An Appalachian portrait: black and white in Montgomery County, Virginia, before the Civil War
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Montgomery County, Virginia, is a southern Appalachian county founded in 1776. Throughout the county's antebellum history, as with most other regions of the South, four major population groups were visibly present. There were slaves, free blacks, white slaveowners, and white non-slaveowners. Little research has previously been conducted on the antebellum people of the Appalachian South. This work is a social history consisting of cross tabulations of data found in the county's manuscript census reports for 1850 and 1860. County court records also provide much useful information on the people and their activities before the Civil War. Together they form an invaluable source of information on antebellum mountain life as a forgotten segment of southern society.