- Jul 30, 2019
Interesting set of numbers. Relevant to the question in the original post, I wonder how much if any research has been done into the indebtedness of the individuals involved, or at least a sample of them. That information might be hard to root out. Another way at the answer might be to look for examples of slaveowners' commenting on their indebtedness in public or private statements.
A corollary question would be - what exactly did 'in debt' MEAN at that time in history? the amount someone is leveraged, the nature of the collateral, the expectation for repayments, the penalty for non-performance, the enforcement of the indebtedness, the 'expected' level of debt a large planter was supposed to carry, the periodic sweeps of fortune, between debt and plenty - ALL of these have different contexts at different times in history.
I suggest we pause before judging the 'indebtedness cause' motivating a powerful mid-19th century planter (especailly to military rebellion), until we determine what the social, financial and political impact of that level of indebtedness actually MEANT to the individual at that time.