5 little-known black slaveowners who changed the course of American history

Mildred Europa Taylor August 24, 2019
An illustration of servants working for their masters — Empty Nest Ancestry

Dilsey Pope

Born a free woman of colour from Columbus, Georgia, Pope bought the man she loved in order to reunite with him. At the time, state laws could bar freed slaves from purchasing their loved ones’ freedom. Thus, some newly-freed slaves would earn money to be able to buy slaves of their own. With that money, they would buy their husbands, wives, children or even friends. Pope, who owned her own house and land, was able to successfully purchase the man she loved. She subsequently hired him out as labour. At a point in time, they had a fight and Pope sold him to her white neighbour. She was later ready to reconcile with him but when she was ready to buy him back, the new owner refused to sell him and the legal system of Georgia sided with him.


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