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Delaware stood outside the primary streams of New World emancipation. Despite slavery's virtual demise in that state during the antebellum years and Deleware's staunch Unionism during the Civil War itself, the state failed to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, which prohibits slavery, until 1901.
Patience Essah takes the reader of A House Divided through the introduction, evolution, demise, and final abolition of slavery in Deleware. In showing the persistance of slavery in Delaware, she raises questions about postslavery race relations. Her analysis is vital to an understanding of the African-American experience.