@Book{ taylor2005,
    author = {Nikki M. Taylor},
    title = {Frontiers of Freedom: Cincinnati's Black Community, 1802-1868},
    address = {Athens},
    publisher = {Ohio University Press},
    year = 2005,

p. 2: in 1850, Cincinnati (pop. > 115,000) is sixth largest city, and its black population (3,237) one of the 10 largest free black communities

p. 2: a city of promise betrayed for African Americans, due to Black Laws of 1804 and 1807 and four major mob acts directed at black community from 1829 through late 1840s

p. 2: “process by which a transient population of former slaves developed into a self-conscious black community. This study follows black Cincinnati as it moved from alienation and vulnerability in the 1820s toward collective consciousness and, eventually, political self-respect and self-determination by the 1840s.”

p. 9:

The organizational thesis [of this book] is that 1841 is a watershed moment for this community. The rest of the story is shaped around that moment. Before 1841 black Cincinnati was a fragile, unstable community that was struggling to find its voice. Then, a major rupture nearly devastated and divested this community of its resources, but it slowly regained its confidence, facilitated with the help of allies. After that definining moment in 1841, the black Cincinnati community matured internally and began to articulate a vision of freedom that was linked to equality, self-determination, citizenship, and the elective franchise.

p. 13: description of antebellum Cincinnati: red-brick houses, drays filling the street, cobblestone streets, clothing and jewelry shops, “the roadways crowded with light carriages, horsemen with Palmetto hats and high peaked saddles, galloping about on the magnificent horses of Kentucky” (a contemporary quote), but also “a city of tenements and makeshift homes,” with streets filled with wandering chickens and pigs who constituted the city’s only plan of trash disposal. Hog carcasses common, stench of blood flowing in Deer Creek.

p. 15: steam transportation revolution: “The journey from Cincinnati to New Orleans by steamboat took only two weeks. The sixty-day trip from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh by keelboat was reduced to a mere twenty-seven hours by steamer.”

p. 20-23: whereas most white residents of the city hailed from the east, mostly Pennsylvania, the black population came primarily from Kentucky and Virginia; what most distinguished it from other western cities was “number of foreigners who settled there. In 1840, 5,698 inhabitants, or more than 46 percent of the population, had been born abroad. Ten years later, at the height of the German and Irish immigration boom, that number swelled to 54,541, or more than 47 percent of the total population,” with Germans the largest immigrant group between 1830 and 1870; many Forty-Eighters congregated in Over-the-Rhine, north of the Miami & Erie Canal, east of Plum, and south of the hills

p. 25: residential and labor segregation by race and gender, with washerwomen being predominantly black women; “most African Americans lived in the East End near Deer Creek or along the Ohio River,” in places known as Bucktown (First Ward between Main and Broadway, south of Sixth Street) and Little Africa (Fourth Ward along the levee), but they were not “concentrated” in the area but lived in “residential clusters” interspersed with other groups at “the neighborhood and street level”

p. 64: “On several nights between August 15 and August 22, mobs of two to three hundred attacked the black section of the Fourth Ward, near Columbia Street and Western Row. Armed largely with huge stones, the mob destroyed black-owned or black-occupied buildings, homes, and shops.” … “When the smoke cleared, between eleven hundred and fifteen hundred African Americans had left Cincinnati during the week of violence.” p. 80: More than 1100 remained behind.

pp. 102-103:

Washing and ironing clothes was a field occupied almost exclusively by black women in Cincinnati. Their race and gender predetermined their class position; doubly victimized by racism and sexism, black women had almost no occupational diversity and very little occupational mobility. Black men and white women had a few more occupational options than black women. Whereas white working women filled a range of positions as seamstresses, boarding house operators, carpet weavers, teachers, and tailors, black women essentially were confined to washing for a living. In fact, in 1836, 86 percent of black working women were washers. Very few black women were able to escape this lot, although four were employed as a tailor, cook, barber, and steward.

p. 118ff: State v. Farr decision of 1841 “automatically freed slaves who entered the state with their owner’s consent”; Cincinnati Enquirer, founded in 1840 as a conservative, anti-abolitionist Democratic organ, stoked fears of rising free black population. Summer of 1841 saw another explosion of mob violence, centered around an incident at the Dumas House, a black boarding house on MacAllister Street. Abolitionist presses and stores destroyed (see p. 123) but not targeted until the last day; primarily an antiblack mob; allegations of rapes of black women. In this case, self-defense efforts of the community and absence of an exodus like the one in 1829 signaled rise of an increasingly vocal and militant community.

p. 127: list of mutual aid associations formed after 1841, mostly by black middle-class leaders

p. 134: post-1841, greater occupational diversity, especially barbering for black men, and there were even some wealthy single black women; but washerwomen remained the dominant occupation of black women up to 1860

Chapter 7: UGRR activism; Levi Coffin home “on the corner of Sixth and Elm streets” a central site of activism from 1847 through Civil War

pp. 157ff: George Washington McQuerry case from 1853

pp. 187-188: discussion of Lafcadio Hearn and his portraits of the “shadow” communities of Cincinnati’s black neighborhoods along the waterfront.

p. 188-189: “In 1850, 20 percent of the black population worked in the [river] industry; ten years later, that number had grown to 27 percent. … Boat hand was, in fact, the most common occupation among black working men in Cincinnati in 1860.”

p. 199: by 1870, the river industry was declining and the job market tightening as formerly enslaved people from Kentucky streamed to Cincinnati