Episode 109 Resources – Tracing the Trade: Slavery in North and South Carolina

In this second episode in our Dawn of a New Decade series, learn the ins and outs of the first two census sets of the 20th century and the gems within to unearth more research finds!

Click here to watch episode 109 

Previous Episodes of Interest:

North Carolina and South Carolina split in 1729; 110 years after 1619, 47 years before the founding of the United States.

North Carolina

  • “After the Carolinas officially split in 1729, North Carolina had 6,000 slaves compared to South Carolina’s 32,000.”
  • “Many owners in North Carolina purchased their slaves via overland routes from South Carolina, Georgia, and the Chesapeake region.”
  • There was a lot of back and forth regarding the legality of importing African people prior to 1800. “In 1816 North Carolina and several other states passed the Act to Dispose of Illegally Imported Slaves, opting to sell all slaves who had been imported after 1808 with the proceeds benefiting the state treasury.”
  • This is a set of records that many people may not be privy to searching to find their Middle Passage ancestors
  • “Between 1810 and 1820, 137,000 slaves were sent from the Chesapeake states and North Carolina to Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas.”

South Carolina

  • “Africans were imported in significant numbers from about the 1690s, and by 1715 the black population made up about sixty percent of the colony’s total population. South Carolina was the only colony in English North America where the Black population made up 60% of the total population.” 
  • “The majority of the local trade in South Carolina was ordered by the courts (these records are not digitized)”
  • “Once an enslaved person was caught up in the slave trade, their chances of being sold multiple times increased exponentially”
  • “Overall in estate sales, slave traders accounted for 12-14% of the purchasers. [see  resource link below for Charleston’s Weeping Time]. Several bought only children without parents.”
  • “Lowcountry South Carolina was distinguished by the task system of labor organization, which allowed slaves time to work for themselves after completion of their daily assignments and permitted some to accumulate property.” Louisiana had a similar system.

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