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Margaret Washington, historian on
antislavery sentiments

Margaret Washington WASHINGTON: Having been born in the East, being a Connecticut Yankee, Brown was still part of this migration that was taking place in the early national period with people from New York, New England, moving into the western territory and into these new states, the most important of which in the early national period was Ohio. And this had an impact, I'm sure, on the Brown family's antislavery sentiments. And Ohio, being the state closest to Kentucky, was a state in which they would have lots of contact with African Americans fleeing bondage. And New Englanders who were moving to Ohio were two types: they were the type who were like the Brown family, antislavery, and then there were those who felt that slavery was something that should not be talked about because it was divisive. And so, just as there were people in the North who were both antislavery and quiet about it, as the nation moved west, there were those people who wanted to support emancipated Africans, and then were those who wanted to keep the issue under the covers.

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