Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Degree Discipline



In writing the history of Negro Slavery In the economy of San Augustine County, Texas, the writer is confronted with the conflicting theories that have been the controversy issues of learned writers of history. This writer wishing to get to the actual fact concerning the role of the slave takes on herself the responsibility of seeking into the mysteries of slavery in the county by getting facts through scientific application of the rules of historical research. This study attempts to present philosophies and facts with a minimum use of technical terms and with unbiased scholarship. It is the writer belief that its best purpose is served by telling what happened and insofar as possible how, when, where, and why it happened$ thus leaving the reader to draw his own conclusions in matters of controversial nature on basis of the presentation of the evidence.


The problem of this study arises out of the dissatisfaction of the writer with the conflicting opinions of the actual role of the Negro slave in the plantation economy of the South, as presented by students of the institution of slavery, Ulrich Phillips, Frederick Bancroft, Winston Coleman, Charles Sydnor, Ralph B, Flanders, Kenneth Stampp, Edward C. Kirkland, John Hope Franklin, and Carter 0. Woodson stands out as leading writer of the controversial issue, Phillips formed his belief about the institution in the following channels. The maintenance of the institution was a clog upon material progress. The economic virtue of slavery lay wholly in it making labor mobile, regular, and secure. Slaves were self-perpetuating stock, whose ownership was a badge of dignity, whose management was generally esteemed a pleasurable responsibility, whose labor value would yield an income, and whose value would be realized in cash with fair promptitude in time of need. The slaveholding regime kept money scarce, population sparse, and land value accordingly low} it restricted the opportunities of many man of both races and it kept many of the natural resources of the South neglected. But it kept the main body of labor controlled, provisioned, and mobile. The fact that every purchase of slaves involved an outlay of capital and a diversion of assets from other investments was generally understood and occasionally deplored, Phillips says, "This proclivity for buying slaves was the worst feature of the regime from the economic point of view, for it drained capital out of every developed district and froze the local assets into one form of investment.

Committee Chair/Advisor

George Ruble Woolfolk


Prairie View Agriculture and Mechanical College


© 2021 Prairie View A & M University

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Date of Digitization


Contributing Institution

John B Coleman Library

City of Publication

Prairie View





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