Annotation / Notes: The author spends some time discussing Maryland, and the Upper South in general, in order to emphasize geographic distinctions which impacted the status of free Negroes. He postulates that the treatment and status of free blacks foreshadowed the treatment of black people in general after emancipation. In addition, the author examines the various classes of free blacks to understand how different groups viewed their social role. For the elite, positions of leadership continued after the Civil War. Maryland is of particular interest since by 1810, almost one-quarter of Maryland's black population was free. Maryland therefore had the largest free black population of any state in the nation.