Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This thesis is an examination of the migration, agricultural production, and probability of success of slave-owners of Lamar County, Texas, in 1850 and 1860. The chief sources for the study are the various census schedules for the two enumerations. Migration of slave-owners into Lamar County contrasted with total white migration into both the entire eastern portion of the state of Texas and those counties which were immediate neighbors of Lamar County. Settlers from Tennessee in these areas outnumbered those from other states, but the percentage was not as great as in Lamar County. Slave-owners of Lamar County who owned more than fifteen slaves dominated agricultural production statistics. In terms of improved and unimproved acreage owned, livestock herds, and field crops, the major slave-owners produced a greater volume than other slave-owners or non-slave-owners. The major slave-owners also had an appreciable return on their investment in 1860. Their investment was comprised of the value of their farms and of their personal property. An average return of 7.24 percent was gained by those major slave-owners whose agricultural production was registered in the 1860 census. It was determined that these slave owners enjoyed a high probability of success and would have continued to prosper had not the Civil War ended the institution of slavery.


James Forsythe

Date of Award

Spring 1971

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1971 Frederick L. Meier


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