Born on the Bayou: BLACK SLAVE OWNERS

BLACK LIVES MATTER? Black Slaves Sometimes Owned Their Own Black Slaves on Creole Plantations in Louisiana

Have you ever been on an expedition with an excellent tour guide who knows his secret history well? Ten years ago when I was out on the bayous and plantations outside of New Orleans I had one of those high octane tour guides who delights in shocking his audience with little known facts. His politically incorrect revelations were emblazoned upon my consciousness and are a pleasure to replay in my brain to this very day. If you want to find the truth in life sometimes you have to wade out into the swamp and get your boots muddy.

All of the excitement over the whole Black Lives Matter movement has inspired me to sit down and write this American history blog.

Our Louisiana plantation tour guide was the first person to tell me about black slaves owning their own black slaves. Most of the information available on the subject of black slaveowners concerns free blacks owning slaves. However our guide was insistent that on some Creole plantations there were black slaves that actually owned their own black slaves. This concept brings a whole new meaning to the Black Lives Matter movement, don’t you think?

black lives matter

This statistical report on the free Negro ownership of slaves was made possible in 1921 when the Director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History obtained from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial an appropriation for the support of research into certain neglected aspects of Negro History. This special report, however, was not the objective of the Research Department of the Association. It developed rather as a by-product. In compiling statistics for the much larger report on Free Negro Reads of Families in the United States in 1830, the investigators found so many cases of Negroes owning slaves that it was decided to take special notice of this phase of the History of the free Negro. The report on the Absentee Ownership of Slaves in the United States in 1830 attached hereto developed in a similar way. The investigators were impressed also with the frequent occurrence of such wide separation of the master from the slave. In noting ihe cases of free Negro ownership it was a simple matter, then, to record also the cases of absentee ownership, and it was done accordingly.

Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830

By Dean K. McAdams has been blogging in WordPress since 2008.