By Larry Koger
Have been black masters assorted from white? An research of all points and especially of the commercialism of black slaveowning debunks the parable that black slaveholding was once a benevolent establishment in accordance with kinship, and explains the transition of black masters from slavery to paid exertions.
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Additional resources for Black Slaveowners: Free Black Slave Masters in South Carolina 1790-1860
It was not unusual for free blacks to work on plantations and farms as slave drivers and overseers. Consequently, when the white owners left their estates during the summer season to escape the dreaded fever, or when they were simply absentee planters, their free black slave drivers and overseers were left in charge of the estates. Also there were free black artisans, tenant farmers, and former slaves living on the estates owned by white planters and farmers without any white presence on the premises.
Lewis, this book would have been impossible. Indeed, the seminar taught by Professor Lewis prompted an investigation which lasted five years. It was at Howard University that I improved my methods and asked more sophisticated questions. I am deeply indebted to Professor Thomas J. Davis, who read my graduate papers on the black slaveowners of South Carolina, and Martha S. " Their insights were extremely beneficial. In addition, a word of thanks must go to Walter Hill, a graduate student at Maryland University.
On the whole, the paranoia of the white community did not allow the vast majority of free black heads of household to have many slave boarders for fear of collaboration which would have led to a possible slave rebellion. Interestingly, black slaveownership did not represent a threat to the safety of the white community. Edwin C. "' Holland's belief that free black slave masters served a useful purpose to the white community was shared by other white citizens. In 1835, the editor of the Charleston Courier defended the right of the free black to own slaves on the grounds that "his right to hold slaves gives him a stake in the institution of slavery and makes it his interest as well as his duty to uphold it.