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Grant number like: FA-57651-14

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Daina Ramey Berry
University of Texas, Austin (Austin, TX 78712-0100)

Fellowships for University Teachers
Research Programs

[Grant products][Media coverage][Prizes]

$50,400 (approved)
$48,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
1/1/2014 – 12/31/2014

The Value of Human Chattel from Preconception to Postmortem

The Price for their Pound of Flesh explores public and private market transactions and appraisals of enslaved men, women, and children in the American domestic slave trade from before birth to after death. Structurally, this study examines slave prices during enslaved people’s "lifecycle" including preconception, infancy, childhood, adolescence, adulthood, the senior years, and postmortem. An important component of the study is its illumination of bondpeople’s reaction to being appraised, bartered, and sold. The book explores slaves as commodities and as people and it looks at the monetary values assigned to slaves at different phases of their lives. This study relies on a database of 81,182 individual enslaved values from nine states, of which 72,335 reflect appraisals and 8,847 represent market prices. This book also introduces the Domestic Cadaver Slave Trade, where deceased slaves were illegally sold to physicians and medical schools for anatomical research.