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Free Blacks in the South
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Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division

Illustrated London News, April 30, 1853

Meeting in the African Church, Cincinnati

Northern cities closest to the South experienced the largest influx of free African Americans and the fastest population growth. By 1860, Cincinnati had seen the size of its black population and institutions grow dramatically. About 70 percent of the migrants were Southern-born, and they had become familiar with the city, in part, because it was a port town, dependent on Southern goods traded along the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

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