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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Meet Antoine Dubuclet, Richest Black Man in all of South During Slavery

A black slave owner who became a Republic politician, Antoine Dubuclet saved Louisiana from bankruptcy. 

He was the only black person in the south to hold the position of state treasurer for more than one term. Dubuclet was also one of only two to serve as state treasurer during the southern reconstruction.  

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Who is Antoine Dubuclet?

Before making history in Louisiana politics, Dubuclet was among some of the largest black slave owners rarely talked about today, but he changed the course of American history. In Louisiana he was a sugar planter with hundreds of slaves, some of them inherited from his father. This turned him into the richest black slave owner in the 1860s.  

Widely regarded as one of the richest men in the whole of the South, even richer than his white neighbors.

Antoine Dubuclet Biography

Dubuclet was born as a free man of free parents in 1810 and inherited a large sugar plantation called Cedar Grove from his father, Antoine Dubuclet. Sr. Dubuclet was given a part of his grandfather’s name but used his father’s name because he was the eldest son. Dubuclet’s father was a successful free black man who owned approximately 406 acres of land and 70 slaves. Unsurprisingly, his son was also successful.  

After Dubuclet inherited his father’s estate following his father’s death in 1828, he added another 30 black slaves to the 70 he had inherited from his father as the plantation grew. By 1860 he owned over 100 slaves and owned one of the largest sugar plantations in Louisiana. Records say his plantation was worth $ 264,000, while his neighbors’ median income in the south was only about $ 3,978.  

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Antoine Dubuclet Family

He married a wealthy black woman named Claire Pollard in the mid-1830s. He also owned his own plantation with 44 slaves. Dubuclet ran both plantations and this helped grow his wealth in the 1860s, becoming the richest slave keeper in Louisiana.

At that time, his wife was dead. Later, the civil war destroyed much of the south and the plantation industry, forcing Dubuclet to enter politics.  

Political Achievements

In 1868 he was elected state treasurer of Louisiana and was re-elected in 1870 and 1874. But he had to overcome some obstacles to make it through in politics.

According to one account, Dubuclet was the sole surviving holder of an office at the “Battle of Liberty Place” in September 1874, an attempted insurrection and coup by the Crescent City White League against the Louisiana Republican state government. era of reconstruction. Dubuclet also had to overcome impeachment in 1876. The following year he retired from politics.  

Antoine Dubuclet Death

At the time of his death on December 18, 1887, he was one of the richest men in the South. He had 12 children in all, nine from his first wife and three from his second. 

 

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