Black slaveowners with white servants


Dec 2, 2009
Austin, Texas
“In 1670, Virginia passed a law forbidding Negroes from buying white people. This was fifty-one years after the Negro had arrived in chains. The same law was repeated in 1748. Free Negroes bought white people in such numbers in Louisiana, that the state made a similar law in 1818.” - Joel Augustus Rogers in “100 Amazing Facts About The Negro with Complete Proof”

The following information is also from the above mentioned book:

“Act. V, Laws of Virginia, Oct. 1670 reads:

“No Negro or Indian though baptised and enjoying their own freedom shall be capable of any such purchase of (white) Christians, but yet not debarred from buying any of their own kind.” (Henings, Vol. II, p. 281.)”

“Act IX, Oct. 1748:

“No Negro, mulatto, Indian, although a Christian or any Jew, Moor, Mohammedan.…shall purchase any Christian white servants.” (Hening’s, Vol. V, 550.)”

Statutes of Louisiana, Chap. 91, 13, Sec. 12, March 20, 1818, forbids the same. “It was not in fact until the year 1818 that the Legislature (of Louisiana) found itself called upon to notice the frequency with which free persons of color bought the white stranger and in their tardy wisdom forbade any such further purchases on their part.…they, however, permitted white persons of good fame and character to continue the traffic.” (Quoted from Slavery Pamphlets, Vol. 23, No. 15, New York Public Library.)

I have included these links as well if anyone would like more sources to study - DW/VirginiaSlaveLaws.htm

This information was new for me. Has anyone ever read or heard of this trivia before? I’m hoping to find books on the subject as well. If anyone knows of any books about this topic that they can recommend, I would appreciate it.


Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Member of the Year
Feb 20, 2005
Ocala, FL (as of December, 2015).
What a break!

Whites could only be bought by other whites!

I'm sure the relief that swept through the indentured white population must have been HUGE.

Sorry, my humor mode is switched off at the moment and I am commenting on the above article, not about the poster.

@Zeeboe , thanks for posting the above information.

Sep 17, 2011
Interesting, so they could own white non Christians?

Hadn't heard it before, but it predates US slavery here, and haven't ever seen much referring to French colonial law.