Iowans' Views of Slavery

In the 1800s Iowans did not favor slavery but did not favor equality either.


Most Iowans were opposed to the extension of slavery to any areas where it didn’t already exist and some Southerns moved into the state to escape living in a slave society. That didn’t mean, however, that Iowans favored equality for the black man. Most held racists attitudes. Marriages between blacks and whites were forbidden and a number of laws were enacted to keep blacks out of Iowa. One law, passed by the First Territorial Legislature, stated that Negros and Mulattoes could not live in Iowa unless they had a certificate from their former owners proving that they were free. Not too many blacks took advantage of this law since they need to post a $500 bond, a fee which few of them could afford.


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