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  1. louis curth says

    Thank you Ken Crowe II, Aaron Mair and the Adirondack Explorer for this insightful look at how property ownership was such an essential part of the pre-Civil War fight for voting rights.

    As the article states; “It was a time when a Black man could only qualify to cast a ballot if he was at least 21 years old and owned real estate worth at least $250. White men did not have a property requirement.”

    I would also remind readers that the connection of property ownership to discrimination didn’t end there. When my great, great grandfather, a Baptist circuit rider in western New York and Ohio, died unexpectedly in pre-civil war 1850, he left his wife, a daughter 7, and a daughter 6 with a homestead near Rochester that his widow could not legally own or sell, which she needed to do to survive. The solution came after a legislative bill granting her property ownership was enacted by the NYS Legislature, (which was apparently a common practice for white widows in such dire circumstances).

    Such lessons of history are all around us. Even after a devastating civil war, a hard fought women’s suffrage movement and the uneven gains of our modern civil rights movement, sadly, we still have much more work to be done….

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