Slavery of Negroes by Negroes in this Country
By Willie Martin

Jew Watch

Publication of this information was disallowed, in the local newspaper's section that provides for opinions held by the public to be expressed, apparently, in my opinion, because these descendants of ungodly Yankee carpetbaggers do not like the truth to be known.

A couple of pages copied from The Louisiana Historical Quarterly, Vol. 21, 1938: Pages 1080, 1081
....... the free Negro, but it creates no surprise to learn that they were seldom enforced successfully. (Footnote 25 – Journal of Negro History, II. 64.). The aame thing may be said of the laws passed prohibiting freedmen from other states coming into Louisiana. Indeed according to the Daily Picayune many free Negroes had come to New Orleans without being molested; the only thing that prevented the law against their entrance from becoming obsolete was the meddling of northern fanatics. (26 – Daily Picayune, January 19, 1845.  According to a map drawn by John LaTouretis this date, the population of New Orleans was 102,191, made up as follows:  whites, 59,519, free colored, 19,226; slaves, 23,446.). On the other hand, in the mayor's office was a list of those free Negroes who, for one reason or another, were subject to deportation (27 - The writer is indebted to Mr. Edward A. Parsons for calling his attention to the document, written in a clear, legible hand in French.  A companion volume has been lost).

   The free Negroes shared in the prosperity that New Orleans enjoyed prior to the crash of 1837.  In 1836 there were 855 free people of color paying taxes on property assessed at $2,462,470 and owning 620 slaves. (28 - B.G.Brawley. A Short History of the American Negro, 103.).  In 1860 the property holdings of the same group were estimated at from $13,000,000 to $15,000,000 (29 - Ibid).  In New Orleans Negroes owning $40,000 worth of property were said to be quite numerous (30 - U.B. Phillips, American Negro Slavery, 433).  The most outstanding free Negro in this respect in the city was Thomy Lafon, who was also a generous benefactor of both races.  He was a merchant and a money lender, who invested successfully in real estate.  At his death, the venerable age of eighty-two, his holdings were rated at nearly half a million dollars. "He distributed his life's earnings by will indiscriminately among white and black, Protestant and Catholic.  The state legislature has ordered his bust to be carved and set up in one of the public institutions of the city.  It will be the first public testimonial in this country to a man of color, in recognition of his broad humanitarianism and true-hearted philanthropy" (31 - Grace King, New Orleans: The Place and the People, 355.).

   Slaveholding by colored townsmen was fairly frequent.  In 1830 there were 749 free Negroes owning slaves.  Twenty-six had ten or more apiece, and one named Cecee McCarty owned thirty-two.  Many of the owners were women. A large number of the slaves were used by their masters as servants or laborers, but probably the majority consisted of children or near relatives of the owners. The abundance of such holdings is evidenced by the large number of applications from free Negroes to manumit their slaves, with exemption from the legal requirement that the new freedmen leave the state. This was granted when it could be proved that they were natives of the state and would have means of support when they had gained their freedom. A striking example of such petitions was that presented by Marie Louise Betaud, a woman of color, which recited that in the preceding year she had bought her daughter and grandchild at a cost of $700; that a lawyer had told her that in view of her lack of free relatives to inherit her property in case of death intestate her slaves would revert to the state. She begged for permission to manumit them without their having to leave Louisiana. This was done on condition that a $500 bond be given to insure the support and education of her grandson until he should become of age (32 - Phillips, op. cit., 434-435; C.G. Woodson, The Education of the Negro Prior to 1861, 132.).

   Not all free Negroes held slaves as a means of giving them their freedom. Many held them as a productive investment. Professor Phillips believes that it was from this later class that emanated a joint communication to a New Orleans newspaper when secession and civil war were impending: "The free colored population (native) of Louisiana. . . own slaves, and they are deeply attached to their native land, . . . and they are ready to shed their blood in her defense. They have no sympathy for abolitionism; no love for the North, but they have plenty for Louisiana. . . . They will fight for her in 1861 as they fought in 1814-1815. . . . If they have made no demonstration it is not because they are not well disposed. All they ask is to have a chance, and they will be worthy sons of Louisiana" (33 - Phillips, op. cit., 435-436, citing the New Orleans Daily Delta, December 28, 1860.

As the free Negroes amassed property they began to educate their children. Being well-to-do they could maintain their own institutions of learning, in addition to having access to the parochial schools. It is doubtful if this class enjoyed in any other city better facilities of education than here. The people of New Orleans did not object to Negroes acquiring an education; their white instructors did not feel that they were condescending in teaching them; and children of white parents raised no objection to attending special and parochial schools accessible to both races (34 - Woodson, op. cit., 128-129.). Progressive free men of color also supported their own schools. Some of them like the wealthy Creoles sent their sons to France to be educated. Highly interesting is the "Ecole Des Orphelins ......"
 

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