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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 11:51 PM
Original message
What percentage of Southerners owned slaves before and during
the Civil War? Also, if you have the statistic, how many African Americans (%) were OWNED as slaves?

The reason I ask is my son said a brother of a friend of his told him ONLY 10% of people in the South actually owned slaves. ONLY? Even that figure makes me ill, but my reaction was I thought that number was much higher and it sounded like his friend got his information from a KKK web site. I could be wrong though. What spurred the conversation was my outrage at a pick-up truck that had a Confederate Flag on it. :grr:

I tried to explain to my son that the flag didn't stand for JUST "state pride" (which is what his friend told him it stood for :eyes:) it stood for racism and if the flag offended African Americans, it offended them for a good reason. I also explained that the KKK pulled the flag out for their racist meetings......their hatred of African Americans, Jews and anyone else that wasn't white, with blond hair and blue eyes. My son, being Jewish, had to be asked how he would feel if he saw people driving around with a swastika on their truck? He "got it" then. HOWEVER, he SHOULD have gotten it before knowing the KKK hates Jews too. He knows that and I can't believe he's buying this kids crap. The kid feeding him this is in High School and is from a repuke family (which is another reason I don't trust his statistics), so that may be why he thinks it true? Older, smarter, wiser than he? :shrug: OR, I could be wrong.

Anyway, does anyone know the % of slave owners in the South before and during the Civil War and what % of African Americans were owned as slaves? I'd really like to have facts for him. I've seen (on a web search) 26% of people were slave owners as a figure (overall) 50% in South Carolina, but that seems too low to me too (the overall figure) and I don't know the person who posted that on the web either. It could very well be a KKK member. I will trust the info if it comes from a DUer. Does anyone know? Is the kid correct? Not that a low % makes it any less offensive, mind you :(, but it just seems to me that figure would be higher.

Thanks in advance. :hi:

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QC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-31-06 11:59 PM
Response to Original message
1. The 26% figure is probably a bit high.
Most who did own slaves had few--they were small farmers. No more than 10% of the white population had enough land and slaves to be considered part of the planter class--rich people were no more common then than now, probably less so. The idea that most people lived like Ashley Wilkes at Twelve Oaks is more Hollywood than history.

While you're teaching your son about the antebellum era, you might want to get into Illinois's history. It was actually illegal for African Americans to live in Illinois or even pass through. Interesting fact that most people know nothing about.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Codes_in_Northern_US...
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. That is interesting and I'll be sure to share that with him.
Pretty ironic, eh...The Land of Lincoln? Emancipation Proclamation? Although, he wasn't born here. :)
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Erika Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
2. Sad our founding fathers like Washington etc.
owned slaves. Jefferson fathered children through a black slave girl. And to think they formulated the constitution.
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. I know. It is sad.
It's a shameful history.
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Jamison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:10 AM
Response to Original message
5. I'd say it would have to be no more than 10%.
I've looked at historical documents from St. Louis in the 1830's and 1840's that contained info on slave auctions in the area. According to the ads. a young, strong, and healthy 18 year old male slave could go for about $1,250 dollars. That was A LOT of money back then. I'm not how sure how accurate I am here, but I'd say that would have to equate to over $50,000 in today's money. I'm sure only the wealthy could afford to have any slaves at all.
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BootinUp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
6. found this, don't know how accurate.
Edited on Sat Apr-01-06 12:18 AM by Jim4Wes
http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/stat.html

Says 1/3 families in South owned slaves.

On edit some about info on their home page here:
http://members.aol.com/jfepperson/
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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Off the top of my head, that sounds about right
Only 10% (or so) could afford more than 1-2. The rest of the third were small time farmers.



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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:30 AM
Response to Reply #6
10. (unless otherwise noted, all data is as of the 1860 census)
Thanks, Jim.

The total for the two combined regions -- which is what most folks think of as the Confederacy -- is 30.8%.

damn. Look at Mississippi. :( That's just sad.


Mississippi: 49%
South Carolina: 46%
Georgia: 37%
Alabama: 35%
Florida: 34%
Louisiana: 29%
Texas: 28%
North Carolina: 28%
Virginia: 26%
Tennessee: 25%
Kentucky: 23%
Arkansas: 20%
Missouri: 13%
Maryland: 12%
Delaware: 3%


In the Lower South (SC, GA, AL, MS, LA, TX, FL -- those states that seceded first), about 36.7% of the white families owned slaves. In the Middle South (VA, NC, TN, AR -- those states that seceded only after Fort Sumter was fired on) the percentage is around 25.3%, and the total for the two combined regions -- which is what most folks think of as the Confederacy -- is 30.8%. In the Border States (DE, MD, KY, MO -- those slave states that did not secede) the percentage of slave-ownership was 15.9%, and the total throughout the slave states was almost exactly 26%.
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unc70 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:20 AM
Response to Original message
8. It was a small percentage. And there were black owners, and Jewish ...
There have been a bunch of post on here, a couple by me. This whole subject is so much more complex than most of us realize. There were quite a few black slave owners -- New Orleans might have had over 3000. There were probably a lot more Jewish slave owners than there were owners who were Irish Catholic (a la GWTW). Possibly the first slave owner in VA was black. And on and on and on.

And there were all sorts of other non-free statuses -- indentured, apprenticed, etc. that were how many Europeans arrived in North America.

There were also many free blacks who fought as part of the CSA. So many contradictions.

There have been a number of recent books re-examining these related issues -- one I remember by John Hope Franklin at Duke.

Too late to post more now. Use the DU search to find some recent discussions or use Google.

50% slave owners (even for being a member of a slave-owning family) seems quite high, even for SC. I don't have the actual numbers handy. Will look again tomorrow.
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Catherine Vincent Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:32 AM
Response to Reply #8
12. Black owners?
They must have been passing for white.
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lakemonster11 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
14. No, they were just free blacks.
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Lydia Leftcoast Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #12
15. Not necessarily
I've been reading a fascinating series of novels set in pre-Civil War New Orleans, where the race relations were extremely complex and interesting, thanks to the French and Spanish influence. (For those interested, the author is Barbara Hambly, and the series begins with a book called A Free Man of Color. The main character is a black man who has been educated in France and who has ties to all the segments of society.)

Most wealthy white men in New Orleans had mixed-race mistresses, who were often of free status, and they kept them in style, a style that included owning a slave or two.
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cureautismnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #15
19. Indeed, Free Blacks Owned 10K slaves in 1830
"According to the federal census of 1830, free blacks owned more than 10,000 slaves in Louisiana, Maryland, South Carolina, and Virginia. The majority of black slaveowners lived in Louisiana and planted sugar cane."

http://www.uwec.edu/Geography/Ivogeler/w188/south/charl...

In terms of the evolution of human decency, it seems little progress was made from 1830 B.C. to 1830 A.D. It just boggles the mind. :crazy:
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:40 AM
Response to Reply #8
16. The first slave owner in VA was black?
Interesting.
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misanthrope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:26 AM
Response to Original message
9. How many Southerners...
...fought for the right to own slaves, regardless of whether they actually owned any themselves?
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cureautismnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:31 AM
Response to Original message
11. 42% of New York households had slaves in 1703
"In 1703, 42 percent of New York's households had slaves; the only city with more was Charleston, South Carolina. By 1775, in New York there were 3,100 slaves, accounting for 30 percent to 40 percent of the city's workforce.

Slavery was part of every American colony until Vermont got rid of it in 1777; emancipation "came grudgingly and not completely" in New York until 1827."

http://www.newyorkology.com/archives/2005/10/slavery_in...

Many of our ancestors from north, south, east, AND west dealt in evil, unjust, and inhumane practices.

:-(
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in_cog_ni_to Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. I know., But our discussion was about the Confederate Flag.
That's how the conversation started....my rant about a pick up truck with a Confederate Flag on it. I know slavery was countrywide, but for the sake of THIS argument, I ask about the South. Thanks for you input though. :hi:
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cureautismnow Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:51 AM
Response to Reply #13
18. Okey-Dokie. 1/3 of Southern Families...
At least according to the link below that breaks it down state-by-state.

http://72.14.203.104/search?q=cache:ucebl-6pd8gJ:www.mc...

The 26% figure is calculated from all slaves states, not just southern.
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Dan Donating Member (595 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
17. In 1850...
Very interesting question, especially if you consider that Slavery was not just a southern experience, but if we restrict this question to southern responsibility, maybe this might help.

"..The number of slaverholders grew steadily as plantations society marched west, but most slaves lived on plantations - conventionally defined in the U.S. as a unit of agricultural production with twenty or more resident slaves. More than one quarter of the slave population - some one million slaves in 1850 - dwelled on great plantations with fifty or more slaves. In the states of the lower South, where the plantations were concentrated, this proportion exceeded one third...."; Source "Remembering Slavery, pg. xxvii, The New Press * New York".

hope this little helps, if I had a little more time could probably find this interesting detail, but rather limited in time/opportunity.

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Payne Donating Member (30 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 01:15 AM
Response to Original message
20. So
Edited on Sat Apr-01-06 01:16 AM by Payne
did your brother give you the lame "it's was fought over state rights lecture", there actually teaching that crap in school these days.
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Elwood P Dowd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
21. Vast areas of the south had zero slaves
I live in Alabama, and many of my ancestors moved here in the 1800s - some before and some after the Civil War.

My father's family lived in an area of North Alabama that had no slaves. Many areas of the state had very few slaves, and there were large areas in Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia that were similar . The bordering county, Winston County, actually seceded from the State Of Alabama over the issue. They called it The Free State Of Winston County.

The family tree shows only two ancestors fighting in the Civil War, and one of those joined a unit in Tennessee that fought for the North.

Dad said he never saw a black person until he visited Birmingham around 1925. There were not any plantations in his county, so there were not any descendent's from the slavery times.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-01-06 02:08 AM
Response to Original message
22. Some people owned 1 or 2 slaves
I see that alot when going through census records and wills doing genealogy research. The people who did own slaves generally owned a very small number. They helped with kitchen work and farm work, that sort of thing. The number of very large plantation owners seems to be around 10%, just based on what I've seen in the records myself. Maybe that's the figure the friend is using.

Ask him what his friend thinks about the Mexicans flying their flag. Then ask him why his friend thinks its okay to celebrate his "heritage", but not okay for Mexicans to celebrate theirs. That should clue him into the hypocrisy too.
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