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HirelingsAfrican American Workers and Free Labor in Early Maryland$
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Jennifer Hull Dorsey

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801447785

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801447785.001.0001

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(p.45) 2 Migration

Jennifer Hull Dorsey

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines the experience of migrant workers as well as the meaning of migration for African American laborers. It considers how migration contributed to rural African Americans' sense of belonging to a larger regional community that extended from the Eastern Shore to Philadelphia and Baltimore and beyond. It also discusses the impact of gradual manumission on the government's efforts to manage the mobility of unfree laborers in an otherwise unregulated labor market, along with the steps taken by Maryland whites to distinguish legitimately free workers from enslaved workers earning wages for slaveholders, including the introduction of Certificates of Freedom or “freedom papers”.

Keywords:   migrant workers, migration, African Americans, Eastern Shore, manumission, mobility, Maryland, slaveholders, Certificates of Freedom, freedom

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