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Grant number like: fel-267379-20

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Award Number Grant ProgramAward RecipientProject TitleAward PeriodApproved Award Total
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FEL-267379-20Research Programs: FellowshipsSharon Ann MurphyBanking on Slavery in the Antebellum American South1/1/2021 - 7/31/2021$35,000.00SharonAnnMurphy   Providence CollegeProvidenceRI02918-7000USA2019U.S. HistoryFellowshipsResearch Programs350000350000

Completion of a book on the relationship between banking and slavery in the antebellum South.

This project focuses on the conscious choices made by bankers to directly, knowingly, and explicitly interact with the slave system. My research reveals that southern commercial banks accepted slaves as collateral for loans, helped underwrite the sale of slaves, and sold slave property as part of foreclosure proceedings. Commercial bank involvement with slavery occurred throughout the antebellum period and across the South, placing southern banks at the heart of the domestic slave trade. This project will result in the first major monograph on the relationship between banking and slavery, as well as serving as a corrective to the conclusions of several scholars collectively called the “new historians of capitalism.” Most banks limited their direct involvement with slavery, demonstrating that capitalism did not need slavery to develop. Slavery was intricately, but not inevitably, tied up with the capitalist system.