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Scholarly Essays

Slavery on the Western Border: Missouri’s Slave System and its Collapse during the Civil War

An essay by ,
University of Missouri-Kansas City
Missouri passed its official Emancipation Ordinance on January 11, 1865.
Less than 40 years after the Civil War, General John G. Haskell, the president of the Kansas Historical Society, described slavery in western Missouri as “a more domestic than commercial institution,” in which the “social habits were those of the farm and not the plantation.” Many of his white contemporaries remembered slavery in a similar way, arguing that conditions were much more favorable on the farms of western Missouri than in the cotton fields of the Deep South.