Talk:Slave states and free states

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First "slide" of interactive graphic has an error[edit]

It lists Vermont being a free state in 1770, not 1777. The main text of the article is correct. Contributor tom (talk) 21:26, 26 July 2016 (UTC)

"Funny" sentence at the end of 1st paragraph[edit]

The District of Columbia also remained part of the Union.

This is the sentence I describe as "funny". As the seat of the government of United States, the District of Columbia is placed directly under the authority of the Congress and couldn't secede from the Union. This sentence is unneccesary and I've remove it. Joshua Chiew 15:40, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

== Delaware? ==what about Deleware hello any body there whta about delaware

According to the Delaware page, that state rejected the 13th Amendment on 18Feb1865, and did not abolish slavery during the Civil War. The Thirteenth Amendment page also states that Delaware remained a slave state. In contrast, the Emancipation Proclamation page states that only Kentucky still had slaves. Can anyone definitively resolve whether Delaware abolished slavery before the enactment of the 13th Amendment? Bo Lawler 25Sep06

no it did not. There were about 1000 slaves left when the 13 Amdt freed them in December 1865. (ref: Slavery in the South: A State-By-State History. by John O. Allen & Clayton E. Jewett 2004. Page : 48.) Rjensen 11:58, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

"was abolished by the Emancipation Proclamation"

I believe this should be clarified as having ended slavery only in the "rebel" states (aimed to disrupt their war-fighting capacity). Slavery was not ended nationally until the Constitution was amended after the War.

Defining slave states[edit]

An editor has attempted to classify New Jersey as a slave state because a few individuals had not been totally freed under the states's gradual emancipation statutes. Of course, in the rancorous debates over slavery nobody at the time ever lumped New Jersey in with the slave states and no historian that I am aware of attempts to do so. The fact that NJ did have these few individuals is already included in the paragraph that the editor attempted to change. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 15:59, 25 April 2008 (UTC)

According to the definition given in the article, "A slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery of African Americans was legal", I think it fits. While New Jersey abolished the practice of "new" slavery in 1804, it allowed those owners still holding slaves to keep them. New Jersey's goal was to do away with slavery through attrition. These unfortunates were classified as apprentices for life. This title may sugar coat the situation for some, but these apprentices were far from freedmen and were still slaves. These "apprentices were not freed until the 13th Amendment rolled around, which New Jersey didn't ratify until January 23, 1866. Sf46 (talk) 23:37, 25 April 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for providing what you "think". The bottom line is what actual historians think and write -- you have any actual reliable sources that lump New Jersey in with Alabama et al? Didn't think so. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 00:58, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
Since I guess this is still an issue, see here for an example (the first I could find on Google Books) of a historian labeling NJ as a "free state" even while acknowledging that slavery wasn't completely abolished there until 1866. Wikipedia shouldn't use different terminology without support from reliable sources.Prezbo (talk) 21:15, 14 March 2010 (UTC)

One thing that ought to be changed is the statement "New Jersey became the last original state to embark on the course of gradual emancipation". Should be changed to states in the northeast, or north of the Mason-Dixon line. The current sentence makes the statement come across as that only the states in the north were part of the original states. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ipso44 (talkcontribs) 09:38, 3 October 2013 (UTC)

This article is highly flawed. While New York passed a law in 1799, not 1787, to outlaw slavery. Slavery continued until 1827. This article is highly slanted with a very strong POV. I thought POV's were a no-no. PS, I'm a born and bred NYer and yes my family owned slaves back in the day. I have many Colonials in my line. To dispel the argument I don't have any reliable source to the contrary, I'll give you over to a historian now: "Emancipating New York: The Politics of Slavery and Freedom, 1777-1827", David N. Gellman (2008). (talk) 21:50, 2 July 2015 (UTC)

Merger Proposal[edit]

Propose merging Free state (United States) into Slave state, due to massive 'overlap' (WP:MERGE#Merging) between the two articles (including graphics, data tables, and content). Also, the two concepts are only really defined as opposites of each other, which is one of the key examples provided for a good candidate for merge (e.g. flammable vs. non-flammable).

As a historical note, the 'Free state' was actually created as a fork off the 'Slave state' article in 2004 by jangod. I will try to contact this editor for input on the re-merge.

Any thoughts?

--Cheakamus (talk) 20:01, 27 September 2008 (UTC)

  • Agree in principle. However, many articles have separate links for both slave state and free state and it would not really do to link only one of the terms. A work-around would be to ensure that there is are separae sections within a merged article that list the states that were one or the other as the outset of the civil war. --JimWae (talk) 20:08, 27 September 2008 (UTC)
    • To clarify: my point is that even if both terms appear in an article in the same sentence, they ought both be linked, taking the reader to a different place in the proposed merged article. It would not do to have to decide which term to link & which not to. The proposed merged article should be structured to make such linking easy. Otherwise, I would oppose a merge --JimWae (talk) 04:33, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

I agree that both old links should point to the merged article (probably by using a redirect for one of them--I think this is standard practice for a merge). Also agree with listing the states in separate categories. Anyone out there who wants to take this merge on should go for it, as I probably won't get around to it for a while. Cheakamus (talk) 01:09, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with the merger proposal, but it seems like it should be done as part of a major refocus of the article. The emphasis should be on:
1. Clearly explaining that slavery existed primarily under state law rather than federal law.
2. Demonstrating the evolution of the country from a point where most states allowed slavery to the point where it was purely a sectional issue.
3. Explaining the territorial issue as it related to slavery and as it related to states’ rights.
4. Describing the changing federal role -- the North’s resistance to an expansion of this role and the South’s demand for an increased federal role.
The amount of detail required for this article should be determined by the extent that the topics are already covered by existing articles such as Slavery in the United States, Origins of the American Civil War. and separate articles covering such things as the Missouri Compromise, Wilmot Proviso, Fugitive Slave Laws, etc. Tom (North Shoreman) (talk) 12:52, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Seems like a consensus is emerging to merge the articles back together. I don't agree that the improvements that North Shoreman proposes need to happen at the same time as the merger. If anything, it would be better to have the articles merged first, so that such improvements don't need to be repeated.Cheakamus (talk) 04:17, 25 November 2008 (UTC)
Done. PL290 (talk) 14:40, 3 May 2009 (UTC)

Incomplete Table?[edit]

Delaware was a slave state and existed since the beginning so why isn't it in the table of slave states in 1812?

the truth remains a mistery —Preceding unsigned comment added by Emobizatch (talkcontribs) 11:28, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

African-American slaves?[edit]

Why is a slave-state only defined by the legality to keep African-American slaves? What about all the thousands of white slaves? (talk) 04:16, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

"Slave and free states" would be a better title[edit]

Obviously the article discusses both.Prezbo (talk) 21:09, 14 March 2010 (UTC)


Il etait transporté par colissimo d'afrique a l'europe — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:56, 10 April 2014 (UTC)

Animation ends in 1861[edit]

The animation ends in 1861. Shouldn't it continue to the end of slavery in the US, in particular showing the creation of West Virginia and its transition to a free state? -- (talk) 07:15, 20 December 2016 (UTC)