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Many of the Negroes migrated North, and they wrote back stories of the “new country” where “de white folks let you do jes as you please.” These stories influenced a great number of other Negroes to go North and begin life anew as servants, waiters, laborers and cooks. The Negroes who remained in the South were forced to make their own living. At the end of the war, foods and commodities had gone up to prices that were impossible for the Negro to pay. Ham, for example, cost 40c and 50c a pound; lard was 25¢; cotton was two dollars a bushel.

http://fcit.usf.edu/florida/docs/s/slave/slave31.htm

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