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The Lumpkin County courthouse is home to hundreds of legal documents from between 1832 and the beginning of the Civil War. During the move to the new courthouse these cases were separated and unorganized. These cases hold much of Lumpkin County's early legal history. Several times and in many different ways, slaves have made their way into these court cases, which allows us to view slavery from a new angle than just that of the mine workers.One of the most prominent issues involving slaves were trading and selling liquor to slaves. Trading with a slave was illegal if the slave did not have consent from his or her master. Likewise, selling liquor to slaves seems to also have been a relevant problem in pre-Civil War Lumpkin County. These two actions leave many questions to be answered; Did slaves have money to buy goods with? If so, how were they acquiring this money? What were slaves selling? And how did slaves ultimately effect the economic situations in Lumpkin County? Slaves were able to make and sell many small goods including brooms, floor mats, bed mats and other accessories with permission from their masters, but this presentation investigates the desire to trade and sell illegally with slaves. Overall, thanks to cases like State v. Barker and State v. Taylor, we see that the people of Lumpkin County cared more for making money than whether or not slaves had liquor or goods.


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  • Subject
    • History, Anthropology, & Philosophy

  • Institution
    • Dahlonega

  • Event location
    • Nesbitt 3204

  • Event date
    • 25 March 2016

  • Date submitted

    18 July 2022

  • Additional information
    • Acknowledgements:

      David Connolly