numerous large plantations, but many of the slaves of that region and many of its large number of free negroes were found within its commercial and manufacturing cities.
The area of Midland
was but little more than that of Tidewater
, but its slaveholders and slaves were considerably more numerous, for in its industries slave labor was profitable.
country, the fourteen counties east of and adjacent to the Blue ridge
, was throughout a prosperous agricultural region, while most of its counties southwest of the Rappahannock
basin were extensively engaged in the production of heavy tobaccos, hence slave labor was there found profitable.
The three elevated counties upon the plateau of the Blue ridge
were mainly devoted to grazing; consequently their slave population was small.
The seventeen counties of the Great Valley
were all famous for the production of cereals, and for their dairying and grazing interests, while large crops of tobacco were grown in all the counties southwest of the valley of the Shenandoah
Its people were thrifty, and a few slaves were owned upon most of its large farms.
The Appalachian country, while traversed by many ranges of mountains, was also striped with fertile valleys, in which lived prosperous graziers, most of whom held families of slaves.
's forty-one Trans-Appalachian counties were mainly a forest-covered and thinly-peopled region, and few slaves were there held except in the valley of the Big Kanawha
and along the Ohio
below the mouth of that river.
In proportion to the population, the number of slaves was extremely small, and especially was this true in the part of the State
which extended northward between Ohio
, almost to Lake Erie
The people of the two Valleys and of the nine Appalachian counties that were subsequently embraced in West Virginia
, remained, by a large majority, loyal to the State
during the war; and, in a large degree, the same may be said of the Trans-Appalachian counties
in and southwest of the Big Kanawha basin.
The West Virginia
secessionists, those that by act of Congress, when its membership was almost exclusively Northern, seceded from Virginia
in 1861, were mainly confined to the Trans-Appalachian counties
of Northwestern Virginia
, where there were but few slaves and still fewer slaveholders, and where the larger portion of the population was more in