HAVE YOU EVER WONDERED THE PRICE OF A HUMAN DURING THE HEIGHT OF THE SLAVE TRADE?

forsale
The Price of a Human Being

And what was the value of these human beings that South Carolina planters and merchants traded in? Prices can be calculated from bills of sale, inventories, and other historic documents. In addition, at least one “price table” has been located. From the early 1850s, it was found in the Tyre Glen papers and applies to the Forsythe County area of North Carolina. The amounts listed reflect nineteenth century dollar values.

Age Value
1 100
2 125
3 150
4 175
5 200
6 225
7 250
8 300
9 350
10 400
11 450
12 500
13 550
14 600
16 650
17 750
18 800

Age Value
19 850
20 900
21 875
22 850
23 825
24 800
25 775
26 750
27 725
28 700
29 675
30 650
31 625
32 600
33 575
34 550
35 525

Age Value
36 500
37 475
38 450
39 425
40 400
41 375
42 350
43 325
44 300
45 275
46 250
47 225
48 200
49 175
50 150
55 100
60 50

Other documents, however, make it clear that the price of a slave was variable. Slaves were often divided into classes, such as

Number One Men (19-25 years old)
Fair/Ordinary Men
Best Boys (15-18 years old)
Best Boys (10-14 years old)
Number One Women
Fair/Ordinary Women
Best Girls (10-15 years old)
Women with One or Two Children
Families (also called “fancies” or “scrubs”)

An 1857 account reveals these values:

Class Value in Dollars, 1857 Value in Dollars, 1998
Number 1 men 1250-1450 20,800-24,100
Fair/Ordinary Men 1000-1150 16,700-19,200
Best Boys (Age 15-18) 1100-1200 18,300-20,000
Best Boys (Age 10-14) 500-575 8,300-17,900
Number 1 Women 1050-1225 17,500-20,400
Fair/Ordinary Women 1050-1225 14,200-17,100
Best Girls 500-1000 8,300-16,700
Families “sell in their usual proportions”

Source: http://www.sciway.net/afam/slavery/flesh.html