the white population was the most likely outcome another ten to fifteen years of slaveholding.
 

wausaubob

Lt. Colonel
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Apr 4, 2017
Location
Denver, CO
I think that South Carolina slaveholder's fear of annihilation at the hands of the black population was not just paranoia. Subject some white flight & the population was going to be 80-90% slave in less than 20 years. An 1811 German Coast type uprising leading to a Santo Domingo like massacre of the white population was the most likely outcome another ten to fifteen years of slaveholding.
White people who did not own slaves had an incentive to leave the south. Even plantation owners summered on Long Island or lived in Chicago.
In addition to the threat of revolt, disease conditions in the south were not good and until public health improved, that was a real problem.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Part of my view that slavery would die out in the 1960s revolves around the issue of if a slave territory become a free state or a slave state. So After Bloody Nevada, Bloody Wyoming, and Bloody Utah, there are few territories to fight over. I think we can assume that Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Arizona come in as slave states. The last territories in which slavery would be legal is Alaska and Hawaii. So after slavery supported and abolitionists kill a few of each other in Bloody Alaska and Bloody Hawaii, the struggle to decide if a new state will be a free state or a slave state is over in the early 1960s. Either there are enough free state to amended the Constitution to end slavery or there are enough slave state to stop slavery from ending. Either way, there is little to stop some way of peacefully ending slavery in the 1960s. I am assuming between 16 to 26 slave states in 1960, but some of the 26 slave states are looking for an avenue to end slavery in the 1960s.
 

Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
http://edu.lva.virginia.gov/online_classroom/shaping_the_constitution/doc/tredegarstrike Emphsis mine.

As the nineteenth century progressed, industry's reliance on enslaved labor grew, bringing white workers into conflict with slaveholders and the enslave workers who competed for jobs. By 1847, Anderson was also president of the Armory Iron Company and was making moves to use slave laborers for the skilled positions of puddlers, heaters, and rollers. White workers, many of whom were either northern-born or European immigrants, objected because Anderson sought to replace them with slaves in key labor positions. At Tredegar and the Armory mills white puddlers, heaters, and rollers went on strike and Anderson responded by terminating their employment.
Urban industrial slavery provided slave owners with a steady income and manufacturers with a decreased cost of production. Many slave owners retained control over the hiring negotiations with employers, but some allowed their slaves to negotiate their own terms of employment. Negotiating the terms of their employment allowed enslaved people to receive cash payment for overtime work and to secure lodgings away from their employer. These perks created a sense of independence and increased the realization of self-worth among the urban enslaved. The money earned by the enslaved supported the growth of a cohesive community that fought against the oppression of slavery. In 1841, the enslaved and free black members funded the establishment of the First African Baptist Church in Richmond. Enslaved people also used their money to purchase freedom for family and community members, facilitating escapes, assisting the sick and the elderly, burying the dead, and donating to charities for the destitute. Living away from employers and masters also provided the enslaved with a better opportunity to learn to read and write. Anderson was unusual in that he kept strict control over his industrial slaves, not allowing them to live off-site. The independence enjoyed by many urban enslaved people instilled fear among some white Richmond residents, who believed that the urban enslaved had too much liberty, which undermined the institution of slavery.
It appears to me substituting skilled whites with skilled slaves creates 2 problems resentful whites and empowered slaves.

I don't know about the long-term effect of this but in discussions in the RR forum, CSA wartime Railways lacked for skilled labor white or slave.

Needs some more investigation.
The big problem with Southern RR was that they were never put under the control of a single entity. Northern RR voluntarily cooperated with the U.S. Military RR. In the South, under the doctrine of state sovereignty, 138 (+/-) RR fought to keep their independence & maximize profits. That made it impossible to concentrate assists to where they were needed. A soldier in Chattanooga noted in a letter home that he saw a half dozen different New England RR boxcars in a single train. That kind of flexibility was impossible in the South. As a result, single lines that might only cover a hundred miles or so of track were allowed to wear out completely while lines they connected with had surplus equipment. In many cases, Southern RR lines did not physically connect. They entered town on opposite sides using different gages. All freight had to be transferred & reloaded. Needless to say, that was a mess. As they say, that was no way to run a railroad, but it was the Southern way to do it. Even during wartime, RR owners refused to connect with competing lines.
 

wbull1

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Jul 26, 2018
I wonder if the last chance for a peaceful abolition ended when Thomas Jefferson was not able to get agreement for any of his attempts to put a gradual end to slavery. I don't know who could have been more persuasive than a respected southern slaveholder before cotton and the cotton gin became a cash cow.
 

wbull1

First Sergeant
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Jul 26, 2018
It's just my opinion, but I think John C. Calhoun's idea that slavery was good for the enslaved contributed to a sort or us versus them cult-like mentality that would have made abolishing slavery seem like denying religious doctrine to pro-slavery people who felt threatened by anyone not firmly in step with them. I think the institution would have continued long past the point when simple economics favored a free labor system. A number of religious groups do not use technology for farming and succeed on a modest basis with horse and buggy.
 
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