The exact date the first negro slave was brought to Louisiana is not known. It has been established that Indian slavery was first tried but was not successful.
It is believed that Bienville first brought slaves from the West Indies in 1708. The company of the Indies brought slaves to the colony in 1719 and for some years slave ships arrived every year. In 1724 Bienville enacted a series of slave regulations called the “Black Code.” From that time until the Civil War, slavery was an important factor in the economic life of the South.
Records of St. John Baptiste des Allemands show the following transactions:
8-6-74 Slave sale and manumition:
Nicholas Haydel, acting for his mother, widow Ambroise Haydel, sells a slave named Joseph (27 months) to Joseph, a free negro, who believes the child to be his son. Therefore, Joseph grants freedom to the child.
- 1-18-74 Slave sale:
Jean Alsman, a resident of New Orleans, sells a slave named Sara (20), native of Jamaica, to Mathias Auri (Ory) for 300 pounds of indigo. Witnesses: George and Jacques Deslonde.
- 6-20-74 Slave sale:
Jean Baptiste Roland declares, in the presence of George and Jacques Deslonde, that he has sold a slave (30) Joseph (free negro) for 680 paistres.
From "St. Charles Parish... A Brief Look at the Past" by Nancy Tregre Wilson, 1976