Not sure where this is all going or why it was suddenly revived except by someone like myself.
A few facts:
in 1860 / 1861 a good field hand slave would set the buyer back around $900 (in period money for comparison)
In 1860 / 1861, Cotton was valued at the source at about 10 cents a pound.
Plantation owners ( a minority of the total population) who used extensive slave labor not only grew the big cash crop of cotton but also tobacco. Plantation owners grew what they could sell - even slaves!
Small farms also grew these two (cash) crops but often saved some for personal use.
Irish (and other hired) labor was a competing labor force that was usually paid about .50 cents a day plus room and board.
Louisiana had one of the biggest slave uprisings before the Civil War killing ANY white around in their path. Would freeing slaves after paying owners for their freedom (not approved by Congress) prevent clashes between whites and blacks?
Could plantation owners survive after selling slave at market value in return for the slaves freedom? I think yes - However.
Finding labor that would work for .50 cents a day plus room and board may not have prevented a sudden decrease in plantation production until new labor could be hired.
UnionBlue, in case you missed it, many new subscribers come on here all the time. One must be prepared to provide some basis for some of one's statements. Keep in mind, I understand if you cite that you are tired. Just DON'T use the Southern Persecution Law Center as a reference! Doing that destroys ALL of your credibility! Oh, but you have no problem asking others for their sources? What if they are "tired".
For reference, in 1860 Louisiana produced about one sixth of all cotton grown in the USA and accounted for approximately one third of all cotton exports from the USA. Annual cotton production in Louisiana rose from approximately 375,000 bales in 1840 to almost 800,000 bales in 1860. I think by any estimation cotton is a significant crop in antebellum Louisiana's economy.
Sugar was also another important crop in Louisiana, in fact LA was the principal sugar producer in the antebellum USA. As you are no doubt aware, slaves were the primary labour source for sugar production in LA at the time.
Sugar had a significant impact on Louisiana's commerce, as the vast majority of sugar was not refined in LA, but rather shipped north, via the Mississippi, or by sea to Atlantic ports for refining. I suspect you're also aware that slaves played an important role in the antebellum transportation industry on the Mississippi River and associated ports.
From what I've read, sugar and cotton production were the backbone of Louisiana's antebellum economy (both of which were heavily slave based activities). I'd be very curious to see some data, if you have it, on which economic activities were more important than these in antebellum LA.