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MS Am 790

Raux, Bernard. Bernard Raux slave trade papers, 1828-1836: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Am 790
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Raux, Bernard.
Title: Bernard Raux slave trade papers,
Date(s): 1828-1836.
Quantity: 1 collection (.3 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English and French.
Abstract: Papers concerning the trading of African-American slaves.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Source unknown; possibly a gift of J. P. Morgan [mentioned in a note, in the curatorial file, by William Coolidge Lane, the Harvard College Librarian].

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Bernard Raux Slave Trade Papers, 1828-1836 (MS Am 790). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Interstate domestic slave trading in the United States was already well established by 1808 when the importation of slaves from other countries was abolished. Interstate slave trading was erratically controlled by the states and by 1850 completely unregulated. Traders in the Upper South maintained agencies and representatives in the Lower South. The seaboard and border states exported an estimated twenty-five thousand slaves a year, with Virginia the largest source. Water transport was occasionally used, but more often slaves were marched overland to markets such as New Orleans and Natchez (the two largest markets), where they commanded prices that at least quadrupled between 1800 and 1860.
These papers document a business partnership between slave traders Bernard Raux, Paul Pascal, and Nathaniel Currier. Documents show slaves purchased in Norfolk, Virginia, and transported to slave markets in New Orleans, Louisiana and Natchez, Mississippi.
See also curatorial file for labels that arrived with this collection and note about collection by William Coolidge Lane, Harvard College librarian.


Arranged into the following three series:

Scope and Contents

Papers include correspondence, bills of sale for African American slaves [termed "Negro" in these documents], balance sheets, bank checks, bills of lading, promisory notes, and other documents relating to the business of slave trading. Documents record slave names, age, location of sale, and ships used to transport. Especially mentions ships used for transport: Ajax (Brig), Ariel (Brig), and Louisiana (Brig). Papers are in English and French.

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