Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Searching For African American Slavery In FamilySearch Wiki

Searching in the FamilySearch Wiki can bring up an amazing amount of information.

You find the FamilySearch Wiki by going to > click learn > then click ehte Wiki photo > then use the search box.

As an example the search for "African American Slavery" has several articles. This is a poriton of one of them.

Brief History of Slavery in America

Nearly 75 percent of people who arrived in America from Europe and Africa before 1776 were immigrants in bondage. Those from Africa almost always arrived enslaved. Those from Europe were often convicts, indentured servant apprentices, or became indentured servants to pay for the cost of their ocean crossing. In colonial times indentured servitude as an apprentice was considered the normal way to learn a trade (part of growing up), or a normal option for paying a large debt.[1]

In 1619 a Dutch ship blown off course came looking for fresh water near Jamestown, Virginia. At Jamestown the Dutch sold 20 of the African slaves they had captured from a Spanish ship originally bound for Mexico. These were the earliest known African immigrants to arrive in what is now the United States. It was the custom of that time to free servant-slaves after seven years.[2][3]

Caribbean and Brazilian plantations (95 percent of the trans-Atlantic slave trade) usually grew sugar and few slaves survived there for seven years. In America (five percent of the slave trade) slaves lived longer and had children. In the thirteen British-American colonies a milder climate and better working conditions growing tobacco, cotton, hemp, and indigo allowed slaves to live long enough to be freed. But the institution of lifetime chattel slavery applied to people of African descent was slowly accepted and developed when owners were reluctant to free such valuable labor to compete with their former owners. This form of slavery was formally legalized first in British-America in 1654.[4]

All 13 British-American colonies participated in the slave trade before 1780. In the 1750s a slavery abolitionist movement began and grew stronger. Vermont was the first to abolish slavery in 1777 and by 1804 all individual states north of the Mason-Dixon line had gradually ended slavery. The Northwest Ordinance of 1787 was a federal law that prohibited slavery north of the Ohio River. Slave labor works best when the assigned task is relatively simple, such as large scale agriculture. Slavery in increasingly industrialized America was becoming too expensive until the invention of the cotton gin in 1793. A healthy young adult male slave was worth about two years wages, so most owners considered freeing slaves an economic hardship. The Constitution of the United States permitted the outlawing of the importation of slaves starting in 1808, but the internal slave trade continued until the end of the Civil War and the Thirteenth Amendment prohibited chattel slavery in 1865.[5]  
Fiding Plantation Records

Ante-Bellum Southern Plantations Collection or Repository[7] User Guide FHL First Film
Series A, Selections from the South Carolina Library. University of South Carolina
  • Part 1: The Papers of James Henry Hammond, 1795-1865
  • Part 2: Miscellaneous Collections
Series B, Selections from the South Carolina Historical Society    
Series C, Selections from the Library of Congress
  • Part 1: Virginia
  • Part 2: Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina
Series D, Selections from the Maryland Historical Society  
Series E, Selections from the University of Virginia Library
  • Part 1: Virginia Plantations
  • Part 3: Virginia Plantations
  • Part 4: Cooke Family Papers
  • Part 5: Ambler Family Papers
  • Part 6: Virginia Plantations
Series F, Selections from the Duke University Library
  • Part 1: The Deep South
  • Part 2: South Carolina and Georgia
  • Part 3: North Carolina, Maryland and Virginia
  • Part 4: North Carolina and Virginia Plantations
  • Part 5: William Patterson Smith Collections
Series G, Selections from the Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin
  • Part 1: Texas and Louisiana Collections
  • Part 2: William Massie Collection
  • Part 3: Bank of the State of Mississippi Records, 1804-1846
  • Part 4: Winchester Family Papers, 1783-1906
  • Part 5: Other Plantation Collections
Series H, Selections from the Howard-Tilton Library, Tulane University, and the Louisiana State Museum Archives  
Series I, Selections from Louisiana State University
  • Part 1: Louisiana Sugar Plantations
  • Part 2: Louisiana and Miscellaneous Southern Cotton Plantations
  • Part 3: The Natchez Area
  • Part 4: Barrow, Bisland, Bowman and Other Collections
  • Part 5: Butler Family Collections
  • Part 6: David Weeks and Family Collections
Series J, Selections from the Southern Historical Collections, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  • Part 1: The Cameron Family Papers
  • Part 2: The Pettigrew Family Papers
  • Part 3: South Carolina
  • Part 4: Georgia and Florida
  • Part 5: Louisiana
  • Part 6: Mississippi and Arkansas
  • Part 7: Alabama
  • Part 8: Tennessee and Kentucky
  • Part 9: Virginia
  • Part 10: Hubard Family Papers, 1741-1865
  • Part 11: Hairston and Wilson Families
  • Part 12: Tidewater and Coastal Plains North Carolina
  • Part 13: Piedmont North Carolina
  • Part 14: Western North Carolina
Series K, Selections from the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation Library, The Shirley Plantation Collection, 1650-1888  
Series L, Selections from the Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary
  • Part 1: Carter Papers, 1667-1882
  • Part 2: Jerdone Family Papers, 1736-1918
  • Part 3: Skipwith Family Papers, 1760-1977
  • Part 4: Austin-Twyman Papers, 1765-1865 and Charles Brown Papers, 1792-1888
Series M, Selections from the Virginia Historical Society
  • Part 1: Tayloe Family, 1650-1970
  • Part 2: Northern Neck of Virginia; also Maryland
  • Part 3: Other Tidewater Virginia
  • Part 4: Central Piedmont Virginia
  • Part 5: Southside Virginia
  • Part 6: Northern Virginia and Valley
Series N, Selections from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History  

Slavery in Ante-Bellum Southern Industries Collection or Repository[8] User Guide FHL First Film
Series A, Selection from Duke University Library    
Series B, Selection from Southern Historical Collection, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill  
Series C, Selections from the Virginia Historical Society
  • Part 1: Mining and Smelting Industries
  • Part 2: Railroad and Canal Construction Industries and Other Trades and Industries
Series D, Selections from the University of Virginia Library
  • Part 1: Mining and Smelting Industries
Series E, Selections from the McCormick-International Harvester Collection

Registers of Slaves and Freedmen and Manumission Papers

By the time of start of the Civil War in 1861 about ten percent of African Americans were free. Most free African Americans carried their own papers, but these could be stolen. In order to distinguish between slaves, runaways, and free African Americans, many counties or states in the upper South, and border states kept one or more sets of registers or papers. Some had registers of slaves. Some kept registers of blacks, freedmen, "free men of color," or "free negroes." Some kept copies of manumission papers of people freed from enslavement. To find these kinds of registers or papers look in county courthouse records. They are most likely found in the court papers, or among the land and property deeds, or occasionally in probate records, or even with taxation records. Sometimes these kinds of records are found at state libraries, archives, or historical soci

The Slave Trade Registers

The Constitution allowed the outlawing of the importation of slaves to the United States after 1808. Between then and the Civil War the internal slave trade became an important business in the Southern United States. Most states regulated the slave trade. A few kept records of slave traders and their businesses. Look for such business registers at state libraries, archives, historical societies, or county courthouses.

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database

The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database Internet site contains references to 35,000 slave voyages, including over 67,000 Africans aboard slave ships, using name, age, gender, origin, and place of embarkation. The database is about the slave trade between Africa, Europe, Brazil, the Caribbean, and the United States.


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