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Clippings tinuing struggle for racial equality. And Maryland certainly was a slave state, as were Delaware and all the other states south of the MasonDixon line. It is easy, however, to oversimplify history and overlook important distinctions. The importation of Africans as slaves was virtually over in Maryland by the time of the Revolutionary War. For the next 75 years, many Maryland slaves escaped, or earned their freedom, or were released from bondage by the terms of their owner’s last will and testament. And when the high-labor tobacco farms switched to other crops because of soil depletion, slaves became too expensive to keep. Some ow ners retained their slaves but rented them out as laborers to other farmers so families could remain in place. Others broke up families and took what money they could for them from local buyers. A few (just a few, thankfully) were unmoved by their negroes’ plight and ruthlessly sold them to the awful killing plantations in the Deep South. It is painful, but instructive, to read some of the clippings related to negroes in the 1820s, at a time when the nation was evenly split: 12 states free and 12 states slave. Here are two such clippings. The first is from the Easton Gazette, dated August 19, 1826. (Yes, from the same issue that ran the

notice about the boat race.) It reads: It being found necessary to sell the negroes of the late Charles Goldsborough, of Talbot county, deceased, in order to pay his debts ~ NOTE IS HEREBY GIVEN That the said negroes are for s ale; among the m are s e ve ral women who are good cooks and house servants, and valuable men accustomed to farming; also some likely Girls. They will not be sold to a foreigner or non-resident of the State, or to any person who will not treat them well. For terms apply to JOHN GOLDSBOROUGH, Agent for the Admr. of C. G. dec’d. It is not clear whether or how John Goldsborough might be related to the late Mr. Charles Goldsborough, but it is interesting to note that ~ even in this forced sale, required in order to pay Charles’ debts ~ John is unwilling to sell his slaves “down the river.” The buyer

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Profile for Tidewater Times

Tidewater Times  

January 2019

Tidewater Times  

January 2019