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August 01, 2019


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Greg Sergienko

I suspect you know more about this than I, but I'd be a little hesitant to classify Delaware a a northern state, both geographically (south of the Mason-Dixon line) and institutionally (as your reference points out) as a slave state, albeit with a relatively small number of slaves and one not seen as likely to secede.

Bill Turnier

Wikipedia has a decent write up on Delaware in the Civil war below I include the first two paragraphs. There was a significant Quaker population among Delaware farmers and when Quakers took a position against slavery (in the 1850s I think) many slaves were freed in Delaware.

Here is an excerpt from Wiki on Delaware in the Civil War.

“Slavery had been a divisive issue in Delaware for decades before the American Civil War began. Opposition to slavery in Delaware, imported from Quaker-dominated Pennsylvania, led many slaveowners to free their slaves; half of the state's black population was free by 1810, and more than 90% were free by 1860.[4] This trend also led pro-slavery legislators to restrict free black organizations, and the constabulary in Wilmington was accused of harsh enforcement of runaway slave laws while many Delawareans kidnapped free blacks among the large communities throughout the state and sold them to plantations further south.[4]

During the Civil War, Delaware was a slave state that remained in the Union. (Delaware voters voted not to secede on January 3, 1861.) Delaware had been the first state to embrace the Union by ratifying the constitution, and would be the last to leave it, according to Delaware's governor at the time.[citation needed] Although most Delaware citizens who fought in the Civil War served in regiments on the Union side, some did, in fact, serve in Delaware companies on the Confederate side in the Maryland and Virginia Regiments. Delaware was the one slave state of the pre-1861 United States from which the Confederate States of America could not recruit a full regiment.[citation needed]

Pete Wentz

As set forth here (and it is true), Wilmington, Delaware had a racially segregated movie theater which barred African-Americans as late as 1965.


Pete, Delaware was a border state (states that had slavery but did not have enough support for secession.) There was an amusement park in Maryland (another border state) just outside DC hat did not admit African Americans until after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The St. Louis Cardinals had a segregated area for black fans until at least into the late 1950s. Segregated schools existed in cities in southern New Jersey, Indiana, and Kansas, and DC into the 1950s. Nothing particularly special about Wilmington.

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