Tuesday, February 26, 2019

St. Helena Parish, South Carolina Slave Quarters

This amazing photograph originally appeared in a stereograph format. Its description on the Library of Congress website, taken from the back of the image, claims, "photograph shows Uncle July and his family in front of their home on the Fripp place." Also noted on its back is that it was taken on St. Helena Island, South Carolina.

Looking in the 1860 census, there are 12 slaveholding Fripps in St. Helena Parish in Beaufort District. Along with first families of South Carolina, like the Rhetts, Seabrooks, Capers, Barnwells, and Elliotts, the Fripps held large numbers of enslaved people.

Isaac Fripp owned 60 slaves, who lived in 28 slave dwellings.

J.E.L. Fripp owned 30 slaves residing in 16 slave houses.

John M. Fripp claimed 15 people, living in 6 houses.

James Fripp was master to 43 enslaved people who stayed in 13 slave dwellings.

Thomas B. Fripp owned 48 slaves who lived in 16 houses.

Capt. John Fripp owned 130 slaves who lived in an astounding 52 slave dwellings.

Ann F. Fripp owned 67 slaves. They made homes in 13 slave dwellings.

J.T.E. Fripp owned 84 slaves, who resided in 40 houses.

W.O.P. Fripp was master of 43 slaves, who lived in 14 dwellings.

Edgar Fripp owned 123 slaves, who lived in 38 slave houses.

William Fripp owned 325 slaves, who lived in 82 slave houses!

Alviro A. Fripp owned 13 slaves who resided in 5 slave dwellings.

Totaling all the Fripp families' slaves in St. Helena Parish makes for a tremendous amount of wealth being claimed in 981 enslaved people. These bondspeople lived in 323 dwellings. That averages out to a bit over 3 people per dwelling.

Viewing slave schedule census records like those from St. Helena Parish really shows the width and breadth of the peculiar institution's impact on the United States. The unnamed enslaved people indicated on those lists endured innumerable hardships before, during, and after the Civil War. But they and their descendants went on to become landowners, shop owners, run for political offices, demand their rights to citizenship and political, social, and economic equality. Let's remember that beyond Black History Month's end.

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