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The Maryland Historical Society, Baltimore, Maryland [Z24.2054]

Separation of Family

During the nineteenth century, the largest black migration was that of enslaved people. An estimated 1.2 million men, women, and children from the Upper South were sold to the Deep South. Families were in constant danger of being separated. Even the small number who managed to purchase or otherwise obtain their freedom lived under harsh conditions, and in fear for their safety. In the 1850s, Mississippi counted more than 300,000 enslaved men, women, and children on its property rolls, but fewer than 1,000 free blacks in its population.

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