Slave Prices in the Lower South, 1722-1815

Peter C. Mancall

Joshua L. Rosenbloom

Thomas Weiss

Direct Correspondence to:




Using data from samples of probate inventories we construct a series of slave prices for Low Country South Carolina and Georgia covering the period 1722-1815. Using these data we examine variations in slave prices by age and sex, as well as geographic variations between and within the two colonies/states. Nominal slave prices more than doubled between 1722/29 and 1810/15. In real terms, however, there was essentially no change in slave prices deflated either by a general consumer price index, or the price of rice. Low Country slave prices were well above those in the West Indies and Maryland prior to the 1740s, but were converging toward the level of prices in these regions. After 1740 the three series moved roughly in parallel.