African Americans of Missouri
Although Missouri was a slave-holding state, the geography determined where slaves were present in significant numbers. The slave population was distributed along the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. The greatest concentration was in the area called “Little Dixie” because it was settled by Southerners before the Civil War. The core area of “Little Dixie” includes the present-day counties of Howard, Cooper, Boone, Callaway, Audrain, Randolph, Monroe, Ralls, and Pike. The best general history for Missouri’s African-American population is Lorenzo J. Greene, Gary R. Kremer, and Anthony F. Holland, Missouri’s Black Heritage (1980; reprint, Columbia, Mo.: University of Missouri Press, 1993). The slave schedules for 1850 and 1860 for Missouri are extant and available on microfilm through the National Archives (see pages 11-12).