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The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860$
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Calvin Schermerhorn

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300192001

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300192001.001.0001

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Bank Bonds and Bondspersons

Bank Bonds and Bondspersons

(p.95) 4 Bank Bonds and Bondspersons
The Business of Slavery and the Rise of American Capitalism, 1815-1860

Calvin Schermerhorn

Yale University Press

From the late 1820s to the late 1830s foreign investors helped finance the growth of American slavery. This chapter follows the rise and decline of The Consolidated Association of the Planters of Louisiana and one of its executives, Hugues Lavergne. Property banks like the Consolidated Association and Union Bank of Louisiana permitted borrowers to mortgage lands and chattels, including human property, in order to expand cotton, sugar, and other staple crop production. Lavergne sold Consolidated Association bonds to Baring Brothers and Company of London, which resold the bonds on British and European markets, giving an interest in slavery to investors. American state bankers like Lavergne inspired confidence in securities backed in part by enslaved human beings such as Sam Watts, an enslaved Virginian transported to New Orleans in 1831 and sold to Edmond Jean Forstall then mortgaged to the Union Bank by Forstall’s Louisiana Sugar Refinery in 1832. Forstall was central to the growth of Louisiana state banking in the 1830s, which expanded sugar production and financed technological advances at a time when federal protection of domestic sugar declined.

Keywords:   Banking, Finance, Foreign Investment, Bonds, Mortgages, Hugues Lavergne, Edmond Jean Forstall, Baring Brothers and Company, Sam Watts, Louisiana slavery

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