For Juneteenth (Friday, June 19, 2020), the annual commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States, we are highlighting some data in our archive that offer glimpses into the system of buying and selling humans that persisted in the American south from 1619 to 1865. At the end of this post is a list of some other datasets of interest related to slavery and Black History.
In the New Orleans Slave Sale Sample, 1804-1862 (ICPSR 7423), variable 17 lists the ways people’s skin color was described as they were being sold.
Also from the New Orleans Slave Sale Sample, variable 41 describes reasons that the sale of a person was not “guaranteed.” Variable 15 in the Slave Hires, 1775-1865 study (ICPSR 7422), is simply called “defect code.”
The study “Quantitative Data Coded from the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narratives, United States, 1936-1938 (ICPSR 36381)” contains interviews with hundreds of formerly enslaved people. More than 1,500 people answered a question about their attitudes toward their former masters.
The same study “Quantitative Data Coded from the Federal Writers' Project Slave Narratives, United States, 1936-1938 (ICPSR 36381)” asked whether formerly enslaved people stayed with or left their former masters.
Some other ICPSR studies/series of interest:
- Economics of American Negro Slavery Series
- Three-Generation National Survey of Black American Families, 1979-1981 (ICPSR 9288)
- ICPSR’s Resource Center for Minority Data
- Philadelphia Social History Project: Pennsylvania Abolition Society and Society of Friends Manuscript Census Schedules, 1838, 1847, 1856 (ICPSR 3805)
- National Survey of Black Americans Series
Contact: Dan Meisler