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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: 03 July 2022

The Crime of Freedom

The Crime of Freedom

(p.217) Chapter Seven The Crime of Freedom
Men of Mobtown

Adam Malka

University of North Carolina Press

Slavery in Maryland died during the 1860s, but for all of their promise the changes also brought heartbreak. As Chapter 7 shows, black men’s acquisition of a fuller bundle of property rights and legal protections brought them into conflict with the very criminal justice system built to guard those rights and ensure those protections. White commentators scoffed at black men’s supposed indolence and bristled at their households’ apparent disorder; police officers arrested black Baltimoreans for an expanding list of crimes; and black people, black men in particular, were incarcerated at growing rates. During the years immediately following the Civil War, Baltimore’s policemen and prisons perpetrated a form of racial violence that was different from yet indicative of the violence inflicted by the old order’s vigilantes. Castigated as criminals, freedmen’s legal victories provoked a form of policing reserved for the truly free.

Keywords:   Property rights, Legal protections, Criminal justice system, Indolence, Household disorder, Black men, Policemen, Prisons, Racial violence, Policing

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