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Re: Social Systems & Slavery
In Response To: Re: Social Systems & Slavery ()


While I'm not an expert on FPOC and the States carved out of the Northwest Territory ...(Ohio-1803, Indiana-1816, Illinois-1818, Michigan-1837 & Wisconsin-1848) I have done extensive research on my FPOC families, their collateral families and the extended families in the communites where they resided within those States.

Most of the FPOC I have studied came into these areas prior to 1860 from VA, MD & NC as either free born or freed families. The Northwest Territory (NW) established in 1787 "forbade" involuntary servitude/slavery so all of the children, grandchildren, etc. of these FPOC families born in the States derived out of the NW Territory would by defintion be free born. And the "orignals" were required to prove their status as free persons before admission as residents/citizens into these States.

IMHO, the mentioned caste system would be quite different in my area of FPOC research. There were no slaves, Indians (Native Americans) were being hastily moved westward as a result of the Battle of Fallen Timbers (1794) and the Greenville Treaty (1796). And there was no obvious distinction by the governing 'whites' as to the birth status of the people of color living among them. They were in fact all "colored". This for all intents left only White & Black.

FPOC communites I have researched are primarily in western, southern & southeasten Ohio with a few 'ventures' into other parts of Ohio, Indiana & Michigan. I also have family that made it into Iowa and California prior to 1860. The lifestyles lived and enjoyed (social status) by the FPOC in those areas depended upon many factors, included among them were their education, occupation, religion, etc.. Among them were Preachers, Teachers, Barbers, Shoemakers, Lawyers, Blacksmiths, Brick Masons, Farmers, Carpenters, Musicians, Draymen, Teamsters, Dressmakers, Washerwoman, Hair Dressers, Domestic Workers (Maids, Butlers, Cooks) and of course those described as Common Laborers. Due to the Black Codes of the various States they established their own churches, schools, fraternal & social organizations, guilds and other outlets for their own socialization. They worked the UGRR, advocated abolition and later the men became volunteers in the military. A few fought in the Rev. War, some fighting in the War of 1812 and of course many in the Civil War (USCT's & Navy).

This was of course not done in complete isolation from the 'larger community' and there were many joint efforts and collaborations of various types with that larger community (whites). And this is not to say there may not have been another level of 'social distinction' for these FPOC, but I'm almost certain free vs freed birth status was not one of those distinctions.

Should anyone care to get a glimpse of only two FPOC (2) settlements, of the many, and the lifestyles for early FPOC settlers in Ohio here are three (3) recommended sites.

Longtown, Ohio & the Union Literary Institute - Darke County, Ohio

Rumley, Ohio in Shelby County

Bev Gray's wonderful site on FPOC in Southern Ohio

Please excuse the length of this posting, but I thought Arlene's mention of my name and the Northwest Territory required me to respond with my two cents. :)

Art Thomas
Arlene wrote:
"Recognizing that Erin is an expert in North Carolina free persons, I defer to her statement and simply want to add that there were a multitude of situations in the Northwest Territories, where free blacks and freed blacks that had migrated from the early colonies, were living aside one another, equally and harmoniously, in black settlements established prior to 1860. Their families intermarried with one another. I think Art Thomas would agree. I want to thank Afrigeneas for moving this discussion and thus allowing the free flow of ideals, while not inhibiting the ability to continue to learn on the FPOC forum."

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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