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Measure of Economic Independence in the Mountain South: Freedmen and Freedwomen in East Tennessee’s Towns, 1865-1870

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Abstract:

African Americans have been absent from Appalachian historiography. Appalachia, a region geographically and climatically unsuited for the production of cash crops, contained relatively small populations of slaves; however, sizeable slave populations resided in towns and engaged in diversified economic activities. The story of how this African American population made the transition from slavery to freedom is missing in the historiography of Appalachia. Even John C. Inscoe and Wilma Dunaway, scholars who explored the political and economic significance of slavery in Appalachia, failed to discuss ex-slaves during the post-war period. This paper seeks to fill this gap by examining freedmen and freedwomen in Knoxville, Tennessee, the largest town located within East Tennessee. Specifically, it explores how the nature of urban slavery in Appalachia shaped ex-slaves’ post-war economic independence. To this end, the paper discusses ex-slaves’ jobs, the types of positions freed persons labored in and whether they were skilled or unskilled, the rate at which free persons accumulated real estate and personal wealth, freedwomen’s and children’s role in economic autonomy, and the creation of African American independent households. Utilizing such primary documents as census schedules, newspapers and manuscripts, this paper will broaden our understanding of how newly freed slaves in Appalachia obtained economic independence and freedom in the immediate postwar period, 1865-1870.
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Association:
Name: 95th Annual Convention
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http://www.asalh.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436044_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bocian, Meredith. "Measure of Economic Independence in the Mountain South: Freedmen and Freedwomen in East Tennessee’s Towns, 1865-1870" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina, <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436044_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bocian, M. A. "Measure of Economic Independence in the Mountain South: Freedmen and Freedwomen in East Tennessee’s Towns, 1865-1870" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 95th Annual Convention, Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh, North Carolina <Not Available>. 2014-11-27 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p436044_index.html

Publication Type: Invited Paper
Abstract: African Americans have been absent from Appalachian historiography. Appalachia, a region geographically and climatically unsuited for the production of cash crops, contained relatively small populations of slaves; however, sizeable slave populations resided in towns and engaged in diversified economic activities. The story of how this African American population made the transition from slavery to freedom is missing in the historiography of Appalachia. Even John C. Inscoe and Wilma Dunaway, scholars who explored the political and economic significance of slavery in Appalachia, failed to discuss ex-slaves during the post-war period. This paper seeks to fill this gap by examining freedmen and freedwomen in Knoxville, Tennessee, the largest town located within East Tennessee. Specifically, it explores how the nature of urban slavery in Appalachia shaped ex-slaves’ post-war economic independence. To this end, the paper discusses ex-slaves’ jobs, the types of positions freed persons labored in and whether they were skilled or unskilled, the rate at which free persons accumulated real estate and personal wealth, freedwomen’s and children’s role in economic autonomy, and the creation of African American independent households. Utilizing such primary documents as census schedules, newspapers and manuscripts, this paper will broaden our understanding of how newly freed slaves in Appalachia obtained economic independence and freedom in the immediate postwar period, 1865-1870.


Similar Titles:
A Measure of Economic Independence in the Mountain South: Freedmen and Freedwomen in East Tennessee's Towns, 1865-1870

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