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Retirement and Public Policy: Proceedings of the Second Conference of the National Academy of Social Insurance. "The Impact of Aging on the Employment of Men in Working-Class Communities at the End of the Nineteenth Century: A Cross-Section Analysis of Surveys from Maine, New Jersey, California, Michigan, and Kansas,"with Susan Carter and Richard Sutch.At the time of the American revolution, slavery was a national institution; although the number of slaves was small, they lived and worked in every colony.This collection portrays the states of Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin from the seventeenth to the early twentieth century through first-person accounts, biographies, promotional literature, local histories, ethnographic and antiquarian texts, colonial archival documents, and other works drawn from the Library of Congress's General Collections and Rare Books and Special Collections Division.
This collection contains 277 documents relating to the work of Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution.
It includes the essay To Form a More Perfect Union, which examines Congressional debate after the Revolutionary War over the division and government of the Western Territories.
Even before the Constitution was ratified, however, states in the North were either abolishing slavery outright or passing laws providing for gradual emancipation.
The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 barred slavery from the new territories of that period, so rather quickly, slavery effectively existed only in the South and became that region's “peculiar institution.” Between the first federal census in 1790 and the eve of the Civil War, the slave population in the United States increased from approximately seven hundred thousand to almost four million.
Estimates vary, but expenses associated with the maintenance of one field hand were probably half the value of the revenue the master received from the slave's labor.
Profitability increased steadily in the first half of the nineteenth century, as prices for cash crops rose and the cost of keeping slaves remained level. As cotton production expanded and the demand for slaves increased, their prices rose accordingly.An even smaller percentage worked as laborers or craftsmen—carpenters, masons, and blacksmiths.It was not unheard of for “spare” slaves to become mill or factory workers, and skilled artisans might be hired out to other plantations by their masters.The formal end to the foreign slave trade in 1808 had no impact—the smuggling of slaves was common—and in any event, natural increase accounted for practically all of the slave‐population growth in the United States.The nationwide distribution of slaves also changed during this time span.Irrespective of the jobs that slaves did, slavery on the whole was profitable.The expense to planters for housing, clothing, and feeding slaves was considerably less than the value they produced.Agriculture in this part of the South was diversifying, and although tobacco and rice remained staple cash crops, more and more acreage was being devoted to wheat, corn, rye, and oats for local consumption. These cereal grains were not as labor intensive as cotton or tobacco, and planters in the region were finding themselves with more slaves than they needed.Alexandria, Virginia, became a major center of the internal slave trade, and according to one estimate, three hundred thousand slaves were sold from there into the Deep South in the two decades before the Civil War. A small percentage of slaves were domestic servants, working in a planter's main house as cooks, nursemaids, seamstresses, and coachmen.The Northwest Ordinance, officially titled "An Ordinance for the Government of the Territory of the United States North West of the River Ohio," was adopted by the Confederation Congress on July 13, 1787.Also known as the Ordinance of 1787, the Northwest Ordinance established a government for the Northwest Territory, outlined the process for admitting a new state to the Union, and guaranteed that newly created states would be equal to the original thirteen states.