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This Distracted and Anarchical PeopleNew Answers for Old Questions about the Civil War-Era North$
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Andrew L. Slap and Michael Thomas Smith

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780823245680

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823245680.001.0001

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“No Regular Marriage”

“No Regular Marriage”

African American Veterans and Marriage Practices after Emancipation

(p.171) “No Regular Marriage”
This Distracted and Anarchical People

Andrew L. Slap

Fordham University Press

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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