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Adam H
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Adam H asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

Were any US states always COMPLETELY free of slavery?

I'm legitimately curious about this one and can't find much verifiable information online. When I say "completely" I mean not a single slave in the state's entire history. Obviously this wouldn't apply to states admitted after 1865. I'm thinking maybe Maine or Vermont because even in the Northwestern Territory, where the institution was supposedly forbidden, slaves were held (biggest example being the Little Egypt area of Illinois.) Any insight on this question, with references, would be greatly appreciated.


Again: Though it was forbidden, there WAS in fact slavery in the Northwest Territory. There were negligible amounts of slaves at some point in both Illinois and Indiana, though I'm not sure about the other states in the region.

3 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    As far as states that were admitted before 1865 there were California, Minnesota, Nevada, Oregon, and Vermont. Nevada joined the Union in 1864 however, so you probably won't count them. Ohio only had 9 slaves in its history, Massachusetts 1, Maine 2, Kansas 2, Iowa 16, and Wisconsin 15.

    Those figures, however, are based on the U.S. census which is only conducted once in every ten years. Some slaves might have been counted twice if they were in the state more than ten years and some of the states that seem to have had no slaves may have had some in between census years. Unfortunately the U.S. census is the only accurate record of slave ownership so that is the best answer I can give you.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, in fact there was. Slavery was forbidden in the northwest territory, like you said. It was part of the Articles of Confederation that new states in this territory must not allow slavery.

    Source(s): IB History of the Americas, we just finished that chapter. In case you're curious we use the book "America Past and Present", AP Edition by Robert A. Divine.
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  • 1 decade ago

    i believe ur rite.. i wanna california too

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