The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860

New Orleans Notarial Archive

The New Orleans Notarial Archive is a premier source for slavery in New Orleans from 1770 to Emancipation. Under Louisiana law, transactions involving property, power of attorney, mortgages, and so on were recorded by notaries who were a blend of recorder and lawyer. Regarding slavery, that means that sales, mortgages, and financial transactions involving enslaved people are recorded in the records. The annual indexes for individual notaries are online. Researchers must visit the archive or arrange for photocopying/scanning. But the information yielded is extraordinary.

Hugues Lavergne, Notary, Vol.12, Act #2284, March 6 1824, Austin Woolfolk sells nineteen-year-old Charlotte to C. Arnoult, $500 on ninety days' credit.

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