Crime rates in the Southern U.S. during Reconstruction and Jim Crow


Ad Honoris
May 2014
Does anyone know what crime rates in the Southern U.S. during Reconstruction and Jim Crow were?

For instance, here is a map of U.S. homicide rates in 2015:

List of U.S. states by homicide rate - Wikipedia,000_People_by_State_(2015).svg

I want to know if these patterns looked similar during Reconstruction and Jim Crow or if something significantly changed between then and now. It would also be interesting to see the effect of the Great Migration and mass immigration on crime rates in various parts of the U.S.


Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
There was a relatively high rate of property crimes after the Civil War, due to freed slaves and the Civil War impoverishing most whites. Crime was dealt with harshly with the convict lease system and later chain gangs.

I believe the south had a relatively high murder rate throughout the 19th century. There were many murders by slave owners and former slave owners in response to perceived insults and so on that were usually prosecuted as manslaughter. My understanding is that this violent culture extended to all classes and races.

The culture and crime rate may also have been effected by the fact that many of the white immigrants to the south were convicts sentenced to work on plantations.

I believe that there was a fairly high crime rate in northern cities before blacks migrated to them.

I don't have any statistics to back any of this up. However, areas like New England and Great Plains have lot crime and murder rates in recent times. I think post Civil War southern crime rates were much higher than in those areas.
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