Annotation / Notes: The author explores how free populations in Maryland - both black and white - challenged the notion of a slave society. The free black population, very much interconnected with the slave population in terms of kinship ties, also provided a threat to the underpinnings of the system. Once freedom arrived, social relationships also had to be redefined. The author writes that "free blacks did not occupy a unique or legitimate place within Maryland society, but instead formed an anomalous adjunct to the slave population" (3). By 1840, free blacks in Maryland composed 41% of the total black population of the state, or the largest free black population of any state in the nation.