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Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United States in 1830: Together with Absentee Ownership of Slaves

Updated: Oct 11, 2023

This statistical report on the free Negro ownership of slaves was made possible in 1921 when the Director of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History obtained from the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial an appropriation for the support of research into certain neglected aspects of Negro History. This special report, however, was not the objective of the Research Department of the Association. It developed rather as a by-product. In compiling statistics for the much larger report on Free Negro Reads of Families in the United States in 1830, the investigators found so many cases of Negroes owning slaves that it was decided to take special notice of this phase of the History of the free Negro. The report on the Absentee Ownership of Slaves in the United States in 1830 attached hereto developed in a similar way. The investigators were impressed also with the frequent occurrence of such wide separation of the master from the slave. In noting ihe cases of free Negro ownership it was a simple matter, then, to record also the cases of absentee ownership, and it was done accordingly.

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