Selling Slave Families Down the River: Property Rights and the Public Auction
By Bradley T. Ewing
Mark Thornton

Mark A. Yanochik

This article appeared in the Summer 2009 issue of The Independent Review


Why were slave families broken up when doing so increased the likelihood of runaways? A key piece of this long-standing puzzle is that most break-ups occurred as the result of government-generated slave sales (e.g., probate and bankruptcy-related sales at public auctions), whereas purely private exchanges, including commercial auctions, tended to maintain family units.

Other Independent Review articles by Mark Thornton
    Spring 2014   Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America
    Spring 2013   American Nightmare: How Government Undermines the Dream of Homeownership
    Summer 2010   Modernizing a Slave Economy: The Economic Vision of the Confederate Nation
[View All (8)]

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