Title Page, Copyright

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pp. i-iv

Contents

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pp. v-vi

Illustrations

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pp. vii-viii

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Preface

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pp. ix-xviii

...The exploration in this book into the working lives of manumitted and freeborn African Americans may not revolutionize the field, but it is meant to fi ll an inexplicable gap in African American studies as well as the history of the early republic. It is a history of free African American laborers, their families, and communities, but it is also...

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Introduction

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pp. 1-20

...The waterways of the Delmarva Peninsula have shaped the economic and social development of the Eastern Shore of Maryland from settlement to the present. Beginning in the seventeenth century, English merchants who directed transatlantic trade easily accessed the Delmarva Peninsula and its settlers through the Elk, Sassafras, Chester, Miles, and Nanticoke...

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1. Work

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pp. 21-44

...Kennard may have intended to hire a slave-for-life or a term slave from a neighboring slaveholder. He may have also considered hiring a manumitted African American. Any Talbot County freedman who saw or heard of the advertisement knew what Kennard wanted from his new hire. The new hire...

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2. Migration

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pp. 45-60

...Eastern Shore planters shamelessly sold slaves for profi t, and then complained bitterly when free African Americans picked up and moved for their own economic gain. As early as 1797 some white residents of Talbot County urged the Maryland legislature to prohibit “manumitted slaves & their descendents to run about from county to county or to leave that in...

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3. Family

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pp. 61-81

...Slavery broke Elizabeth Jacobs’s family. She was born on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, but while still a child she was separated from her parents and siblings when a slaveholder took her to Chester, Pennsylvania. Her experience was commonplace for slaves in nineteenth-century Maryland. Slaveholders gifted, traded, bequeathed, bought, and sold slaves...

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4. Dependency

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pp. 82-99

...In the first quarter of the nineteenth century, the Maryland legislature introduced a host of new laws designed to fix the place of free African Americans in the existing social and racial hierarchies. It was a haphazard process that refl ected little forethought and stands in stark contrast to the gradual emancipation undertaken in Pennsylvania or the British...

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5. Community

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pp. 100-117

...In 1817 Robert Goodloe Harper, a former U.S. senator from Maryland, observed that “you can manumit a slave, but you cannot make him a white man.” He offered this judgment as explanation for his support of African colonization. He went on to explain that manumission in Maryland had revealed the true character of the free African American, and it was...

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6. Recession

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pp. 118-144

...In 1826 Isaac Maccary was one of the most economically privileged free African Americans on the Eastern Shore. In 1808, when he was fifty-two years old, he acquired from Mary Rakes a small farm of 26.5 acres. Over the next twenty-four years, he and his wife, Memory, made several improvements to their property. They replaced a dilapidated “Negro hut” with a...

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Conclusion

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pp. 145-160

...Long was an abolitionist and a native of the Lower Eastern Shore. In his narrative he claimed to have traveled throughout the state in the 1840s “in private to bear my testimony to masters against slavery, and in public to labor for the salvation of slaves.” He was satisfi ed with this mission until the 1850s, when anti-abolition sentiment grew to a fever pitch...

Notes

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pp. 161-184

Bibliography

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pp. 185-202

Index

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pp. 203-210