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Lecture | CMGI Brown Bag Seminar

Slavery, Race, and Finance in the British Cape Colony, c.1800-1834

Wednesday 5 October 2022
CMGI Brown Bag Seminars 2022-2023
Johan Huizinga
Doelensteeg 16
2311 VL Leiden
Conference room (2.60)

We document new facts about borrowing and lending by race and slaveownership in the Cape Colony primarily during the beginning of the nineteenth century using 3167 probate records. We find slaveowners had more and greater value debts and credits. We also find that borrowing and lending tended to be segmented by race but that free black individuals also had more variety in the composition of borrowing and lending compared to white settlers. Evidence on purposes of borrowing suggests financial transactions helped facilitate labor and housing markets. Two case studies provide meaningful context to the relationships between borrowers and lenders. They illustrate family connections amongst parties to the transactions as well as how manumission and skill structured a free black person’s financial life.

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