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Important Correction

The January 2014 issue of Present Time included two footnotes that need to be corrected:

• Footnote 2, on page 31:  “The South refers to the states, in the southeastern part of the United States, that seceded from the union in 1861, leading to the U.S. Civil War.”

This statement is historically inaccurate.  Seven Southern states did not secede from the union until after the start of the Civil War.  One Southern state (Missouri) never seceded at all.  These states are nevertheless Southern and part of the South, then and now.  In addition, Louisiana and Texas are part of the South though geographically not a part of the southeastern United States.

• Footnote 3, on page 51:  “A U.S. Southerner is someone from one of the states of the United States in which slavery was legal prior to the U.S. Civil War.”

This statement would make Southerners of all people in the thirteen original states of the United States—as slavery was legal in all of them, including Northern states, at various times prior to the Civil War.  It was not legally abolished in some Northern states, such as New Jersey and New Hampshire, until the end of the Civil War and in Delaware until immediately prior to the war.  That these Northern states had legalized slavery did not make them Southern states.  They were and remain Northern states that had legalized slavery.  Vermont and Maine alone of the Northern states never had legal slavery. Vermont abolished slavery in its constitution, and Maine was admitted to the union as a free state.*

*  A free state is a state in which slavery was prohibited.

Last modified: 2020-07-02 14:27:35+00