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Public Library Statistics Pertaining to Slavery (1854)

Detail taken from "Reynolds Polical Map of the United States" (1854)

Detail taken from "Reynolds Polical Map of the United States" (1854)

For the map as a whole, in the on-line collections of the Library of Congress, click here.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. mary Tibbs permalink
    May 2, 2010 10:36 AM

    It makes sense that the education of the citizenry played a role in society’s acceptance of slavery. Drawing parallels to the tea party today. Are there any real intellectuals (I’ll define that as those who learn to edify themselves/others, rather than merely searching out “facts” to justify their own prejudices) in that bunch?

    • May 3, 2010 12:44 AM

      Thanks, Mary. The antebellum South, as you know, was generally illiterate. There was no common school system. There was no right to freedom of assembly, if the assembly touched on the slavery question. Also, in many states it was illegal to circulate anti-slavery newspapers through the mail. In short, the quaint Old South was an oligarchy w/ certain slight totalitarian tendencies (thoroughgoing totalitarian tendencies w/ respect to African-Americans, of course).

      Had the C.S.A. achieved independence, they’d have become something like Guatemala at its worst: a banana republic, so-called, run by huge planters.

      I find these statistics very illuminating. They explain, to some degree, the continuing disparity as to literacy & education between the South & New England, e.g.

      Best, Mark

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