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MS Am 1278

Miscellaneous documents concerning American slavery, 1803-1863: 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 1278
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Title: Miscellaneous documents concerning American slavery,
Date(s): 1803-1863 and undated.
Quantity: 1 collection (.2 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English and French.
Abstract: Documents concerning sale of slaves and other materials related to slavery in North America.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

Gifts and purchases from various sources at various times. Acquisition information is given with items.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Melanie Wisner

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Miscellaneous Documents Concerning American Slavery, 1803-1863 (MS Am 1278). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Biographical / Historical

Interstate domestic slave trading in the United States was 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 25,000 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.


Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Contents

Primarily manuscript bills of sale for slaves in Charleston (S.C.) and New Orleans (La.), with a few printed and other documents pertaining to slavery in North America.

Container List