Really quite by accident, I was in our local art museum this afternoon, and wandering through the local wing in between seeing two travelling exhibits. Two paintings struck my eye. One was a vista that was painted looking north across the Ohio River early in the 1800s. On the south side, there was a bucolic scene with slaves and cows and lots of green space. Across the river was a city, with crowded housing, smoke mixing with the clouds to create a very early version of smog. The second painting, also from the early 1800s, was of a poor white family headed north – leaving the south because they were unable to generate a living in competition with slave labor.
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