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SLAVERY IN LOUISIANA
The Whitney Plantation
HOME EDUCATION LOUISIANA HISTORY SLAVERY IN LOUISIANA
Slavery in Louisiana
In 1712, there were only 10 Africans in all of Louisiana. In this early period, European indentured servants submitted to 36-month contracts did most of the work clearing land and laboring on small-scale plantations. This would change dramatically after the first two ships carrying captive Africans arrived in Louisiana in 1719. These ships, which originated in the West Coast of Africa, carried captive rice farmers who brought the agricultural expertise to grow Louisiana’s rice plantations into profitable businesses for their European owners. In addition to enslaved Africans and European indentured servants, early Louisiana’s plantation owners used the labor of NATIVE AMERICANS. In 1722, nearly 170 indigenous people were enslaved on Louisiana’s plantations. Marriages were relatively common between Africans and NATIVE AMERICANS. “Grif” was the racial designation used for their children. The Africans enslaved in Louisiana came mostly from Senegambia, the Bight of Benin, the Bight of Biafra, and West-Central Africa. A few of them came from Southeast Africa.