9 of the Biggest Slave Owners in American History

By Thomas L. Scott, Atlanta Black Star

Col. Joshua John Ward of Georgetown, South Carolina: 1,130 

Col. Joshua J. Ward

Known as “King of the Rice Planters,” Ward had 1,130 enslaved Blacks on the Brookgreen plantation in South Carolina. In 1850, Ward controlled six large plantations and produced 3.9 million pounds of rice.

Dr. Stephen Duncan of Issaquena, Mississippi: 858 

Duncan was a businessman who collectively enslaved more than 2,000 Blacks during his time as one of the best cotton producers. The most he enslaved at one time was 858 in Issaquena. Duncan owned more than 15 plantations in Mississippi and Louisiana.

John Burneside of Ascension, Louisiana: 753

John Burnside

Burneside was the largest sugar producer in the country during his time at the Houmas Plantation. Before he died, he owned 10 different plantations.

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