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AfriGeneas Free Persons of Color Forum

Slave Property Ownership -Dylan Penningroth's Book
In Response To: Free Person ()

It was not uncommon for recently freed people to have large amounts of money. I would not automatically conclude that they may have been free. Your ancestor may have been a highly skilled laborer who negotiated use of farmland and permission to sell what he raised. He may also have been working on purchasing his freedom, or the freedom of his relatives. It was rather common for slaves to have money.

For a lengthier discussion of property ownership amongst slaves, check Dylan Penningroth's book, The Claims of Kinfolk. He examined records of the Southern Claims Commission (SCC) and unearthed a considerable amount of information. His book is based on his PhD dissertation which includes in an appendix, the names of ex-slaves whose claims were granted by the SCC. The book is fairly new, so you should be able to find it easily. Check www.abe.com for used, new and discounted copies.


18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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