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Old November 27th, 2011, 05:48 PM   #1

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Free African Americans, 1776-1863


I'm trying to find figures for the population of free African-Americans in the years between the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation, any help would be most appreciated.

Also, are there any detailed sources on life in general for free black people living in the pre-Civil War States, North or South?
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Old November 27th, 2011, 05:57 PM   #2

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I'm finding about half a million free blacks up to the ACWar, of course
that number goes up a few decimals when once slaves ran off and
became 'free'.

Quote:
In some Northern states, after emancipation, blacks were legally allowed to vote, marry whites, file lawsuits, or sit on juries. In most, they were not. But even where the right was extended by law, often the white majority did not allow it to happen. In Massachusetts in 1795, despite the absence of any law prohibiting on black voting, Judge James Winthrop and Thomas Pemberton wrote “that Negroes could neither elect nor be elected to office in that state.....In colonial times, Northern freemen, like slaves, were required to carry passes when traveling in some places, and they were forbidden to own property in others. Although taxed in New England, they could not vote there in early colonial times, though they could in the plantation colonies. Free blacks were required to work on roads a certain number of days a year in Massachusetts, at the discretion of the local selectmen. They could only use ferries under certain conditions in New England. In South Kingstown, Rhode Island, they could not own horses or sheep. In Boston, they could not carry a cane unless they were unable to walk without one.
http://www.slavenorth.com/exclusion.htm

Looks like a decent site to dig.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 06:00 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salah View Post
I'm trying to find figures for the population of free African-Americans in the years between the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation, any help would be most appreciated.

Also, are there any detailed sources on life in general for free black people living in the pre-Civil War States, North or South?

First of all, the term African-American has no intrinsic ethnic nor cultural value. Second, you do realize that no black Americans were freed by The Emancipation Proclamation don't you?
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Old November 27th, 2011, 06:01 PM   #4

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tjadams View Post
I'm finding about half a million free blacks up to the ACWar, of course
that number goes up a few decimals when once slaves ran off and
became 'free'.
Appreciated, TJ.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wenge View Post
First of all, the term African-American has no intrinsic ethnic or cultural value
To you, obviously.
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Old November 27th, 2011, 06:04 PM   #5

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Salah, try this link: http://www.archives.gov/research/african-americans/
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Old November 27th, 2011, 07:49 PM   #6

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wenge View Post
First of all, the term African-American has no intrinsic ethnic nor cultural value. Second, you do realize that no black Americans were freed by The Emancipation Proclamation don't you?
Um what? Could you explain this one further Wenge?
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Old November 28th, 2011, 04:21 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Salah View Post
I'm trying to find figures for the population of free African-Americans in the years between the Declaration of Independence and the Emancipation Proclamation, any help would be most appreciated.

Also, are there any detailed sources on life in general for free black people living in the pre-Civil War States, North or South?
A number of books have been written on the life of free blacks:
Genealogy: Free African Americans - (pre 1865), by Aaron L. Day
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Old November 28th, 2011, 04:26 AM   #8

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Originally Posted by Punos_Rey View Post
Um what? Could you explain this one further Wenge?
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. The blacks remained in slavery until the end of the war.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 04:28 AM   #9

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Originally Posted by Salah View Post
Appreciated, TJ.



To you, obviously.
You said the term American has no ethnic or cultural value so how can any other moniker that includes the term American.
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Old November 28th, 2011, 05:07 AM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wenge View Post
The Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863. The blacks remained in slavery until the end of the war.
To clarify on what Wenge said.....

The EP was a military (and political) decision made by the Lincoln administration. It freed all the slaves in areas occupied by the US military in the south. It took the post-war amendments to free blacks in the US proper.
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