Viral image
“At the PEAK of slavery in 1860, only 1.4% of Americans owned slaves. What your history books (don’t) tell you is that 3,000 blacks owned a total of 20,000 slaves the same year.”

Viral image on Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017 in social media feeds


More Confederate Statues Face Removal

More Confederate Statues Face Removal
The Confederacy is memorialized in statues, monuments and other historical monuments throughout the United States. The Civil War ended more than 150 years ago, and while some stay these are monuments that mark history and honor heritage many others argue that they’re racist symbols of American slavery. Most recently tensions flared last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia when a group of white supremacists marched last weekend to protest the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue, resulting in the death of a counterprotester. States across the country are voting on whether to remove any tributes to the Confederacy they might have. In the wake of the Charlottesville attack some states, including California, Florida, and Louisiana have already taken down statues.
The Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Va., has influenced the debate over removing confederate statues.

Viral post gets it wrong about extent of slavery in 1860

The slaves of Gen. Thomas F. Drayton. (Wikimedia commons)

Confederate-themed posts are cropping up on social media in the wake of the Unite the Right march in Charlottesville, Va.

The march was sparked by efforts to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and included some marchers carrying Confederate symbols.

One viral post sent to us by a reader said, “At the PEAK of slavery in 1860, only 1.4% of Americans owned slaves. What your history books doesn’t tell you is that 3,000 blacks owned a total of 20,000 slaves the same year.” The post is signed, “Proud Southern Deplorable – Southern Rebel” and goes on to say, “If you’re sick of the race baiting, please LIKE and SHARE.”


When we took a closer look, we found that the percentage of slaveholding families was dramatically higher than what the meme said, and that the number of slaves owned by blacks was presented in a misleading way.

‘At the PEAK of Slavery in 1860, Only 1.4% of Americans owned slaves.’

The primary source of data about slaves and slaveholding in 1860 is that year’s census.

Census data from 1860 isn’t perfect, said University of North Carolina historian Joseph T. Glatthaar, author of Soldiering in the Army of Northern Virginia: A Statistical Portrait of the Troops Who Served under Robert E. Lee. But it remains “the best evidence we have.”

In the big picture, the 1860 Census counted a total of 31,443,321 people, of which 3,953,760 were slaves. So slaves accounted for 12.6 percent of the national population.

However, to address the assertion in the post requires more detailed data. Many states had outlawed slavery by 1860, so the national population figure dilutes the measurement by including many Americans whose states did not allow them to own slaves. The national population figure also includes slaves and children, and it doesn’t account either for family groupings or how many slaves a given family owned.

So experts say that a more accurate measure of slaveholding in 1860 America would focus on states that allowed slavery, and would zero in on family or household units, as a way of limiting the statistical noise caused by counting slaves and children.

“The number that really matters is how many American households in the South had slaves,” said Adam Goodheart, a Washington College historian and author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening

Using Census data to research his book, Glatthaar calculated that 4.9 percent of people in the slaveholding states owned slaves, that 19.9 percent of family units in those states owned slaves, and that 24.9 percent of households owned slaves. (Households are a broader category than families.)

Each of these figures is significantly higher than the 1.4 percent cited in the social media post.

State-by-state figures show some variation. In Mississippi, 49 percent of families owned slaves, and in South Carolina, 46 percent did. In border states, the percentage was lower — 3 percent in Delaware and 12 percent in Maryland. The median for slaveholding states was about 27 percent.

Using the same data, it’s possible to calculate the statistic of dubious value cited in the viral image — the percentage of all American families that owned slaves. The answer: 7.4 percent, which about five times greater than what the meme says.

It’s also possible that the Census data is misleadingly low, Goodheart said.

“Many non-slaveholding whites in the South rented slaves from wealthier slaveholders,” he said. “So it was very common for a white Southerner to be a ‘slave master’ but not technically a ‘slave owner.”

‘3,000 blacks owned a total of 20,000 slaves the same year.’

We were unable to find hard data to debunk — or support — this figure.

The most solid data we found was published in an article in the Root by Henry Louis Gates Jr., a Harvard University historian. Gates cited research by Carter G. Woodson, an African-American historian who died in 1950. He found that in 1830, a total of “3,776 free Negroes owned 12,907 slaves.”

With three more decades of population growth, it’s plausible that the number of black-owned slaves could have grown to 20,000 by 1860, historians told us.

“I’d imagine that the (20,000 figure) quoted in the meme is probably not that far off from being true,” said Junius Rodriguez, a Eureka College historian and author of Slavery in the United States: A Social, Political, and Historical Encyclopedia.

But the 20,000 number is not necessarily as eye-popping as the meme makes it out to be.

For starters, even if the number is accurate, it would still account for just a tiny percentage of all slaves held in the United States in 1860 — specifically, one half of 1 percent. That runs contrary to the post’s framing.

“That’s a very small number compared to Latin American or Caribbean societies,” said Stephanie McCurry, a Columbia University historian and author of Confederate Reckoning: Power and Politics in the Civil War South.

In addition, the figure is almost certainly inflated by a legal quirk in most antebellum southern states.

It includes “many ‘owned’ family members whom they had purchased to become free,” said Eric Foner, a Columbia University historian and the author of such books as The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery. “You could not free a slave in most southern states without sending them out of the state.”

Gates, writing in the Root, noted that the late historian Thomas J. Pressly used Woodson’s statistics for 1830 to determine that about 42 percent of these black slaveholders owned just one slave. To Gates, this suggests that many — though hardly all — black “slaveholders” legally needed to “own” a family member such as a wife or child.

As Woodson wrote in his 1924 book Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United Statesin 1830, “In many instances the husband purchased the wife or vice versa. … Slaves of Negroes were in some cases the children of a free father who had purchased his wife. If he did not thereafter emancipate the mother, as so many such husbands failed to do, his own children were born his slaves and were thus reported to the numerators.”

In other cases, Woodson wrote, “Benevolent Negroes often purchased slaves to make their lot easier by granting them their freedom for a nominal sum, or by permitting them to work it out on liberal terms.”

Our ruling

The viral post said that “at the PEAK of slavery in 1860, only 1.4% of Americans owned slaves. What your history books doesn’t tell you is that 3,000 blacks owned a total of 20,000 slaves the same year.”

In reality, far more than 1.4 percent of families in slaveholding states — the most reasonable way to measure it — owned slaves. The number was between 20 and 25 percent, and in some states, the rate was twice as high. As for black-owned slaves, they certainly existed, but they represented a tiny fraction of all slaves in the United States, and many were likely “owned” by their spouses or parents due to the prevailing laws in many slaveholding states.

We rate the statement False.



My question…………where did the racist white supremacist alt-wrong savages get their “1.4” number from?

Which part of the digestive system did they pull it from?

Anyone who is familiar with the history of race-based slavery in the United States would by now know that there were many people who owned enslaved Black people.

The two biggest lies that swirl around in party circles, on the Internet, and anywhere are:

The trope that only a few rich White men and rich White women owned Black women, men and children, is one of the biggest lies ever perpetuated about American race-based enslavement.

The trope that not all Whites benefitted from race-based slavery, which is the second and most evil of lies.


  • The state of Mississippi was once the richest state in the entire nation at the time of 1860.


Because it had the most members of the elite planter class in all of the American South slave states. This class enslaved tens of thousands of Black people, and grew rich and fat off the blood-soaked/kidnapped/stolen free labor of enslaved Black women, men, and children. Hard to believe that once upon a time, Mississippi was the richest state in the Union, but, it was.

Now it is just a poor dried out former shadow of its vicious racist history. Karma, anyone?

There were many people involved in the slave trade, and rich plantation masters and mistresses were not the only ones.

  • Those involved in the race-based slave trade include those in the Upper South states were those who sold enslaves to those who would transport them down to the Deep South (Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi). These paid “Negro traders” grew fat and filthy like ticks and fleas, off the stolen bodies of Black people—Black women sold from their children they carried for nine months close to their heart, children they bore, children they would never see again. Black men who loved and cared for Black women they desired to spend their lives with, were ripped from the loving arms of women whom they could not even protect and cherish, sold far away from their loved ones. Little Black children—yes, little Black children— stolen from their mothers while the children were only six-, nine-, and twelve-years old. Little children who faced a life of a living hell. The Negro traders would sell these Black people to slave coffles.
  • These paid coffle owners forced/death marched these enslaved Black people who were put into the infamous slave coffles and marched on foot hundreds of miles to their final destination: beaten, raped, sodomized, starved, and facing the most perverse abominations that a human mind, body, and soul can bear—they finally arrived at the jails where they would be quartered before being put on the slave auction block that week.
  • The holders of these jail cells received monies for jailing these innocent enslaved Black souls. From there the enslaved Black people would be pawed over as less than an animal by prospective buyers, oh, I’m sorry—future rapists, thieves, and murderers who put their disease-ridden claws on the private body parts of Black women, men, and children to assess their so-called chattel slavery worth.From there they would be sent to the obscene birdcage of a plantation to live out the rest of their lives under the lash of the whip and the humiliation of being subjugated to a venomous system that would never, even to this day, ever see them as human.

Others grew fat like lice on the stolen lives and labour of enslaved Black people.

  • Paddyrollers, or slave patrollers, who made money off of patrolling the environs around the plantation—any Black person found off the plantation after dark/curfew, would be savagely beaten and returned to the plantation.
  • Negro breakers, that Frederick Douglas speaks of, were paid to break the minds, bodies, and spirits of enslaves who fought against race-based slavery and were runaways. Enslaves who suffered from the infamous disease known as drapetomania were sent to these psychotic monsters.
  • Then there are the buyers.

Whether 500 enslaves, 250 enslaves, 100 enslaves, 20, 0r 10, 0r 1-5–anyone who enslaved Black people were pieces of feces not fit to walk among the living.

  • Oh, must not forget the overseers, many of whom were poor lowlife who beat, raped, murdered, cut to pieces, and drove into the ground so many innocent enslaved Black women, men, and children.

They too were paid to destroy many, many, many innocent enslaved Black people.

So…, liars.

The entire system of American race-based slavery was built on and maintained on the backs of enslaved-for-life Black women, Black men, and little Black children.

Therefore, many Whites benefitted from this sick, twisted, perverted, sadistic system.


————-on to the statement about Blacks owning slaves.

In the article, Professor Carter G. Woodson is quoted as follows:

“As Woodson wrote in his 1924 book Free Negro Owners of Slaves in the United Statesin 1830, “In many instances the husband purchased the wife or vice versa. … Slaves of Negroes were in some cases the children of a free father who had purchased his wife. If he did not thereafter emancipate the mother, as so many such husbands failed to do, his own children were born his slaves and were thus reported to the numerators.”

In other cases, Woodson wrote, “Benevolent Negroes often purchased slaves to make their lot easier by granting them their freedom for a nominal sum, or by permitting them to work it out on liberal terms.”

I will have to respectfully disagree with the late Professor Woodson (PBUH).

True, the number of enslaved Black people owned by Black slave owners pales (pun intended) in comparison to those enslaved by Whites. True, documentation shows that they did not own tens of hundreds of enslaved Black people. True, many owned less than five Black people. Nothing but a drop in the bucket.

But, one question that is not mentioned in the article nor even hinted at is this:  Where did these Black (?) slave holders get the money from to purchase (free relatives) and enslave Black people (non-relatives)?

They did not have it handed over to them by poor Whites. Yeoman Whites hated and despised enslaved Blacks, and because of race-based slavery, were shut out of some professions (carpenter, blacksmith, etc.). White slave master used the free labor of enslaved Blacks to do many jobs in, on, and around the plantation.

They did not find money lying around on the ground.

They certainly did not find it growing on trees.

There is only one way the free blacks obtained money to purchase slaves of any kind (freed relatives or enslaved non-relatives).

They obtained it by buying slaves.

But, how did they obtain money to buy slaves?

Many of these “black” slave holders were mulattoes, the sons and daughters of White baby daddies who through their rapacious sexual abuse of enslaved Black women, raped into existence these mulatto sons and daughters. Feeling guilty (some of them) over the mixed-blood children they raped into existence, these white baby daddies would give their sons an apprentice education to learn a trade, earn some money, secretly free them, even set them up in a business to take care of themselves, and to ultimately buy property.

But in order to buy land to build a home, they needed the free labor of enslaved Blacks just like white baby daddy.

Yes, I am familiar with the statement that some free Blacks bought relatives, and there is some historical documentation for that, but, even if according to the bogus racist meme claim that 3,000 blacks owned 20,000 slaves (which is still a huge drop in the bucket compared to the millions of Black people enslaved by Whites), that is a hell of a lot of relatives. Keep in mind, the 1860 census declared that mulattos were a separate racial group from those who declared themselves free-white-and-21, and those declared black, subhuman, three-fifths of a human and chattel property.

Mulattos were a buffer class in parts of the South where they kept enslaved Blacks, and it is yet to be proven to me that many of the enslaved Blacks were benignly bought out of altruistic reasons.

They were bought for the same reasons Whites bought and enslaved Black people.

Case in point, April Ellison, of South Carolina:

“Ellison’s defense of slaveholding may have been as much a jumble of myths as whites’. At the bottom, however, his answer to the question of how he, a free man of color, could own slaves had a hard-edged precision no white man needed. No white person ever had to fear that his freedom could be alienated. No free Afro-American could ever be confident that his would not be. For Ellison, mastering slaves was central to his drive to master freedom. Patriarch of three generations of free Ellisons, he saw his primary responsibility as the preservation of his most precious asset. His family’s freedom, like that of all free people of color, rested on a trap door, and white hands gripped the lever. Free Negroes could do little to influence their destinies other than to impress whites with their economic achievement, to persuade them that they were respectable and useful members of society, and to assure them that they were trustworthy and loyal Southerners. In the antebellum South, nothing was more lucrative, more respectable, and more patriotic than owning slaves. Along with his land and shop, Ellison’s slaves formed a barrier against degradation and an endowment that he hoped would guarantee that his family continued to live as free people. Ellison did not make the rules of Southern society. Owning slaves attached him and his family to the dominant class of the South, who, if they would, could protect and defend his family’s freedom.”

Black Masters: A Free Family of Color in the Old South, Michael P. Johnson and James L. Roark, W.W. Norton & Company, 1984. Chapter IV, “Wisdom Hall”, pgs. 142-143.

In the end, it did not matter that Ellison owned Black people. It did not matter that he tried so hard to stave off degradation. After the Civil War, Ellison, like so many mulatto slave masters were relegated to the bottom rank of society, right along with the many Black people they had formerly enslaved.

I lay that travesty at the feet of White people. The garbage, trashy, tacky, trifling, terroristic plague of racist white supremacy has made this nation into a cesspool of racial vomit and monstrosities of lies built on top of lies.

For those racists white supremacists who love to believe the lies, misinformation, and disinformation bandied about on American race-based slavery, I have nothing but contempt.

After all that racist White men and women have done to Black people in this so-called nation, there is nothing they can say that can ever change the truth of history.

Any White person who has the audacity to tell Black people to “Shut up!” “Get over it!” had better learn to keep their mouths shut and STFU.

Except for the few Whites who can be counted on one hand who tell the truth of this nation’s history, the rest of Whites who believe and follow lies had better not even think about lording it over Black people where slavery is concerned.

No White person in these United States can say a damn thing whatsoever to Black people about slavery, Reconstruction, or Jane Crow segregation.

They do not have a leg to stand on—-they damn sure as hell do not have a pot to piss in and a window to through it out of concerning White people’s brutalization of Black people, past, present, or future.

Oh, Man God, I beg that this that I ask for my enemies shall come to pass: That the South Wind shall scorch their bodies and make them wither and shall not be tempered to them. That the North Wind shall freeze their blood and numb their muscles and that it shall not be tempered unto them. That the West Wind shall blow away their life’s breath and shall not leave their hair to grow, and that their fingernails shall fall off and their bones shall crumble. That the East Wind shall make their minds grow dark, their sight shall fail and their seed dry up so that they shall not multiply.

-An ancient Negro folk curse recorded by Zora Neale Hurston

This nation, this Whore of Babylon has a lot to answer for and the day of reckoning is nigh and this nation will burn and rot for all the cruelties it has done to Black women, Black men, and Black children.

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