Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts




It is the purpose of this paper to explore to what extent the Negro slave was used in the iron and tobacco industries in Virginia. These two particular industries were chosen because they were by far the leaders in the employment of slave labor in Virginia. The slave was used in mining but since this is not specifically manufacturing this aspect of slave labor will only be mentioned briefly. Other capacities for slave labor such as blacksmithing and railroad maintenance are also relatively unimportant when compared to the iron and tobacco industries.

The date, 1830. was selected for a starting point because it was approximately this general period when the tobacco factories began to employ large numbers of slaves. The iron industry started somewhat later to discover their use. The year 1860 seemed an appropriate concluding point because with the beginning cf the Civil War a whole new era of slave labor in industry began. The use of slaves in industry then was precipitated to some extent by necessity rather than because of the economic value.