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A Place Called Appomattox$
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William Marvel

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781469628394

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628394.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

The Trial

The Trial

Chapter:
(p.265) 10 The Trial
Source:
A Place Called Appomattox
Author(s):

William Marvel

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469628394.003.0010

Lee's surrender precipitates the abrupt collapse of Confederate resistance, and within a couple of months the last Confederates have surrendered. Union troops occupy Appomattox County, ostensibly to enforce federal law but also to keep order. Federal soldiers spend much time trying to control the former slaves who have attained sudden freedom, encouraging the men to remain with their families and engage in plantation labor contracts; they also punished cohabitation between the races. The Virginia legislature tried to re-impose a version of involuntary servitude through vagrancy laws that required a “visible means of support” (i.e. a labor contract) and by discouraging competition for wages with a requirement to accept standard rates of pay. Mortality records suggest that the health and living condition of the former slaves fared worse in the early days of emancipation than under slavery.

Keywords:   vagrancy laws, miscegenation, wage fixing, plantation labor contracts

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