Ending Free Black Suffrage in North Carolina

Lacy K. Ford, Jr.

in Deliver Us from Evil

Published in print November 2009 | ISBN: 9780195118094
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199870936 | DOI:
Ending Free Black Suffrage in North Carolina

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This chapter analyzes North Carolina's decision to disfranchise all free blacks at its 1835 state constitutional convention. The push for disfranchisement of free blacks in North Carolina was led not only by white egalitarians seeking ideological consistency but also by some conservatives eager to free their election districts from the influence of free black voters. These conservatives, who generally opposed constitutional reform, couched their public arguments against free black suffrage in terms of drawing a bright line between white citizens and black denizens much as egalitarians did, though conservatives also expressed the more elitist notion that black disfranchisement would free their election districts from the “corruption” and tendency to mobocracy they associated with free black voting.

Keywords: slavery; North Carolina; free blacks; suffrage; voting; disfranchisement

Chapter.  14546 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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