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Word Count: 556
John Hope Franklins The Free Negro in North Carolina 1790-1860 written in 1943 examines the growth legal status and economic and social life of the free Negro in North Carolina Franklins purpose was to clarify and explain the status of the free Negro in North Carolina and how the free Negros status related to the rest of the population The author revealed the advantages and disadvantages of being a free Negro in antebellum North Carolina through extensive research on laws passed during that time statistics and scores of other sources Franklin discussed in great detail the population growth and the legal status of the free Negro in North Carolina The free Negro population in this area grew in many ways Natural increase manumission of slaves by their owners influx of runaway slaves the immigration of slaves from other states and free Negros who purchased their friends and relatives out of slavery were all reasons the free Negro population grew in North Carolina Franklin states It was one thing to inherit or acquire freedom and quite another to maintain it The Negros right to freedom was continuously questioned and not infrequently he had to go into court and by certificates affidavits and the like prove this right to enjoy the privileges of a free man The authors opinion of the legal system towards the free Negro questions how much freedom even the free Negro population actually had The economic and social life of the free Negro was directly impacted by their legal status The legal system hampered economic and social growth of the free Negro by restricting even their communication with the white or slave population Education was extremely limited for the free Negro with the few literate free Negros coming out of the apprenticeship system rather than any formal education Religious practices were also restricted because the free Negro population was unable to economically support separate churches and there were limited opportunities
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