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Freedom's Frontier: California and the Struggle Over Unfree Labor, Emancipation, and Reconstruction
Most histories of the Civil War era portray the struggle over slavery as a conflict that exclusively pitted North against South, free labor against slave labor, and black against white. In Freedom's Frontier, Stacey L. Smith examines the battle over slavery as it unfolded on the multiracial Pacific Coast. Despite its antislavery constitution, California was home to a ...more
Hardcover, 324 pages
Published August 12th 2013 by University of North Carolina Press
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Stacey L. Smith could have conveyed the nuances of California slave legislation with greater clarity – that chapter is a bit tough to follow – but overall this is a clear, concise history of slave and free labor in 19th-century California. Smith argues that, although on paper California was a free state, plenty of slave labor still went on. White Southerners who moved west with their slaves still practiced slavery until the mid-1850s and used various legal loopholes, plus outright coercion and ...more