Date of Award
College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts
J. Edward Lee, Ph.D.
O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight, Ph.D.
Gregory D. Bell, Ph.D.
U.S., South Carolina, African American, Civil War and Reconstruction, Slavery, Antebellum Period
Exploring the lives and impact of the Black slaveholders in Antebellum South Carolina is a highly overlooked subject in a sensitive area. The idea of a Black slaveholder stands contrary to the widely held belief of slavery held by a majority in the United States. This realization is also startling as most slaveholders were White, with those in bondage being Black. These Black slaveholders actively took part in the system of slavery including the buying and selling of slaves, the production of cash crops, and even support for the eventual Confederacy. Although many began their life in chains, Black future slaveowners would achieve their freedom and purchase their slaves for many reasons. These reasons extend from wanting to save their family from the horrors of slavery to using slaves to achieve their financial goals. These Black slaveowners offer a unique look into the system of slavery and an idea of the differing opinions of slavery held by Black society in the 1800s. This subject is essential to look at as it will offer a unique perspective on the traditional view of the slavery system and how that could impact the years following it.
Saddow, Zachary M., "Black Joining the Ranks of White: Black Slaveowning in 1800s South Carolina" (2023). Graduate Theses. 153.