Sunday, June 2, 2013

Farm for Sale - with Negro Cabins

In perusing Kentucky's Civil War newspaper advertisements for mentions of slavery, I did not expect to find slave quarters mentioned in real estate sale notices. However, after I thought about it, it only made perfect sense. These structures usually added significant value to the property, especially if well constructed. And, if a slaveholder, informed the potential buyer that they would not need to lay out the expense in time or money to build them.

The ad shown above ran in the August 21, 1863, edition of the Frankfort Tri-Weekly Commonwealth. Curious to find out more information about the seller I went to the 1860 census and located Edward Payne. He is listed as a 71 year old farmer worth $12,000 in real estate and $10,000 in personal property.  Payne was married to Maria, who was 26 years his junior. They had six children: Oliver, a 21 year old farmer; Maria, 18; Virginia, 15; Madison, 13; Theodocia, 11; and William 9, all listed as students.

Of course, Edward Payne was also listed in the 1860 census slave schedules. He was noted as owning 14 slaves; 7 males and 7 females, that ranged from 70 years old to 1 year old. All of the slaves were listed as black, except two who were listed as mulatto. The slave schedule also indicated that these enslaved individuals lived in four "slave houses."

The real estate advertisements that I have come across mentioning slave quarters use various terms to describe them. Some, like above are called "negro cabins," others "servant quarters," "servant rooms," or "negro houses."

Advertisements like this add another dimension to and illustrate just how ingrained slavery was into Kentucky's economy and society. 

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