Tag Archives: Slavery in the North

How Many People Were Slaves In The North vs. The South?

As part of the current discussion of the use of the Concrete Flag to express one’s Free Asshatitute, in particular in relation to a volunteer firefighter who stuck one of the flags on the fire truck turing the Independence Day Parade in a small community in Outstate Minnesota, I saw someone state that there were more slaves in the North than in the South.

Specifically, the individual, commenting on a the flag story on a local news site, said:
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Now, this particular joker was trying to say that there were lots of white people who “may as well have been slaves” in the North, or words to that effect. That is of course absurd because while there might have been (and later in history certainly was) a lot of exploitation of workers and poor and such, nobody was being owned, bred, treated like animals with the full force of the law, etc. Anyway, I found others making similar claims and claims and apparently some folks actually think that slavery was widespread in both the North and South.

Here are the data from the 1860 US Census, the census that measures the distribution of slaves at the start of the Civil War.

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And I made a pie chart just for fun:

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So now you know.