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“No Regular Marriage”

“No Regular Marriage”

African American Veterans and Marriage Practices after Emancipation

Chapter:
(p.171) “No Regular Marriage”
Source:
This Distracted and Anarchical People
Author(s):
Andrew L. Slap
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823245680.003.0011

For generations have insisted that after emancipation African American slaves quickly adopted legal and formal marriages. This essay analyses pension records to argue that the continuation of informal marriage practices after the Civil War shows that emancipation had a more gradual than sudden effect on African American family structure. This in turn suggests that we should question to what extent the Civil War suddenly changed society and made the United States a “modern” nation.

Keywords:   Emancipation, African American Marriage, Pension Records, African American Families

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