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Dear Ms. Spencer,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
The United States Congress outlawed the importation of slaves effective on January 1, 1808 (2 Stat. 4260); and declared it to be piracy and punishable by death in 1820 (3 Stat. 600-601), but unimpaired rights to buy and sell slaves remained in place to transport them from one slave state to another slave state.
Several basic factors lead to slave manifests not being created in the Civil War era:
- Pre-war events; start of the Civil War in April 1861; & military war preparations.
- Commercial shipping endeavors were significantly impacted for the duration of the war, particularly in the South.
- Issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 by President Abraham Lincoln freeing slaves in those states in rebellion.
- Destruction of the South’s infrastructure during the war, especially its transportation systems.
- The Confederacy collapsing and the ending of the war in April 1865.
- Abolition of slavery under the 13th Amendment, and four million slaves were freed.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
There are no records of enslaved individuals being transported by ship between southern ports (Virginia, Alabama) during 1860 to 1865 because of the Civil War.
(1) Southern ports were blockaded by Union vessels during the war to try to prevent vessels from entering and leaving harbors. There is a lot of information about the blockade. See, for example, https://history.state.gov/milestones/1861-1865/blockade , or https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Union_blockade
(2) Surviving records kept by Confederate States Collectors of Customs are few - https://catalog.archives.gov/search?q=customs&f.oldScope=(descriptions%20or%20online)&f.level=series&f.recordGroupNoColl… - and do not include slave manifests.