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Men of MobtownPolicing Baltimore in the Age of Slavery and Emancipation$
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Adam Malka

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781469636290

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469636290.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 05 July 2022

The Rights of Men

The Rights of Men

(p.189) Chapter Six The Rights of Men
Men of Mobtown

Adam Malka

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter moves the argument into the post-emancipation period. In particular, it chronicles the story of the legal code’s deracialization during the years following the state’s 1864 emancipation decree. Many different groups, friends and foes of the freedmen alike, defined freedom as self-sufficiency and self-reliance, and it would be these liberal ideals that shaped the legal terms of emancipation. As federal agents worked to enforce black men’s wage contracts and ratify their marriage contracts, as formerly enslaved black men eagerly asserted their rights to possess both, and as an interracial coalition of activists confronted stubborn employers and an apprentice system still indebted to slavery, a fully realized property rights regime emerged. Through real work – through hard work – slavery died during the 1860s, and a seemingly color-blind legal order predicated upon male rights to wages and household autonomy arose in its place. In liberal terms, emancipation looked like a success.

Keywords:   Emancipation, Color-blind, Freedmen, Wage contracts, Marriage, Household autonomy, Apprentice system, Male rights, Workplace, Property rights

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