Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South by Larry Koger

By Larry Koger

Have been black masters assorted from white? An research of all points and especially of the commercialism of black slaveowning debunks the parable that black slaveholding used to be a benevolent establishment in keeping with kinship, and explains the transition of black masters from slavery to paid hard work.

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Another problem occurred when colored slaveowners hired white overseers or had other whites residing on their estates. The federal census marshals recorded the names of the heads of household, but when a combination of free blacks and whites lived on the plantations, the natural inference would be to classify the owner of the estate as white, assigning the free black resident to the role of tenant. For instance, Elias Collins was reported to be the owner of 34 slaves by the federal enumerator of the fourth census.

8 percent between 1840 and 1850. Ten years later, the slave community had dwindled from 1,277 in 1850 to 766 in 1860. Although much of the decline resulted from the diminishing number of colored masters, the reduced slaveholding of the black masters was a factor. Several colored masters sold their surplus slaves and kept their most productive bondsmen. Many urban slaveowners did not require the labor of several slaves, and so they gradually decreased the number of slaves they held. In 1848, Louisa R.

If slave boarding cannot be considered a valid explanation for free black heads of household with slaves, the opposite is true for slave hiring. A few scholars have suggested that the federal census did not distinguish between slaveowning and slave hiring. According to a small group of historians, the census returns of 1850 and 1860 cannot be used to determine slaveownership because of the prevalence of slave hiring in Charleston City. One scholar chooses to refer to the slaveholders recorded on the slave schedules as "slave users and owners.

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