The history of slavery is almost as old as humanity having being practised for centuries in Asia, Africa, Europe and even Americas before European settlement. North America was a late entrant in the human trade as Spanish and Portuguese slavers are approximated to have transported over a million African slaves to South America prior to those in North America (Drescher and Engerman, 1998). Slavery in America can be traced to the first European settlements in the seventeenth century (1619) in Virginia when the Dutch sold the first African slaves (19) to the English colonialist settlers. The number of slaves ballooned with as the importance of cotton and later tobacco trade intensified (Engerman et al, 2003).
The original settlers did not regard their slaves as destined for lifelong servitude until the 1660s when Maryland in 1664 declared that all slaves and their children would in future be deemed permanent ‘servants’. This conventional theorem has been disputed by McColley (1988, Pg.280), who asserts that these ‘captives’ were common slaves held against their will and only termed servants by historians due to the lack of records then as the word slave was only introduced from the mid nineteenth century. The decline of slave trade in Europe has though being attributed to the equivalent slavery rise in the New Lands in the Americas (BBC, 2007).
The Ante-Bellum South comprised of the southern American states that were still practising slavery before the American Civil War. The ante-bellum south were the plantation owners who relied on slave labour to operate their expansive farms. The main ‘Black Belt’ segment was made of the cotton growing states of Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas; the tobacco producing states of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina and Kentucky; hemp