Chapter: Black Women in Delaware's History

Authors: Carol Hoffecker and Annette Woolard

Objective of Chapter:

Using and Interpreting a Table:

Table 1 below provides information on the distribution of slaves in the U.S. in 1790. Examine the numbers in the table and answer the following questions:

Table 1: Distribution of Black Slaves and Slaveholding Families by Selected Divisions and States: 1790
United States, total698 9623
South Atlantic642 7772
Delaware9 2NA
Maryland103 1441
District of Columbia--- ---NA
Virginia293 34NA
North Carolina101 1633
South Carolina107 934
Georgia29 2NA
Florida--- ------
East South Central16 2NA
Kentucky12 2NA
Tennessee3 1NA
Alabama--- ---NA
Mississippi--- ---NA

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census.

1. Which state in 1790 had the highest number of slaves? Which state had the least?

2. Why were so many more slaves in the South Atlantic than in the East South Central region in 1790?

3. How common was slaveholding among all families in 1790?

4. Which state had the highest percentage of slaveholding among all families?

Critical Thinking Exercise One:

Imagine that you are a former enslaved African American woman, a wife and mother living in Delaware. Describe at least two ways your life has changed with the end of slavery.

Critical Thinking Exercise Two:

In January 1837, The Liberator published the following advertisement from Portland, Maine:

George Potter and Rosella his wife, would take this opportunity to express their gratitude to God, and under him, to the benevolent individuals, who generously contributed in aiding them to redeem their two children from slavery. They have unspeakable happiness in informing the generous donors that, on the 12th inst, they received their children, aged eleven and seven years, raised from the degradation of slavery to the rank of freemen (Aptheker, p. 161).

What does this advertisement suggest about the risk of slave escapes and about the workings of the institution itself?

Key Concepts, Terms and Events: Define

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Last Updated: July 9, 1997