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clue to the number of slaveholders.
Slaveholders were never enumerated in a United States census; but the Southerner, De Bow, who superintended that of 1850, estimated the total number at 347,525, or, excluding the hirers of slaves, 186,551.
This would make an average holding of 17, whereas the Kentucky average reported to Palfrey and Jay was 22, and seemed too low to apply to the South at large, as the size of gangs increased going Gulfward (Lib. 20: 38). In a speech delivered in 1844, Cassius Clay said, 31,495 only [of the then population of Kentucky] the Auditor's books show to be slaveholders (Ms.
June 11, 1888, C. M. Clay to Gen. Fayette Hewitt, Auditor of Kentucky; and see Greeley's Life of C. M. Clay ). De Bow's estimate for the same State, in 1850, hirers included, was 38,385.
Clay, again, in a letter to the National Republican Convention at Pittsburg of Feb. 22, 1856 (Lib. 26.41), put the Southern slaveholders at 300,000, but De Bow's larger estimate was generally current—