Finding employment may not have been easy. In many Northern states, "black codes" emerged alongside emancipation to govern the activities of free Black people. Skilled jobs - even those positions that had been occupied by enslaved people - were unattainable in freedom. Skilled free people routinely were passed over for positions in favor of native-born whites and immigrants. With the absence of skilled positions, many free Black men worked as laborers on the waterfront, on sailing vessels, as servants, porters, etc. Free women found their job opportunities confined to washerwomen, cooks, and seamstresses.
"Chart of the harbours of Salem, Marblehead, Beverly, and Manchester : from a survey taken in the years 1804, 5 & 6," 1806.
Created by by Nathaniel Bowditch ; assisted by George Burchmore & William Ropes, 3d. ; Hooker & Fairman, sc.
Courtesy of the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center Collection at the Boston Public Library. View the map here.