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Slavery in the Antebellum South

2020-02-21 23:26:29.972091+00 by Dan Lyke 1 comments

Over on Facebook, I asked a question:

Can anyone recommend a good reputable history of the American South?

I was recently in a Facebook discussion where someone tossed in the number that a census showed that only 5.6% of White Southern households owned slaves. I did a little Googling and discovered that, yeah, maybe, but if you consider that there were on average 5 or more people per household, that number was really closer to 1 in 4 households owning slaves. But nobody's really exactly sure.

And I've seen claims that the Antebellum South had some huge income disparities, and some that, in fact, if you where white but didn't own slaves yourself you were still renting them from neighbors.

And then I'm listening to the awesome Dolly Parton's America podcast, and hearing some of the discussion of the history of labor organizing in the period between the Civil War and WWII, and I'm realizing that there are a whole lot of myths I've absorbed through various sources, some of which come from having lived in Tennessee for nearly a decade, that I don't know how to trust.

And of course there's the whole running the Cherokee off the land that I only know a little bit about....

Joe Thompson came up with General Tables Derived From The First And Subsequent Censuses 1790-1900, if you scroll down to around page 88 (of the PDF, not the original doc) you see some fascinating numbers. Like while Pennsylvania had an average of 5 slaves per 100 families/households, and that of those households with slaves, the average was 2.6 slaves per household, North and South Carolina had 191 and 418 slaves per family/household, but with an average per-slave-owning-family of 6.1 and 12.1, both had around a third holding slaves.

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#Comment Re: Slavery in the Antebellum South made: 2020-02-22 23:04:20.876428+00 by: meuon

Wow. Actual stats!

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