There seems to be a stereotype that ALL white people before the civil war owned slaves and lived like Scarlet O’Hara. This is not true.
There were many poor white folks, immigrants, and descendants of criminals from England who populated the Southern United States before the Civil War.
President Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, lived an impoverished childhood after his father died when Johnson was three years old. Johnson was also “apprenticed”, which was also known as endured servitude, from the age of ten. He was supposed to stay with his mentor until he was twenty-one, but ran away! But that’s a blog for another day.
I am linking to an article which begins to skim the surface of this topic. It’s also interesting how the “Plantation Owners” wanted to keep both blacks and poor whites “in their place”. Many impoverished whites were too busy trying to feed their own families to take either side of the slavery issue.
Here’s the article:
article <<— click here
After the article is a list for further reading.
History is much more complicated than we think.