Southern Free People of Color in the Age of William Johnson
by Ira Berlin
According to the dominant ideology of antebellum Southern society, William Johnson should not have existed. For slaveholders and their apologists, the world was divided into two parts, white free people and black slaves. A man who was both black - at least by the mainland North American definition - and free, indeed, a slave-owner himself had no place in Southern society. He was a veritable contradiction in terms.
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