Slave Insurance – who knew?

While reading one of my favorite newsletters this morning, I discovered something that I didn’t know had existed … although it makes sense that it would have if you think about it. I am talking about Slave Insurance. Pre-1865, the end to slavery in America, insurance companies selling in the South offered insurance not only to a plantation owner’s physical property, but his human property as well. Read more about this practice here.

Certain states have passed laws requiring insurance companies to disclose the information contained in those policies such as the name of the slave, county, other identifying information, name of slaveholder, the county of slaveholder, and to whom the policy was issued.

Information for California and Illinois is online. You are probably thinking like I did. .. but slavery wasn’t legal in those states? The law requires them to give information on polices from companies that have since acquired as well – so you will find coverage for many states including Alabama.

Links to the lists:

California List

Illinois List


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