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2004: Going the Extra Mile

Researchers uncovered mortgage records in English and French that identified enslaved individuals by name and age.

Researchers uncovered mortgage records in English and French that identified enslaved individuals by name and age.

To comply with a Chicago City Council ordinance, JPMorgan Chase commissions History Associates to investigate whether any of the financial giant’s predecessor companies profited from or invested in African slavery or the slave trade.  When researchers trace back through hundreds of predecessor institutions, two Louisiana banks stand out: Canal Bank and Citizens Bank of Louisiana.  For months, History Associates research teams travel across Louisiana to learn more about them.  Visiting seventy-five repositories in thirty-nine parishes, they unearth property records, compile details on thousands of bank transactions, and analyze and collate the data.  The work reveals that these predecessor banks secured loans and mortgages not only on land but also on thousands of slaves.  In 2005 JPMorgan publicly releases the results of the slavery disclosure research.

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