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17 - “To Resolve Never Again to Be Reduced to Slavery”

from Part III - Abolition: State and Federal, 1864

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  19 January 2023

John C. Rodrigue
Affiliation:
Stonehill College, Massachusetts
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Summary

Wartime free labor under military auspices evolves in the Union-occupied lower Mississippi valley during the second half of 1864. Legislatures of Arkansas and Louisiana fail to address new labor arrangements, and plantation affairs remain under Federal military authority. Sugar planters, confronting the abolition of slavery in Louisiana, clamor for labor and racial control in planning for the 1865, whereas freedpeople and their advocates call for economic independence and criticize the Unionist government’s failure to implement racial equality. The cotton region witnesses continuing conflict over the new labor arrangements, with freedpeople pushing for alternatives to wage labor and access to land. The Davis Bend community underscores black aspirations for economic independence, while reports of the reenslavement of freedpeople along the Mississippi River illustrate the desperation of former slaveholders to preserve slavery.

Type
Chapter
Information
Freedom's Crescent
The Civil War and the Destruction of Slavery in the Lower Mississippi Valley
, pp. 337 - 356
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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