Slavery in union controlled territory

atlantis

Sergeant Major
Joined
Nov 12, 2016
As union forces advanced did slavery in the territory they controlled die out, was suppressed or go on as before. What became of the slave markets in union controlled southern cities.
 
As union forces advanced did slavery in the territory they controlled die out, was suppressed or go on as before. What became of the slave markets in union controlled southern cities.
Historian Allen C. Guezlo in his book "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation - The End of Slavery in America" noted on pages 214-215 that "[r]ebel prisoners at Fortress Monroe told the contraband superintendent that the Proclamation 'had played hell with them' since the first of January. In the Mississippi River valley, as many as 20,000 slaves took French leave of their masters after the Proclamation was issued, clogging contraband camps in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Natchez, and Union-occupied Vicksburg. William Seward estimated at the beginning of 1865 that the Proclamation had directly freed 200,000 slaves, and the final total may have reached as high as 400,000."13

"Even in the areas that were technically exempt, the Proclamation made 'the condition of things . . . unsettled, revolutionary, with nothing clearly defined, neither slave nor slaveholder having any rights which they felt bound mutually to respect.' Once the Proclamation was issued, the former slave H. C, Bruce noticed that 'slave property in the state of Missouri was almost a dead weight to the owner; he could not sell because there were no buyers.' Although Missouri was exempt from emancipation, the Proclamation still managed to destabilize slavery even where it remained legal. 'All the negroes in this country will run off,' predicted a Missouri secessionist at the end of October 1862. 'they go in droves every night.' In Unionist Tennessee, which was also exempt from the Proclamation, General William S. Smith complained in March 1863 that 'whole families...are stampeding and leaving their masters.'"

Guezlo continues on page 215:
"Major General Lovell Rousseau wrote to the adjutant general of the Department of the Cumberland in January 1864 that 'slavery is virtually dead in Tennessee, although the State is excepted from the emancipation proclamation. Negroes leave their homes and stroll over the country uncontrolled.' The commandant of the military district around Norfolk, Virginia, 'told the Negroes in the contraband camp' at Craney Island, 'before the issuing of the President's Proclamation, that they were free.' He was embarrassed to discover, after the Proclamation was published, that the Norfolk district had been exempted. But when the contrabands appealed to the army surgeon at Craney's Island 'to ask him if there was no hope for them,' he pointed across Hampton Roads toward Fortress Monroe and asked, 'What should you do if you knew that you could become free by going to yonder point.' Three hundred 'took the hint. . . and went to Fortress Monroe.'" 14
 

Rhea Cole

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During the Battle of Nashville where thousands of USCT were engaged in fighting, ads for the sale of slaves on the courthouse steps ran on the paper. Until slavery was banned by Constitutional Amendment, the Reverse Underground RR was kidnapping people in free states & transporting them south for sale. There was nothing permanent about the Emancipation Proclamation, its legal status post war was unknowable. Members of the peace movement in the North seriously proposed revoking the EP &. even returning USCT to their owners. The letter Lincoln wrote rejecting that proposition deeply impressed Frederick Douglas.

The excellent post by Copperhead-mi clearly demonstrates that a siesmic break in the hold that the institution of slavery had occurred. Oppression really does require the cooperation of the oppressed. The legal status of slaves outside the EP’s reach did not change. It was still legal to hold other human beings as property. The one man who could legally hold slaves in Illinois operated as usual until the ratification of the 13th Amendment. Maryland voted to end slavery in 1864, neatly settling the question.

The irony, as encapsulated in the theme of this thread, was that while slaves in Georgia were liberated, slaves across the river in liberated Tennessee were not, legally that is. My paternal fourth great grandmother here in TN was proud that 8 of her 14 slaves were still with her right up until the emancipation. It is telling that they were all women & young children. The men & older boys were all gone. I think that is the best answer to the question that I know of.
 
Joined
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Location
mo
Slavery continued,
Historian Allen C. Guezlo in his book "Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation - The End of Slavery in America" noted on pages 214-215 that "[r]ebel prisoners at Fortress Monroe told the contraband superintendent that the Proclamation 'had played hell with them' since the first of January. In the Mississippi River valley, as many as 20,000 slaves took French leave of their masters after the Proclamation was issued, clogging contraband camps in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Natchez, and Union-occupied Vicksburg. William Seward estimated at the beginning of 1865 that the Proclamation had directly freed 200,000 slaves, and the final total may have reached as high as 400,000."13

"Even in the areas that were technically exempt, the Proclamation made 'the condition of things . . . unsettled, revolutionary, with nothing clearly defined, neither slave nor slaveholder having any rights which they felt bound mutually to respect.' Once the Proclamation was issued, the former slave H. C, Bruce noticed that 'slave property in the state of Missouri was almost a dead weight to the owner; he could not sell because there were no buyers.' Although Missouri was exempt from emancipation, the Proclamation still managed to destabilize slavery even where it remained legal. 'All the negroes in this country will run off,' predicted a Missouri secessionist at the end of October 1862. 'they go in droves every night.' In Unionist Tennessee, which was also exempt from the Proclamation, General William S. Smith complained in March 1863 that 'whole families...are stampeding and leaving their masters.'"

Guezlo continues on page 215:
"Major General Lovell Rousseau wrote to the adjutant general of the Department of the Cumberland in January 1864 that 'slavery is virtually dead in Tennessee, although the State is excepted from the emancipation proclamation. Negroes leave their homes and stroll over the country uncontrolled.' The commandant of the military district around Norfolk, Virginia, 'told the Negroes in the contraband camp' at Craney Island, 'before the issuing of the President's Proclamation, that they were free.' He was embarrassed to discover, after the Proclamation was published, that the Norfolk district had been exempted. But when the contrabands appealed to the army surgeon at Craney's Island 'to ask him if there was no hope for them,' he pointed across Hampton Roads toward Fortress Monroe and asked, 'What should you do if you knew that you could become free by going to yonder point.' Three hundred 'took the hint. . . and went to Fortress Monroe.'" 14
However slave owners in Missouri could get passes to take slaves to southern markets to sell
 

19thGeorgia

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As union forces advanced did slavery in the territory they controlled die out, was suppressed or go on as before...
It kinda continued - just under different management...

"English admirers of Mr. Lincoln assured us that the war was waged for the abolition of negro slavery, while every captured negro was either enlisted as a soldier or consigned to forced labor under some Yankee squatter in Tennessee or Louisiana....Slaves are not liberated; they are simply carried off to die under cruel taskmasters or of still more cruel neglect." -London Morning Herald
 

DanSBHawk

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It kinda continued - just under different management...

"English admirers of Mr. Lincoln assured us that the war was waged for the abolition of negro slavery, while every captured negro was either enlisted as a soldier or consigned to forced labor under some Yankee squatter in Tennessee or Louisiana....Slaves are not liberated; they are simply carried off to die under cruel taskmasters or of still more cruel neglect." -London Morning Herald
Sounds like the London Morning Herald was a confederate-sympathizing paper. Probably preferred the pre-war status quo.
 

Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
The simple fact of the matter is that the entire logistical support necessary for the advance from Nashville to The Sea could not have happened without the enthusiastic participation of self-liberated people. In 1860, there were 72,000 slaves in the counties surrounding Nashville. Just as a raw number, that about equals the size of the Army of Tennessee. Simplistically, that is 72,000 man days of effort subtracted from the CSA & 72,000 added to the Union. Effectively, that is a net of 144,000 days effort gained day inn& day out. The net damage done to the CSA war effort & the force multiplier self-liberation was for the Union is incalculable.
 

Viper21

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The simple fact of the matter is that the entire logistical support necessary for the advance from Nashville to The Sea could not have happened without the enthusiastic participation of self-liberated people. In 1860, there were 72,000 slaves in the counties surrounding Nashville. Just as a raw number, that about equals the size of the Army of Tennessee. Simplistically, that is 72,000 man days of effort subtracted from the CSA & 72,000 added to the Union. Effectively, that is a net of 144,000 days effort gained day inn& day out. The net damage done to the CSA war effort & the force multiplier self-liberation was for the Union is incalculable.
Could you expand on your assertions here..? When exactly were Tennessee slaves freed ..?

Do you have any documentation that supports your claim of all 72,000 former slaves from around Nashville assisting the Union war effort..?
 

Rhea Cole

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Location
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Could you expand on your assertions here..? When exactly were Tennessee slaves freed ..?

Do you have any documentation that supports your claim of all 72,000 former slaves from around Nashville assisting the Union war effort..?
As I clearly stated, my example is deliberately simplistic. It is symbolic of what the contribution of the enslaved population meant to their own liberation.

Here is a concrete, literal example. My several great grandma who lived near Nashville had 13 slaves in 1860. Eight of them were women & children who were still on the farm when the 13th Amendment freed them. All of the men & older boys had left. While not legally free, they had self-liberated & were earning wages supporting the Union army. When you subtract five man days effort & add five man days effort you have a net loss/gain of ten man days of effort. Every cubic yard of dirt they moved or wagon they drove or meal they cooked freed up & supported a Union soldier in the firing line. I don’t know if any of them joined the 22,000 USCT from Tennessee, but it is possible.
So at a time when the Army of Tennessee was literally starving from lack of logistical support & hemorrhaging deserters, those five men were contributing directly to their defeat.
 

Viper21

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As I clearly stated, my example is deliberately simplistic. It is symbolic of what the contribution of the enslaved population meant to their own liberation.

Here is a concrete, literal example. My several great grandma who lived near Nashville had 13 slaves in 1860. Eight of them were women & children who were still on the farm when the 13th Amendment freed them. All of the men & older boys had left. While not legally free, they had self-liberated & were earning wages supporting the Union army. When you subtract five man days effort & add five man days effort you have a net loss/gain of ten man days of effort. Every cubic yard of dirt they moved or wagon they drove or meal they cooked freed up & supported a Union soldier in the firing line. I don’t know if any of them joined the 22,000 USCT from Tennessee, but it is possible.
So at a time when the Army of Tennessee was literally starving from lack of logistical support & hemorrhaging deserters, those five men were contributing directly to their defeat.
That's cool. I didn't read your post as clearly stating, you were offering symbolic conjecture, rather than speaking to historical facts. My bad.

Interesting that your G Grandmothers slaves weren't freed until the 13th Amendment. I was under the impression that slavery was officially abolished in Tennessee in Feb '65 when Johnson's ordinance (Oct '64) was approved by referendum.

https://www.nps.gov/anjo/learn/hist... 24, 1864, Johnson,in the state of Tennessee.
 

Rhea Cole

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That's cool. I didn't read your post as clearly stating, you were offering symbolic conjecture, rather than speaking to historical facts. My bad.

Interesting that your G Grandmothers slaves weren't freed until the 13th Amendment. I was under the impression that slavery was officially abolished in Tennessee in Feb '65 when Johnson's ordinance (Oct '64) was approved by referendum.

https://www.nps.gov/anjo/learn/hist... 24, 1864, Johnson,in the state of Tennessee.
What you say about Tennessee is literally true, but it was not until the 13th that the threat of enslavement was ended. The fate of the newly freed people on my gran’s place is unknown. However, near by was Wessington, which has to be the best documented slave population in Tennessee. My folks were yeoman farmers who, materially, did not live very differently from the families that worked the farm with them. Wessington was the cream of the elite plantations in the South. The extraordinarily stable population of both black & white members of the Wessington community allowed for a living memory to be preserved into the 21st Century. I highly recommend the book & Nashville Public TV program about the Wessington families.
 

19thGeorgia

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Could you expand on your assertions here..? When exactly were Tennessee slaves freed ..?

Do you have any documentation that supports your claim of all 72,000 former slaves from around Nashville assisting the Union war effort..?
That's a great exaggeration. Here's a sample of what actually happened around Nashville:

Information from the "Report of Thomas Hood and S. W. Bostwick" (December 28, 1864)
"Of colored refugees who have performed work for the government and their pay."

"The number of colored refugees employed [at Nashville] by Captain Morton, and who have died without receiving their pay, is estimated at from six to eight hundred. This would be twenty-five per cent of the entire number employed by him; surely a most extraordinary mortality, the predicate for which we could not ascertain."

"...a very large proportion of them never will or can be paid."


#Laborers....#Paid
..2768......…..310 Nashville (under Capt. Morton)
..1383......…..387 Nashville (under Lt. Burroughs)
...227............128 Clarksville
...110.......…....71 Murfreesboro
...395........….....2 Fort Donaldson
.4883...….…...898 [18%]

Pay due laborers under Capt. Morton- $85,858.50
Amount paid- $13,648.00

Pay due laborers under Lt. Burroughs- $44,479.31
Amount paid- $16,358.00
 

19thGeorgia

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That's a great exaggeration. Here's a sample of what actually happened around Nashville:

Information from the "Report of Thomas Hood and S. W. Bostwick" (December 28, 1864)
"Of colored refugees who have performed work for the government and their pay."

"The number of colored refugees employed [at Nashville] by Captain Morton, and who have died without receiving their pay, is estimated at from six to eight hundred. This would be twenty-five per cent of the entire number employed by him; surely a most extraordinary mortality, the predicate for which we could not ascertain."

"...a very large proportion of them never will or can be paid."
With the prospect of no pay and 25% mortality the slaves in that area probably wanted to get as far away from Nashville as they could.

Nothing in that war can equal the horror story of the treatment of the slave (or former slave) by the advancing Union armies.
 

DanSBHawk

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Wisconsin
Nothing in that war can equal the horror story of the treatment of the slave (or former slave) by the advancing Union armies.
Yet the slaves chose freedom, rather than staying with their former masters. Slavery apparently was a greater horror story.
 

Viper21

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Yet the slaves chose freedom, rather than staying with their former masters. Slavery apparently was a greater horror story.
Yet, some who had the choice, did in fact stay with their former masters, & their families. There are multiple folks on this very forum, who can attest to such.
 

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