Free to Own Another Man

The Emancipation Proclamation appears to have been the catalyst that launched the unfortunate slave on a journey to his doom. That spring, according to Owens’ letter, the slave’s master, afraid he would lose his slaves as a result of the war, but ignoring the federal prohibition against slavery in the territories, took his valuable human property and joined the Great Migration. The little party departed for the frontier with the belief that way out West a man could still be free to own another man without government interference.