Research Seminar— Understanding Black Capitalism in the 19th Century

Research Seminar— Understanding Black Capitalism in the 19th Century

Marcus Anthony Allen


Marcus Anthony Allen, North Carolina A&T State University, will discuss his paper "The Black Saver Paradigm: Understanding Black Capitalism in 19th Century Baltimore."

Author's abstract for the seminar paper:

This paper, based on my dissertation, “Cautiously Capitalistic:  Black Economic Agency at the Savings Bank of Baltimore, 1850-1900,” examines the economic realities of three African American men during the latter half of the 19th century.  These three men were among over 1000 African Americans whose economic activity was studied through their savings activity at the white-owned Savings Bank of Baltimore. 

The savings accounts were studied by three different year groupings:  1850-1865, 1865-1880, and 1880-1912, and the accounts were coded and analyzed according to their activity.  Using three different exemplary men, I argue that  there were many paths to economic success for African Americans in antebellum and postbellum America.​

The seminar is open to the public and is based on a paper that is circulated in advance. Those planning to attend are encouraged to read the paper before coming to the seminar. Copies may be obtained by emailing Carol Lockman,

Reception at 6 p.m., seminar begins promptly at 6:30 p.m. in the Copeland Room of Hagley’s library building.

See more about our Research Seminar series here.


Image: Hagley Digital Archives.