From the Richmond Daily Dispatch, it appears that despite the war and the increased chance of escape, at least in South Carolina the trade of human beings was still going strong, and quite lucrative. The Inflation Calculator, using data from Historical Statistics of the United States, reports that the average price of $680 would be worth something over $15,000 today. The $1405 paid for the top-priced individual here would be around $31,000 today, the price of a fairly nice new car. You used to see claims that slavery was “on its way out” in the south at the time of the Civil War, but price data don’t seem to support that idea.
Large Sale of negroes.
–About one hundred negroes were sold at Columbia, S. C., on the 17th inst., at an average of $680 cash. The following is a list of prices:
One family of five, $415 each; a family of three $715 each; a family of six, $650 each; a family of five, $610 each; a family of nine, $840 one negro man $1,255, and another $1,365; two, $940 each; a family of six, $510 each; two, $700 each; one old negro, $100; negro girl, $530; a family of five, $670 each; a family of four, $750 each; three at $850 each; two at $510 each; two at $1,315 each; four at $625 each; one at $1,405; three at $310 each; one at $590; one at $575; a family of six at $790 each; four at $315 each; two at $750 each; three at $730 each, and one at $1,310.