Slave sugar, free sugar, and sugar beet sugar.


Lt. Colonel
Oct 26, 2012
Before the Civil War there was slave sugar, free sugar, and sugar beet sugar. The only real difference between slave sugar and free sugar is that slave sugar was made in the Americas using slave labor to grow it, while free sugar came from Asia and was grown using free labor. Sugar beets were being grown in Europe but I do not believe it was being imported in to the United States.

Prior to the Civil War some abolitionists, in an effort to avoid supporting slavery, tried to grow sugar beets, but the endeavor failed. The sugar beet industry in United States started post Civil War.

So hear are my questions.
1. With much of the sugar coming from Southern states, did Northern states experience any sugar shortages? If so,were sugar substitutes used in recipes in the Northern states? I take it sugar was available from other countries in the Americas, but am uncertain about imported sugar costs.
2. The South grew plenty of sugar cane, but cost and transportation could be an issue. So did Southerners change recipes so sugar substitutes could be used?
Sugar beets were introduced to America in 1830.