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Did Black People Own Slaves? 

100 Amazing Facts About the Negro: Yes -- but why they did and how many they owned will surprise you. 

Posted: March 4 2013 12:03 AM
 
 

How Many Slaves Did Blacks Own?

So what do the actual numbers of black slave owners and their slaves tell us? In 1830, the year most carefully studied by Carter G. Woodson, about 13.7 percent (319,599) of the black population was free. Of these, 3,776 free Negroes owned 12,907 slaves, out of a total of 2,009,043 slaves owned in the entire United States, so the numbers of slaves owned by black people over all was quite small by comparison with the number owned by white people. In his essay, " 'The Known World' of Free Black Slaveholders," Thomas J. Pressly, using Woodson's statistics, calculated that 54 (or about 1 percent) of these black slave owners in 1830 owned between 20 and 84 slaves; 172 (about 4 percent) owned between 10 to 19 slaves; and 3,550 (about 94 percent) each owned between 1 and 9 slaves. Crucially, 42 percent owned just one slave.

Pressly also shows that the percentage of free black slave owners as the total number of free black heads of families was quite high in several states, namely 43 percent in South Carolina, 40 percent in Louisiana, 26 percent in Mississippi, 25 percent in Alabama and 20 percent in Georgia. So why did these free black people own these slaves?

It is reasonable to assume that the 42 percent of the free black slave owners who owned just one slave probably owned a family member to protect that person, as did many of the other black slave owners who owned only slightly larger numbers of slaves. As Woodson put it in 1924's Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830, "The census records show that the majority of the Negro owners of slaves were such from the point of view of philanthropy. In many instances the husband purchased the wife or vice versa â€Ķ Slaves of Negroes were in some cases the children of a free father who had purchased his wife. If he did not thereafter emancipate the mother, as so many such husbands failed to do, his own children were born his slaves and were thus reported to the numerators."

Moreover, Woodson explains, "Benevolent Negroes often purchased slaves to make their lot easier by granting them their freedom for a nominal sum, or by permitting them to work it out on liberal terms." In other words, these black slave-owners, the clear majority, cleverly used the system of slavery to protect their loved ones. That's the good news. 

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 But not all did, and that is the bad news. Halliburton concludes, after examining the evidence, that "it would be a serious mistake to automatically assume that free blacks owned their spouse or children only for benevolent purposes." Woodson himself notes that a "small number of slaves, however, does not always signify benevolence on the part of the owner." And John Hope Franklin notes that in North Carolina, "Without doubt, there were those who possessed slaves for the purpose of advancing their [own] well-being â€Ķ these Negro slaveholders were more interested in making their farms or carpenter-shops 'pay' than they were in treating their slaves humanely." For these black slaveholders, he concludes, "there was some effort to conform to the pattern established by the dominant slaveholding group within the State in the effort to elevate themselves to a position of respect and privilege." In other words, most black slave owners probably owned family members to protect them, but far too many turned to slavery to exploit the labor of other black people for profit.

Who Were These Black Slave Owners?

If we were compiling a "Rogues Gallery of Black History," the following free black slaveholders would be in it:

John Carruthers Stanly -- born a slave in Craven County, N.C., the son of an Igbo mother and her master, John Wright Stanly -- became an extraordinarily successful barber and speculator in real estate in New Bern. As Loren Schweninger points out in Black Property Owners in the South, 1790-1915, by the early 1820s, Stanly owned three plantations and 163 slaves, and even hired three whiteoverseers to manage his property! He fathered six children with a slave woman named Kitty, and he eventually freed them. Stanly lost his estate when a loan for $14,962 he had co-signed with his white half brother, John, came due. After his brother's stroke, the loan was Stanly's sole responsibility, and he was unable to pay it.

Last edited by Former Member
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It is ironic that you post this article Comrade Low Breed because this article is instructive and very similar to how the PPP went from working class party to enslaving the Guyanese population. 

 

The PPP imported the white plague from America to enslave Guyanese low breeds like yourself. Your mind is still enslaved, you get what I am saying comrade?

Far from shocking, yuji.

If you read world history you will learn that many societies evolved from a free primitive state to slavery to feudalism to capitalism.

In ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, white people enslaved fellow white people.

American history up to 1865 was also marked by slavery as the dominant political socio-economic system in the southern states. Freed blacks owned black slaves because the laws permitted it and the economic system facilitated it.

We must not judge past societies by modern-day yardsticks.

Slaves in those days were seen as like cash in the bank today.  Some of the blacks that owned black slaves were in fact the mix race offspring of white plantation owners and slave women.  Some of these white plantation owners left (in their wills) some of their slaves for their mixed race children as a way of taking care of them.

Originally Posted by Gilbakka:

Far from shocking, yuji.

If you read world history you will learn that many societies evolved from a free primitive state to slavery to feudalism to capitalism.

In ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, white people enslaved fellow white people.

American history up to 1865 was also marked by slavery as the dominant political socio-economic system in the southern states. Freed blacks owned black slaves because the laws permitted it and the economic system facilitated it.

We must not judge past societies by modern-day yardsticks.

 

Gil

 

I am quite familiar with History but it appears that this is a dark secret kept far away from the history books.

 

All forms of slavery was horrible.

 

Even though indentured, our foreparts from Guyana were treated no less than slaves by the British.

Last edited by Former Member
Originally Posted by RiffRaff:

Yugi now learning history....thought you knew this stuff

 

Yuji is exposing what historians did not want us to know that Blacks themselves owned slaves and participated in the Slave Trade.

 

So when Carib and others blame whites for the slavery mentality that has hindered Blacks, he must be reminded that his black brothers are equally guilty.

 

Last edited by Former Member
Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by RiffRaff:

Yugi now learning history....thought you knew this stuff

 

Yuji is exposing what historians did not want us to know that Blacks themselves owned slaves and participated in the Slave Trade.

 

You talking nonsense...my son has done US and WOrld history, and he knows blacks owned slaves...he learned that from history books

 

Maybe you were not exposed to those books

Originally Posted by RiffRaff:
Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by RiffRaff:

Yugi now learning history....thought you knew this stuff

 

Yuji is exposing what historians did not want us to know that Blacks themselves owned slaves and participated in the Slave Trade.

 

You talking nonsense...my son has done US and WOrld history, and he knows blacks owned slaves...he learned that from history books

 

Maybe you were not exposed to those books

 

My children In Canada were not taught that in Schools.

 

Please post the History Books used in the NY, USA schools that provided this information.

Originally Posted by RiffRaff:
Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by RiffRaff:

My son is out right now...when he comes back...I'll provide you with the info

 

Thanks.

 

Please post it when available. Important, this book must be part of the official school curriculum in NY State. 

where do you think he studies....in Africa?

 

Perhaps, Perhaps not.

My son just came in...he took history a year ago and don't remember the exact name of the textbook...he said he'll get it during the week...he explained that in rare cases the Mulatoes, and light skinned blacks owned slaves, but only after the one drop rule (look it up), was lifted in some states....and it was kept secret to a certain degree 

 

I have to go out...but once he gets the book...I'll post it

Originally Posted by RiffRaff:

My son just came in...he took history a year ago and don't remember the exact name of the textbook...he said he'll get it during the week...he explained that in rare cases the Mulatoes, and light skinned blacks owned slaves, but only after the one drop rule (look it up), was lifted in some states....and it was kept secret to a certain degree 

 

I have to go out...but once he gets the book...I'll post it

 

Eagerly awaiting on the official textbooks names from New York State schools.

 

Regarding slavery, Blacks did own salves. I did some research. I do not want this topic to become race related.

 

No one can distort History.

Originally Posted by Wally:

Slaves in those days were seen as like cash in the bank today.  Some of the blacks that owned black slaves were in fact the mix race offspring of white plantation owners and slave women.  Some of these white plantation owners left (in their wills) some of their slaves for their mixed race children as a way of taking care of them.

 

 

Exactly.  In addition many of the black "slave owners" were freed men who bought their own family members.  In some Southern states slaves who were freed after a certain year were forced to leave the state or risk re-enslavement.  Those already freed were grandfathered out of that rule, so that freed men, in order to keep ties to their family, had to buy them.

 

Of course those who will justify slavery will use the fact that a tiny % of blacks owned slaves for commercial purposes to justify this odious system.

 

Another little secret is that MANY IRISH were SLAVES too!

Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by Wally:

Slaves in those days were seen as like cash in the bank today.  Some of the blacks that owned black slaves were in fact the mix race offspring of white plantation owners and slave women.  Some of these white plantation owners left (in their wills) some of their slaves for their mixed race children as a way of taking care of them.

 

 

 

Another little secret is that MANY IRISH were SLAVES too!

 

Caught from the streets of England and enslaved for seven years.

Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by HM_Redux:
Comrade low breed you see what you miss out on in getting a good education? The basics......

 

Uneducated and Unemployed Chammar Redux,

 

Slavery did not exist in Canada. Slaves escaped from the US to Canada to escape the horrible slave trade. Yuji was educated in Canada.

 

 

Slavery did exist in Canada but it ended in 1834.  The runaways from the USA arrived after then.  In addition life was harsh for them in Canada due to the racism, so many returned to the USA when slavery ended there.

 

Don't pat yourself over alleged lack of racism in Canada because Canadians law specifically prevented people like you from migrating there until 1962.  They wanted to keep Canada white, and British in places like Ontario.

Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by caribny:
Originally Posted by Wally:

Slaves in those days were seen as like cash in the bank today.  Some of the blacks that owned black slaves were in fact the mix race offspring of white plantation owners and slave women.  Some of these white plantation owners left (in their wills) some of their slaves for their mixed race children as a way of taking care of them.

 

 

 

Another little secret is that MANY IRISH were SLAVES too!

 

Caught from the streets of England and enslaved for seven years.

Also true in the older British colonies like Barbados, St Kitts and Jamaica.  Even today some their descendants live in poverty in parts of rural Jamaica and Barbados, shunned by all, black and white.  They call them "ecky becky" in Barbados.  Rihanna has some of this ancestry on her father's side.

 

And BTW that 7 year limit was a disaster because the slave owners wanted to get as much as they could from them before that period ended and so large numbers didn't even live that long.  Ironically white slaves were treated worse than the black ones.

Last edited by caribny
Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by RiffRaff:
Originally Posted by yuji22:
Originally Posted by RiffRaff:

Yugi now learning history....thought you knew this stuff

 

Yuji is exposing what historians did not want us to know that Blacks themselves owned slaves and participated in the Slave Trade.

 

You talking nonsense...my son has done US and WOrld history, and he knows blacks owned slaves...he learned that from history books

 

Maybe you were not exposed to those books

 

My children In Canada were not taught that in Schools.

 

Please post the History Books used in the NY, USA schools that provided this information.

My children in Canada was taught that in schools. Anyway you are a slave to your racist mentality. It's not too late for you to enter college. Low breeds like you are accecpted.