Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Slavery in Missouri began in 1720 when a man named Philippe Francis Renault brought 500 Negro Slaves from Santa Domingo too work on the lead mines in the River Des Peres area located in the present day St Louis and Jefferson counties. The institution only became prominent in the area following two major events, the Louisiana Purchase 1803 and the invention of the Cotton Gin by Eli Whitney 1793. This lead to a mass movement of Slave Owning proprietors to the area, then known as Upper Louisiana. How ever the spread of major cotton growth was limited to the more southerly area near the boarder with present day Arkansas.Instead slavery in the other area of Missouri was concentrated into other major crops, such as tobacco,hemp, grain and livestock.

A number of slaves were hired out as stevedores or deck hands for the ferries of the Mississippi River. Majority of the slaver owners in Missouri came from worn-out  agricultural lands of North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virgina/West Virginia. By 1860 only 36 counties in Missouri had 1000 or more slaves. Of which top male slaves fetched a price of $1300 and top female slaves fetched around $1000. The value of all slaves in Missouri was estimated by the state Auditors 1860 report at around US 44,181,912  ( $1,142,838,790 as of 2013 )