The Total "Cash Value" of the Slaves ($2-3 billion) Worth A Civil War

Written by an Anti-abolitionist in the South

6/27/20231 min read

"Our Northern liberty-men endeavored to disseminate their destructive doctrine among our slaves, and excite them to insurrection. But we have put an end to that, and stricken terror into them. They dare not show their faces here. Then they declared they would dissolve the Union. Let them do it. The North would repent it far more than the South. We are not alarmed at the idea. We are well content to give up the Union sooner than sacrifice two thousand millions of dollars, and with them all the rights we prize."

The Ideology of Slavery: Proslavery Thought in the Antebellum South, 1830–1860, edited by Drew Gilpin Faust, article by J.H. Hammond in 1845.

By the beginning of the Civil War in 1861, the "value" of the slaves had increased from 2 billion dollars in 1845 to 3 billion dollars. Three billion dollars is $70-75 billion in 21st century money.