Possible Explanation for Black Slaveowners

Thanks Ed Toner


Dear Mr. Toner:

The case of free black slavowners does throw yet another interesting wrench into the works; Anthony johnson may in fact be the most serious wrench, since one of his slaves actually complained against him to the burgesses for cruelty. Nevertheless, the vast majority of free black slaveowners were actually 'owners' of their family members; in other words, one member of a slave family achieved freedom, and then "bought" his family members from their master. this became increasingly necessary over time as Southern states tightened their black codes to exclude new manumissions or to restrict the growth of the free black population.

I made no allusion to this in the Op-ed simply for want of space.

Best wishes.... ACG



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