What percent of slaves in the US were owned by blacks?

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,447
There were black, sometimes mulatto, slave owners. How uncommon was this? Were 1% or more of slaves owned by what are considered blacks? Have there been any studies on this?
 
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Oct 2015
935
Virginia
See: "Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the US in 1830" by Carter G Woodson (1924). Cited in "The Peculiar Institution" - Kenneth M Stampp (1956).

Stampp/Woodson say there were over 3600 free African Americans or people of mixed ancestry who owned slaves in 1830. The vast majority of them had purchased their wives, children or husbands, and were unable to free them under existing state laws.
Delaware and Arkansas law did not allow "free persons of color" to own slaves, and nearly all Southern whites disapproved. But there were, apparently, a few substantial planters. Stampp mentions one in Virginia who owned 71 slaves, one in Louisiana who owned 75, and two in South Carolina who owned 84 apiece.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,447
I ordered the Woodson book. It seems to have listings of black owners with numbers of slaves.

3600 black slave owners in 1830 would have been about 2% of slave owners, so perhaps 1% of slaves were owned by blacks (including mulattos).
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,447
I got the Woodson book quickly with Amazon Prime. It is just a list of black slave owners and number of slaves. They didn't seem to own many in general, so the total slaves owned seems pretty low.

There is also a similar list of absentee slave owners. The South Carolina rice plantations had mostly absentee owners. It was dangerous for whites with tropical diseases. Also, very dangerous for the slaves actually working in the swampy conditions. Not sure if they had white or black head overseers. More African language and culture is maintained in those areas, as there was a high black percentage.
 

betgo

Ad Honorem
Jul 2011
6,447
I looked through the book, and most of the blacks with 20+ slaves were in southern Louisiana, and second was South Carolina. Presumably, the blacks in Louisiana were mostly given or willed slaves by their fathers. The black officers of Louisiana black Union troops were probably mostly from slave owning families.
 
Mar 2012
406
This is interesting....I mean would'nt they side with the Confederacy? Then again the Confederacy did consider blacks to be naturally inferior(at least until the superior Chiristian civilization was fully bestoyed upon them)?? I know the Cane River Creoles of LA, who were landowners apperantly supported the Confederacy...but they feared a loss of status if slaves were freed...

How many of these were there [black officers]?