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megimoo
01-20-2011, 10:45 PM
In the decades before the Civil War, it was a mark of distinction and prestige for a wealthy tobacco farmer to own furniture made by a North Carolinian named Thomas Day. Now, there's renewed interest in this master craftsman's legacy and personal history in part because of the quality of his work, and in part because he was a black man who appeared to own slaves.
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A Successful, Complicated Entrepreneur

In 1857, Thomas Day was awarded the prize for "Best Centre Table" at the annual state fair in Raleigh, N.C. It was likely similar to this table, which is currently in a private collection.

Day's success is that much more remarkable because it was the antebellum South and he was black. Mixed race, technically: light-skinned, and not a slave. But a free black man who nevertheless had to live with danger and uncertainty about the future. The laws changed all the time, though his influential white customers protected him to a point.

In 1857, the economy collapsed, and Day's business went bankrupt. As a black man, he wasn't able to collect from his white customers when their accounts became delinquent. But Day and his son reorganized, and to some extent his business was able to recover.

Then there's the other twist to his story. Even though some of his workers were paid journeymen, Day also owned slaves 14 of them, according to the 1850 census.

"There was a small percentage of free people who did own slaves during that time," says Marshall. "It was not unheard of. But it was not common."

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=128849634

NJCardFan
01-20-2011, 10:50 PM
What is the purpose of this thread?

Rockntractor
01-20-2011, 10:51 PM
What is the purpose of this thread?

I would imagine information/history.

NJCardFan
01-20-2011, 10:56 PM
I would imagine information/history.

But the discussion of black slave owners is already ongoing in another thread.

Rockntractor
01-20-2011, 10:59 PM
But the discussion of black slave owners is already ongoing in another thread.

We often have multiple threads on similar topics, do you have a comment for this one?

megimoo
01-20-2011, 11:02 PM
What is the purpose of this thread?I posted it as a source of information only .Why do you demand to know my motives in posting it ?

Bubba Dawg
01-20-2011, 11:51 PM
This appears to me to be a reasonable, and interesting, sub-topic of the other broader thread.


I found it interesting anyway.