Discussion Was Delaware considered a Southern state?

major bill

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When the Mason-Dixon Line was completed in 1767, Delaware was north of Mason-Dixon Line. by the Civil War the Mason-Dixon Line was informally known as the boundary between the free (Northern) states and the slave (southern) states. At the start of the Civil War Delaware was a slave state but it was north of the Mason-Dixon Line, so should we consider Delaware a Sothern or Northern state? Perhaps border state would be a better term.
 

Claude Bauer

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When the Mason-Dixon Line was completed in 1767, Delaware was north of Mason-Dixon Line. by the Civil War the Mason-Dixon Line was informally known as the boundary between the free (Northern) states and the slave (southern) states. At the start of the Civil War Delaware was a slave state but it was north of the Mason-Dixon Line, so should we consider Delaware a Sothern or Northern state? Perhaps border state would be a better term.

Hasn't Delaware always been considered one of 4 original Border States, along with Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri?
 

major bill

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Hasn't Delaware always been considered one of 4 original Border States, along with Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri?

Yes Delaware was considered a Border State, however most Border States were south of what was called the Mason-Dixon Line, while Delaware was north of the line. However, location is not the only consideration. I wonder if the citizens of Delaware considered themselves as "southern"?
 

jackt62

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The so-called "border" states (Missouri, Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware) were so named particularly because they recognized legal slavery yet remained loyal to the Union. Beyond that designation, the residents of those states may have tilted one way or another in their personal beliefs so that Missouri and Kentucky had segments of their populations that considered themselves part of the southland and advocated secession from the Union. But as far as I am aware, Delaware was not in that camp.
 

Old_Glory

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When the Mason-Dixon Line was completed in 1767, Delaware was north of Mason-Dixon Line. by the Civil War the Mason-Dixon Line was informally known as the boundary between the free (Northern) states and the slave (southern) states. At the start of the Civil War Delaware was a slave state but it was north of the Mason-Dixon Line, so should we consider Delaware a Sothern or Northern state? Perhaps border state would be a better term.

To me, it most certainly is and was a Southern state. Others opinions may differ. It is geographically beside Virginia and the culture was more closely related to the South.

While the War was the North vs the South, it was also Democrats vs Republicans which is a fact that many people overlook. Delaware was turning into a Democrat stronghold just before the War broke out. The Confederacy was almost exclusively Democrat while the Union North had a remnant of Democrats that were slowly losing power. It was hard for the Union North Democrats to make War against their fellow party members. I think the party struggle was one of the hardest parts for Delaware.

I became fascinated with Delaware prior to the Civil War years ago. It is an amazing part of the War. Senators Bayard and Saulsbury hated the Republicans and were miserable in the Senate chambers. Saulsbury was the Senator who drew a gun on the Senate floor during a debate. Senator Charles Sumner (R - Mass) measure to force Senators to take a loyalty oath led Baynard to eventually resign from the Senate. Baynard's replacement, George Riddle, was a former slaveholder. Party jumping Republican Governor William Cannon, elected with troops guarding the polls, did not make things any easier.

If there were ever a state that is difficult to label in the War, it was Delaware. They remained loyal, but it was politically complicated to say the least.
 

leftyhunter

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To me, it most certainly is and was a Southern state. Others opinions may differ. It is geographically beside Virginia and the culture was more closely related to the South.

While the War was the North vs the South, it was also Democrats vs Republicans which is a fact that many people overlook. Delaware was turning into a Democrat stronghold just before the War broke out. The Confederacy was almost exclusively Democrat while the Union North had a remnant of Democrats that were slowly losing power. It was hard for the Union North Democrats to make War against their fellow party members. I think the party struggle was one of the hardest parts for Delaware.

I became fascinated with Delaware prior to the Civil War years ago. It is an amazing part of the War. Senators Bayard and Saulsbury hated the Republicans and were miserable in the Senate chambers. Saulsbury was the Senator who drew a gun on the Senate floor during a debate. Senator Charles Sumner (R - Mass) measure to force Senators to take a loyalty oath led Baynard to eventually resign from the Senate. Baynard's replacement, George Riddle, was a former slaveholder. Party jumping Republican Governor William Cannon, elected with troops guarding the polls, did not make things any easier.

If there were ever a state that is difficult to label in the War, it was Delaware. They remained loyal, but it was politically complicated to say the least.
Many Democrats supported the Union including George McCelllan who spesificaly stated that if he won the presidency he would not recognize the Confedracy.
Leftyhunter
 
To me, it most certainly is and was a Southern state. Others opinions may differ. It is geographically beside Virginia and the culture was more closely related to the South.

How about Virginia being a Border State? She was a Border State according to one of Virginia's U.S. House members. (my bold) :

"We have heard southern statesmen dividing the South into 'cotton States' and 'border States.' Yea, even now, before we have made an effort at forming a southern confederacy, we observe this feeling manifesting itself. The Governor of South Carolina has recommended to his people that, under the new government of his State, she shall pass a law prohibiting the border States from bringing their slaves into South Carolina. But if we should succeed in forming a southern confederacy, would not questions soon arise to disturb our harmony? The tariff, protection, direct tax, the African slave trade, would, I believe, become elements of discord.

"But, sir, evils greater than these present themselves to us. We of the border States are very differently situated from our brethren of the 'cotton States.' We will be connected geographically with this hostile Republic, or Republics, for two thousand miles. We must suffer all the loss by escape of slave property, and bear the brunt and burden of all wars which must, in course of time, ensue. They would make common cause with us; but, from their geographical position and sparseness of white population, but few, comparatively, could leave their homes to fight in a distant country. Our States must be the battle-fields, and our border the scenes of blood and carnage. But, it may be said, there will be no war; that we can adjust all matters by treaty. If the North is so fanatical on the subject of slavery that we cannot live in a common Government with her, is it likely she would enter into a treaty by which fugitive slaves are to be returned? And if she did, would that treaty be any more respected than the fugitive slave bill is now?"
John Thomas Harris, of Virginia, before the House of Representatives, February 6, 1861
 

gsimon

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I've lived in Delaware most of my adult life. Delaware has three counties: New Castle, Kent, and Sussex. It's my understanding that residents of the southernmost counties of Kent and Sussex tended to favor the Confederacy, while residents of the northernmost county of New Castle tended to favor the Union. (BTW, the northern (arc-shaped) of Delaware is situated mostly north of the Mason-Dixon line (the arc comes from a radius centered on the town of New Castle on the Delaware River), while the southern counties of Kent and Sussex are situated south of the Mason-Dixon line. I'm sure the sentiments of the individual residents were more varied than the above, but I hope this gives some insight.
 

gsimon

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Also, the southern counties of Kent and Sussex were, and still are, largely rural. While the northern county of New Castle
was, and is, largely urban (e.g. the City of Wilmington had chemicals/gunpowder (DuPont Company), shipbuilding, leather tanneries, and other industries. The City of Wilmington is also about 15 minutes south of Philadelphia, PA by car, today.
The southern counties of Kent and Sussex were further south on the Delmarva peninsula, and Sussex was/is adjacent to
the Eastern Shore of Maryland and Virginia. Today, one can still detect a southern dialect in Kent and Sussex residents.
 

GwilymT

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Hasn't Delaware always been considered one of 4 original Border States, along with Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri?
Yes Delaware was considered a Border State, however most Border States were south of what was called the Mason-Dixon Line, while Delaware was north of the line. However, location is not the only consideration. I wonder if the citizens of Delaware considered themselves as "southern"?
Only a portion of Delaware is above the line as it was commonly understood. The main line is the border between PA and MD. Most of Delaware is south of the line as it came to be understood. While Delaware is technically East of the line, it really was never understood to be North of the line.
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kabrown

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I was born in Delaware (although I was raised in Alabama) and I now live in Maryland but teach in Delaware (including Delaware History). The input here has been excellent with lots of valid points being made.

Slavery was very weak in Delaware by 1860 with only 1,798 slaves in the entire state (less than 3% of the population). Only 2% of Delaware families owned slaves and they tended to be located in the southern part of the state.

Delaware was solidly pro-Union but generally anti-Republican during the war. Delaware voted for Breckenridge in the 1860 (45%) and McClellan in the 1864 election (52%) and local government was solidly controlled by the Democratic party in most areas.

The best sources within the State archives indicate that there were 11,236 white soldiers, 94 sailors and marines and a total of 954 black soldiers from the First State. A total of 12,284 Delawareans fought for the Union out of total state population (male and female) of slightly more than 110,000.

This number includes all branches of service: artillery, infantry, cavalry, as well as marines and sailors. Delaware contributed 9 regiments and 4 companies of infantry, 8 companies of cavalry, and 1 company and 1 battery of artillery to the Union army.

As a result of the Civil War, Delaware suffered nearly 1,000 in killed and hundreds more returned home wounded.
Per capita, Delaware provided more soldiers to the Union than any other state.

It is undetermined exactly how many Delawareans fought for the Confederacy. I have heard it claimed that as many as 2,000 Delawareans fought for the Confederacy, but I have never seen any evidence to back up such a claim.

It would appear that a more realistic number would be as few as 200 or so Delawareans fought for the Confederacy. As stated there were no “Delaware” units in the Confederate Army.

Geographically, Delaware would seem to be a "southern state" (i.e. part of the Delmarva peninsula) although is it also referred to as a "mid-Atlantic" state (along with Pennsylvania and New Jersey).
 

Joshism

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Yes Delaware was considered a Border State, however most Border States were south of what was called the Mason-Dixon Line

I thought the Mason-Dixon line was only the border between MD and PA; I didn't realize it also included the MD-DE line.

It's less of a border state than Maryland, Missouri, and Kentucky, who all sent organized units to both sides.

It would be more accurate to say units were organized from residents of those states, at least with MD and KY.

MO did have the State Guard units and a rump pro-Confederate government to organize units. MD never had a Confederate government. KY did not have a rump Confederate state government until the Kentucky Campaign of 1862, by which time most, if not all, Confederate KY regiments had already formed. (I'm not familiar with how the recruits during the campaign were organized.)

In contrast, most volunteer regiments on both sides were formally organized by their respective state governments, not merely forned from residents thereof. (Unionist regiments and USCT from Southern states being the other exceptions.)
 

Fairfield

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How about Virginia being a Border State?
When I was in college in Virginia, I was told that Virginia wasn't really considered to be "true South".

That being said, there is a tremendous emphasis on looking at ACW as a North-South conflict but it is also true that there were Unionists in the South and Copperheads in the North. Looking at it this way, I'd say that Delaware was a Union state.
 

major bill

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Would it be safe to say that if Maryland had seceded that Delaware have seceded as well?
 

Joshism

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When I was in college in Virginia, I was told that Virginia wasn't really considered to be "true South".

I thought only the DC suburbs had gotten the "Not The Real South" label.

When my mother graduated from Fairfax High School ca. 1970 they were called the Rebels and their mascot was a bearded Confederate in gray carrying a CBF.

If Virginia isn't the "true South" it's a recent change.
 

Fairfield

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I thought only the DC suburbs had gotten the "Not The Real South" label.

When my mother graduated from Fairfax High School ca. 1970 they were called the Rebels and their mascot was a bearded Confederate in gray carrying a CBF.

If Virginia isn't the "true South" it's a recent change.
I can only repeat what my classmates from the Carolinas and Georgia said. They didn't consider Virginia to be truly southern.
 
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