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St. Louis RisingThe French Regime of Louis St. Ange de Bellerive$
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Carl J. Ekberg and Sharon K. Person

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252038976

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252038976.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022

Slaves: African and Indian

Slaves: African and Indian

(p.147) Chapter 8 Slaves: African and Indian
St. Louis Rising

Carl J. Ekberg

Sharon K. Person

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the role played by African and Indian slaves in early St. Louis. Indians had practiced slavery long before European explorers, traders, and colonizers arrived on North American shores. Profitable, market-oriented agriculture developed in the Illinois Country as early as the 1720s, and slaves (especially Africans) were used as field hands. In French Illinois, Indian as well as African slaves had been present since the early eighteenth century, and especially at the founding of St. Louis in 1764. Slaves appear only marginally in most studies of colonial St. Louis, which tend to dwell on the fur trade and commercial relations with Missouri Valley Indians. This chapter looks at the village's slave population during the first decade of the settlement's existence. In particular, it considers how slaves became integrated into the life of the growing village. It also describes public auctions of slaves in the Illinois Country and the lives of early St. Louis slaves. Finally, it discusses the Grotton–St. Ange family's firsthand experience with the Indian slave trade.

Keywords:   slavery, Indian slaves, St. Louis, agriculture, Illinois Country, African slaves, fur trade, auctions of slaves, Grotton–St. Ange family, slave trade

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