This paper focuses on the oft-neglected First State in the pre-Civil War years. It explores the economic and social factors in Delaware through the first half of the nineteenth century that led to widespread voluntary emancipation of slaves in the state without resulting in the official legal abolition of the institution of slavery. From here, this paper shows how this strange tension created an environment hospitable to some of the nation’s first black codes, which can be seen as ideological forerunners to postwar systems of racial control such as vagrancy laws and convict leasing in the Deep South.
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"The Proving Ground: The Decline of Slavery and the Emergence of Black Codes in Antebellum Delaware,"
Armstrong Undergraduate Journal of History: Vol. 9
, Article 3.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.georgiasouthern.edu/aujh/vol9/iss1/3