Thursday, October 8, 2009

Web Site Review: Slavery in the North

Few people with only a basic understanding of American history know that slavery was legal for a number of years in the North after the Revolutionary War. Before, during, and shortly after America's war with England slavery flourished in Northern urban areas such as New York and Philadelphia where African Americans were used for both domestic and commercial labor.

In effort to correct much of this misunderstanding and to shed more light on the institution of slavery in the North, Mr. Douglas Harper has created a web site chocked full of information of slavery in the Northern states.

I found the pages on "Northern Profits from Slavery," and "Fugitive Slaves" especially interesting. Northern shippers, particularly from New England benefited from the transportation of Africans to America until 1808. Congress forbade the slave trade in the Constitution to end in that designated year as a compromise between the states. The page on fugitives brings up the important Prigg vs Pennsylvania case that influenced much later legislation on escaped slaves.

All of the information that is provides is very useful and informative, but is not presented in the most aesthetically pleasing manner. Another downside to the site is that it takes a significant amount of time to load. But, other than those two drawbacks, I really enjoyed browsing the site and learning more about "Slavery in the North;" hopefully you will too.

The site can be viewed at the following link:

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