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Emancipation's DiasporaRace and Reconstruction in the Upper Midwest$
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Leslie A. Schwalm

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780807832912

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807894125_schwalm

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“Overrun with Free Negroes” The Politics of Wartime Emancipation and Migration in the Upper Midwest

“Overrun with Free Negroes” The Politics of Wartime Emancipation and Migration in the Upper Midwest

Chapter:
(p.81) 3 “Overrun with Free Negroes” The Politics of Wartime Emancipation and Migration in the Upper Midwest
Source:
Emancipation's Diaspora
Author(s):

Leslie A. Schwalm

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/9780807894125_schwalm.7

This chapter discusses how a regional as well as a national public politics of race emerged from white Midwesterners' response to the consequences of emancipation. Many Midwesterners viewed emancipating and aiding former slaves who intended to stay in the South as a humanitarian issue. But when former slaves made their way north, emancipation became an increasingly critical and vigorously debated matter of public policy. Revealing a deep-seated belief in the benefits and necessity of a racially stratified society, many whites assumed that any black gains in the region would diminish their own status and citizenship.

Keywords:   politics of race, slaves, white Midwesterners

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