NCPI Workmark
Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.

Slave Labor in North Carolina's Antebellum Gold Mines

Record #:
This article examines changes and imbalances in the Southern social structure as seen through the lens of the antebellum gold mining boom in North Carolina. The first efforts to mine gold in western North Carolina in 1803 utilized slaves to search for gold, and expansion of the gold mining industry in the late 1820s increased the demand for laborers sending thousands of slaves to the mines. Slaves were then working alongside whites, thus challenging the basic tenets of the Old South's stratified society. Additional stress was brought by the introduction of white, foreign mine workers into several operations, further complicating the Southern class and social systems, particularly in the influx of a white, working social class that had no interest in slavery or slaveholding.
North Carolina Historical Review (NoCar F251 .N892), Vol. 76 Issue 2, April 1999, p135-162, il, map, f