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Volume 14  Number 1  •  Summer 2009
All Issues:  

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.

 PDFRead the Full Article (PDF, 10 pages)


Other Independent Review articles by Mark Thornton
    Spring 2014   Smuggler Nation
    Spring 2013   American Nightmare
    Summer 2010   Modernizing a Slave Economy
[View All (8)]







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