Blacks Owning Black Slaves


The Old Plantation, ca. 1790-1800. Watercolor ... The Old Plantation 1790-1800


The fact is large numbers of free Negroes owned black slaves.


In 1860, only a small minority of whites owned slaves. According to the U.S. census report for that last year before the Civil War, there were nearly 27 million Whites (today, 200 million?) in the country. Some eight million of them lived in the slaveholding states.

The census also determined that there were fewer than 385,000 individuals who owned slaves (1). IF, all slaveholders had just been White, that would amount to only 1.4% of Whites (or 98.6 percent NOT owning any slaves) in the country (or 4.8 percent of southern Whites owning one or more slaves).

In the rare instances when the ownership of slaves by Free Negroes is acknowledged in the history books, justification centers on the claim that Black slave…

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