Download Debt, investment, slaves: credit relations in East Feliciana by Richard Holcombe Kilbourne Jr., Gavin Wright PDF

By Richard Holcombe Kilbourne Jr., Gavin Wright

Richard Kilbourne has produced a complete research of the credits approach in a single Louisiana parish within the antebellum and postbellum classes of the Civil warfare. East Feliciana Parish was once very important by way of either inhabitants and the massive variety of slaves. This book’s basic situation is the function of slave estate in collateralizing credits relationships and planter perceptions concerning slaves as monetary assets. A thorough survey of parish loan documents and different manuscript collections ended in the belief that the majority credits relationships, collateralized and uncollateralized, have been grounded in slave estate in preference to land or different kinds of wealth. Uncollateralized debt used to be at once depending on the relative wealth of parish citizens, and the majority of such a lot portfolios consisted of slaves. Emancipation and the Civil conflict occasioned a enormous credits implosion from which the neighborhood economic climate by no means recovered, no less than for the rest of the nineteenth century. Kilbourne makes an intensive exam of postwar debt misery and the evolution of sharecropping and tenancy. Even the wealthiest families have been within the throes of debt misery as was once evidenced through the various matches by way of other halves for separations of property. A bizarre recoding requirement for crop privileges and pledges within the years from 1870 to 1880 made it attainable to figure out the quantity of credits to be had within the postwar many years. Kilbourne indicates that credits amenities shriveled by means of ninety percentage within the 20 years following the Civil battle. The decline in credits amenities parallels the decline in family wealth levels. Kilbourne disagrees with previous students at the function of furnishing retailers in shaping the postbellum agricultural order. Furnishing retailers did turn into really extra vital in financing agriculture within the postwar decade, yet they weren't the successors of antebellum organisations. neighborhood retailers really supplied much less credits than that they had supplied earlier than the Civil struggle to small cotton farmers who had made up two-thirds of the growers within the parish in 1860. Slavery made for a different hard work industry, and this example stimulated the evolution of the credits process within the quarter. Emancipation used to be a innovative holiday with what had long past earlier than. the point of interest of the credits process shifted from slaves to cotton. Land did shape so much postbellum planter portfolios, however it didn't fill the void left by means of emancipation, and wealth degrees remained considerably lower than antebellum ones. The credits approach turned hugely localized within the postwar many years, and this truth was once instrumental in shaping postbellum planting preparations.

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Additional resources for Debt, investment, slaves: credit relations in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana, 1825-1885

Sample text

In the aftermath most of the mortgage-backed paper proved to be wholly worthless. Ninety percent of the city's factorage firms failed, either during the war or within the succeeding decade. The impoverishment of the South's propertied class is a unique event in American economic history. We are accustomed to viewing massive economic contractions in modern western history as troughs in which economies reform themselves, revive, and emerge to prosper on sounder footing. This did not happen in consequence of the credit implosion occasioned by the Civil War.

Such notes generally evidenced long-term loans by a firm to its clients. Most notes were never collateralized with mortgages on slaves or other real property. , the drawee, or firm, guaranteed payment) to third parties to raise current funds to honor such drafts. What is important is not whether planters were chronically in debt (short-term) to their factors, but the practical result of numerous factors providing short-term and long-term financing on secured and unsecured notes. Such facilities offset the absence of a futures market.

In the years before 1845, most financial arrangements in the parish involved a local lender, an accommodation endorser, or a New Orleans factor. Three property banks chartered in the 1830s by the state legislature were actively engaged in investment banking in the parish, making loans collateralized with mortgages on land and, to a lesser extent, with slaves. However, all three banks were in liquidation proceedings by 1844. The Union Bank and Citizens Bank were revived by the legislature in the 1850s, but as commercial banks, not investment banks.

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