Slaveholding, 1860
Non-slaveholders 76.1 percent
1-9 slaves 17.2 percent
10-99 6.6 percent
over 100 0.1 percent
Distribution of Slaves
  Number of slaves held
  0 1-6 7-39 40+
Percent of white families 75 15 9 1
Percent of slaves held 0 16 53 31
Growth of the African American Population
1820 1.77 million 13 percent free
1830 2.33 million 14 percent free
1840 2.87 million 13 percent free
1850 3.69 million 12 percent free
1860 4.44 million 11 percent free

Questions to Think About

1. How many slaves did a typical white Southerner own?

2. On what size farm or plantation did a typical slave live? How many slave families might have lived on such a plantation? How likely was it that a slave could find a spouse on a plantation of that
size?

3. How rapidly was the slave population growing? Why do you think the U.S. slave population grew while the slave populations elsewhere in the New World failed to naturally reproduce their numbers?

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