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Kentucky's Frontier HighwayHistorical Landscapes along the Maysville Road$
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Karl Raitz and Robert Roland-Holst

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780813136646

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813136646.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 03 July 2022

Slavery, the Underground Railroad, and Hemp Production

Slavery, the Underground Railroad, and Hemp Production

(p.295) 30 Slavery, the Underground Railroad, and Hemp Production
Kentucky's Frontier Highway

Karl Raitz

Nancy O’Malley

University Press of Kentucky

Prior to the Civil War, Kentucky's enslaved population was concentrated in the state's prime agricultural counties. In 1790, Kentucky had 11,830 slaves and by 1860, the state's enslaved population had increased to 225,483 or 19.5 percent of the total population. Large Bluegrass farms produced tobacco and hemp as commercial cash crops often with slave labor. Slave dealers collected surplus slaves and sold them to buyers who transported them into the South for resale to sugar cane and cotton plantations. Thousands of slaves fled their owners’ control and tried to reach Canada by way of the northern states. The combination of routes, modes of movement, individuals who actively provided assistance and places where slaves could be hidden were collectively referred to as the Underground Railroad. The Maysville Road corridor was an especially active slave escape route.

Keywords:   Slavery, Agriculture, Slave buyers, Slave sales, Fugitive Slave Law, Underground Railroad, Hemp

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