I've been keeping an eye out for the last year or so for any information on the total amounts of money paid to slave owners for the enlistment of their slaves. I know of the original laws in the mid war for bounties of $100 and $300 according to type of service. Now I find a second law by Congress for an extra $300 of compensation each slave after the war. This is 1866. The states of Delware and Maryland are mentioned in this law specifically with commissioner determining claims with no more states commissioners "yet been made". Monies on hand to spend over $12,000,000!
Wait theres more!
It seems there was a political battle over these monies between Congress and the Treasury and War Departments who opposed the new law. The appropriations made to the "bounty law" were not affixed. "The Treasury variously estimateed the amount required under this bounty act at from $60,000,000 to $200,000,000 and the other objects for which no specific amounts are given at from $100,000 to $500,000. Amoug the items on the Civil Appropriation Bill is one directing the payment out of the "commutation fund" arising from the draft, which now amounts to $12,000,000, the sum of $300 for each slave who either enlisted or was drafted into the military service, to be paid to the loyal owners of slaves. As these same owners received the $100 bounty when the slaves enlisted they will be pretty well compensated for their loss. The benefits of the bill are confined to the Slave States represented in Congress since 1864. The amount necessary to make the payment will be about $10,000,000. " The Anglo-American Times, September 8, 1866.
Wait there is ever more!
According to Appleton's Annual Cyclopedia and Register of Importent Events. 1865.
Rememeber Kentucky was not allowed to participate in the above law.
"The emancipation question continued to be the most exciting topic of discussion in the State [of Kentucky], until it was finally settled by the ratification of the constitutional amendment by the number of States required to make it valid. The effect of the agitation, together with the military measures of the Government, upon the value of slave property, caused a decline from $34,179,246 in July, 1864, to about $8,350,000 in July, 1865. This was the result of the returns on the books of the tax assessors. On the other hand the friends of emancipation urged as follows:
At to the effect of emancipation in Kentucky, no argument can be so convincing as the rapid increase in the value of real estate in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia since the abolition of slavery there.
The value of the land in Maryland has enhanced already to an extent that more than compensates for the pecuniary value of the slaves emancipated; and in the city of Washington the increase in the value of real estate and taxable property since the abolition of slavery in the District of Columbia, has been unparalleled and unprecedented. Nor is this prosperity merely apparent and attributable to the inflated condition of the national currency, as some are ready to charge. The gold valuation of real property in the city of Washington is now more than fifty per cent.— perhaps a hundred—greater than it was four years ago. Such also will be the effect in Kentucky. Nor is any thing to be feared from the temporary disturbance to the labor system of our State which the extinction of slaverv will effect. The laws of labor, like the laws of trade, will regulate themselves. The freed slave must have bread, and to get it he must work. He will work where his labor is most in demand and best requited, and the cost of his labor to his employer will be much less than it ever has been to his owner. The examples of the States of Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, where negroes have long performed a large part of the unskilled labor of the city and the country, may be cited in proof of this. Negroes have never been drones upon society there, and they never will be here.
The State election was held on Angust 7th. The issue was between those who advocated the amendment of the Federal Constitution abolishing slavery, who were termed Unionists, and those opposing the amendment, who were termed Conservatives. The latter, at one of their conventions to nominate a candidate for Congress, thus expressed their views:
That no power has been delegated bv the Constitution to the Government of the United States to
emancipate the slaves of any State; that such power is, therefore, reserved to the States respectively, or the people; and that we, as Kentuckiana, claim the same right on this subject which has been heretofore exercised by the non-slavehulding States, constituting a part of the United States, and a part of our National Government and Union, and that we are now unwilling to delegate any such power to the Government or Congress of the United States, or in any manner to place it in the power of that body to prescribe the terms upon which the slaves of Kentucky shall be emancipated, and determine the social and political rights they shall enjoy. We are, therefore, decidedly opposed to the adoption and ratification of the amendment recently proposed by Congress to the Constitution of the United States, granting powers to the National Government on the subject or slaves and slavery in the United States.
That the enlistment of slaves to serve in the armies of the United States, and compelling them to serve, is the taking of private property for public use, and for which the Constitution requires that a just compensation shall be made, and we cannot perceive the justice of that policy on the part of the Government which continues the enlistment of slaves when vast armies of white men are about to be discharged; nor can we perceive the justice or the humanity of tho policy which congregates thousands of negro women and children, at different posts and camps in Kentucky, to be supported at public expense, when tho wives and children of white soldiers actively engaged in putting down the rebellion have not been in any manner provided for.
Were slave states being bribed with slave bounties (commutation funds) in exchange for Constitution amendment ratification votes?