Racism in the Chesapeake Area Essay

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Racism in the Chesapeake Area

The Chesapeake area in the seventeenth century was a unique community that was almost absent of racism. In this community, at this time, property was the central and primary definition of one’s place in society. The color of one’s skin was not a fundamental factor in being a well respected and valued member of the community. Virginia’s Eastern Shore represented a very small fellowship of people that were not typical of the Southern ideals during this time period and gave free blacks owning property a great deal of respect and merit usually equal to that of any white man around. Racism, as a generalization, was a common and mostly unified way of thinking in the Southern states for a very long time
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Also, as governor, Bennett may have helped to look after the Johnson’s “legal and economic interests” as well. By acquiring his estate, it enabled Johnson to have a constant source of income and therefore help the local community with it’s economy similarly. This relationship between he and the community came to help him when later his estate nearly burned down entirely. The court of Northampton treated him very well in helping them get through the disaster. He was treated just as any white man in Johnson’s position would have been. This example alone shows how merely owning property and giving back to the local community was a priority in establishing respect among people of the Northampton area; his skin color did not matter. Another free black, Philip Mongum, was given usually respectable treatment for a crime of adultery with a white woman, Margery Tyer. Mongum was lucky enough to have been sold his freedom and managed to become a “relatively prosperous farmer.” He also leased a 300-acre plantation with two white men in 1678 and later in 1680 acquired more land, 200-acres, on his own. Needless to say this give him a very high level of respect and standing among the local people. When the issue of the affair was discovered Northampton appeared more concerned with the “Sin of Adultry” than having any concern that he was black. Mongum received a large fine and was told to keep out of the company of
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