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Reply #35: Sundown towns first in early colonial times, whole states later [View All]

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unc70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Apr-27-10 05:35 PM
Response to Reply #13
35. Sundown towns first in early colonial times, whole states later
Overlooked in the discussion of sundown towns is the stark reality that states like Illinois and Indiana were essentially "sundown states" prior to the Civil War. The rules varied slightly over the years, but most of the "Free" states (vs "Slave") were in practice "White-only" states. In some, free people of color were not allowed to move to the state or buy property. There were lots of examples of "ethnic cleansing" prior to the Civil War in places like Cincinnati.

There had been similar laws in most of New England back during colonial times, many persisting until long after the Civil War and the 14th Amendment. Sometimes they were explicit legal prohibitions, but often they were dead convenents or restrictions on property ownership.

In a post a few weeks back, I noted that a free black man in NC in 1860 had all the rights of a white man except the right to vote (and had that right until the 1830's), while the same man was not allowed to move to Lincoln's Illinois!

Most efforts to expose and discuss these "secret history" items are met with bashing of the South without recognizing that race and slavery were not and are not problems limited to the South. No argument that the South has it share, but so does everywhere else without exception.

The site I referenced has a fairly good introduction to some of the hidden history of slavery in the North, much as this article highlights the secret history of sundown towns.
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