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. Electronic copies of several published slave narratives outside Maryland. Enter “slave narrative” in “Search Gallery” box.

Slavery in the United States - Wikipedia

Pathways to Freedom: Maryland and the Underground …

Marylanders saw colonization as a means of curtailing the growing free black population.
Political success on the issue of slavery required political moderation disdained by the abolitionists. Lincoln was not a protester; he was a politician interested in having his views become legislation. Historian William E. Gienapp wrote that “reasonable and thoughtful party spokesmen, most notably Seward and Lincoln, who were by the end of the decade the party’s two most prominent leaders, presented a much more restrained point of view. While both men cautiously suggest the existence of a conspiracy to extend slavery, they generally avoided the word; instead, they spoke loosely of a plan, design, or preconcert, or used the metaphor of coordinated efforts (Lincoln’s reference to the building of a platform in which various Democratic leaders each contribute a precut piece, all of which fit perfectly together, is well known). As leaders of the moderates, always the largest group in the party, what Seward and Lincoln emphasized, and what historians have unduly slighted, was the tendency of events. What direction, they asked in great earnestness was the nation headed? What would a reasonable man conclude was the probably outcome of the crisis.”102

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Jacob slave of James AldridgeState of Maryland Prince george's County.
Lincoln understood the need for northern abolitionist sentiment to counterbalance Border State conservatives. On March 6, 1862, President Lincoln sent to Capitol Hill a special message urging compensated emancipation of slaves – it was designed to appeal to his diverse constituencies in Congress. Historian William C. Harris wrote: “On the morning that he submitted the compensation message to Congress, Lincoln summoned Senator Charles Sumner to the Executive Mansion to review the draft. He correctly believed that Sumner, a leader in the emerging Radical faction in the Senate, would be pleased with the emancipation proposal, despite the fact that the Massachusetts senator desired direct federal action to end slavery. Sumner, however, was not so easily persuaded that slavery should be explicitly guaranteed by the federal government in any reconstruction plan, as Lincoln’s draft provided. When Sumner read the sentence regarding reconstruction, he vehemently protested to the president. Rather than arguing with Sumner, Lincoln, who was in a hurry to send the message to Congress, bracketed the offending sentence for deletion from the proposal.”138


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The slave owners would be paid $300 for each able bodied slave enlisted in Union service.
The entries list the runaway's name, the date committed to jail, the name of the justice of the peace handling the case, the charge (running away), the name and residence of the presumed owner, and the name of the witness claiming the person is a runaway.

The dockets cover 1831 to 1864 and include blacks whose alleged owners resided in all parts of Maryland.

In a law passed in 1867 the General Assembly complained that "under the Military of the United States, a large number of slaves owing service to loyal citizens of Maryland, were induced to leave their owners and enlist in the military service of the United States." The lawmakers pointed out that Marylanders had received "no compensation for their inconveniences, public and private" (Chapter 189, Laws 1867).

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Hoping that the federal government would repay the state's loyalty and compensate its citizens for the chattels lost, the General Assembly ordered that a listing be made of all slave owners and their slaves as of November 1, 1864.

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21 MARYLAND, That:
22 (1) The Governor of Maryland shall apologize on behalf of the citizens of
23 Maryland for the State's history of slavery, its long-held silence in the face of
24 and the atrocities committed under slavery in the State; and
25 (2) The Governor shall issue the apology on September 22, 2005, the 143rd
26 anniversary of the issuance by President Abraham Lincoln of the Emancipation
27 Proclamation.

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The federal government never compensated the owners, but these records, called (Slave Statistics), are the only evidence available of slaves and owners at the time of state emancipation.

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During the first years of the war, Maryland slaves who escaped from their owners to join the federal army were usually returned to their owners or incarcerated as runaways.