Front Page Titles (by Subject) ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS CONCERNING SLAVERY. 1 . mad. mss. - The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836)
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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS CONCERNING SLAVERY. 1 . mad. mss. - James Madison, The Writings, vol. 9 (1819-1836) 
The Writings of James Madison, comprising his Public Papers and his Private Correspondence, including his numerous letters and documents now for the first time printed, ed. Gaillard Hunt (New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1900). Vol. 9.
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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS CONCERNING SLAVERY.1 .mad. mss.
2. Employs an overseer for that number of slaves with few exceptions
4. Not uncommonly the land, sometimes the slaves, very rarely both together
5. The common law as in England governs the relation between land & debts; Slaves are often sold under execution for debt; the proportion to the whole, cannot be great within a year, and varies of course, with the amount of debts, and the urgency of creditors.
7-10. Instances are rare where the Tobacco planters do not raise their own provisions.
11. The proper comparison not between the culture of Tobo. & that of Sugar and Cotton, but between each of these cultures & that of provisions. The Tobo planter finds it cheaper to make them a part of his crop than to buy them. The Cotton & Sugar planters to buy them, where this is the case, than to raise them. The term cheaper embraces the comparative facility & certainty, of procuring the supplies.
12. Generally best cloathed, when from the household manufactures, which are increasing.
14, 15. Slaves seldom employed in regular task work. They prefer it only when rewarded with the surplus time gained by their industry.
16. Not the practice to substitute an allowance of time for the allowance of provisions.
17. Very many & increasing with the progressive subdivisions of property; the proportion cannot be stated.
18, 19. The fewer the slaves & the fewer the holders of slaves, the greater the indulgence & familiarity. In districts comprising large masses of slaves; there is no difference in their condition whether held in small or large numbers, beyond the difference in the dispositions of the owners, and the greater strictness of attention where the number is greater.
20. There is no general system of religious instruction. There are few spots where religious worship is not within reach, and to which they do not resort. Many are regular members of Congregations chiefly Baptist; and some Preachers also, tho’ rarely able to read.
21. Not common; but the instances are increasing.
22. The accommodation not unfrequent where the plantations are very distant. The slaves prefer wives on a different plantation; as affording occasions & pretexts for going abroad, and exempting them on holidays from a share of the little calls to which those at home are liable.
23. The remarkable increase of slaves, as shewn by the Census, results from the comparative defect of moral and prudential restraint on the Sexual connexion; and from the absence at the same time, of that counteracting licentiousness of intercourse, of which the worst examples are to be traced where the African trade as in the W. Indies keeps the number of females, less than of the males.
24. The annual expense of food & raiment in rearing a child, may be stated at about 8, 9, or 10 dollars; and the age at which it begins to be gainful to its owner, about 9 or 10 years.
25. The practice here does not furnish data for a comparison of cheapness, between these two modes of cultivation.
26. They are sometimes hired for field labour in time of harvest, and on other particular occasions.
27. The examples are too few to have established any such relative prices.
28. See the Census.
29. Rather increases.
31. More closely with the slaves, and more likely to side with them in a case of insurrection.
32. Generally idle and depraved; appearing to retain the bad qualities of the slaves with whom they continue to associate, without acquiring any of the good ones of the whites, from whom [they] continue separated by prejudices agst. their colour & other peculiarities.
33. There are occasional instances in the present legal condition of leaving the State.
J. M. presents his respects to Dr. Morse, with the annexed answers to the Queries accompanying his letter of the 14th inst: so far as they were applicable to this State. The answers c. not conveniently be extended as much as might perhaps be desired. Their brevity and inadequacy will be an apology for requesting, that if any use be made of them, it may be done without a reference to the source furnishing them.
Montpr., Mar. 28, 1823.
[1 ]Jedediah Morse wrote to Madison from New Haven March 14, 1823, sending a printed list of questions “from a respectable Correspondent in Liverpool, deeply engaged in the Abolition of the Slave Trade, and the Amelioration of the condition of Slaves,” and asking Madison to furnish brief answers. The questions follow: