By Adina Brizel
The Baltimore Life Insurance Company, founded in 1830, issued this list of rates of insurance during the presidency of John Donaldson, who was also one of the company’s directors. Although the exact year of this document is unknown, it is correct to assume it is dated before the Civil War.
Due to pre- Civil War Maryland being a slave state, there is a specific section which mentions insurance rates that one can pay for one’s slaves. A table lists the rates of insurance of $100 on the life of a slave. The youngest slaves, starting at age 14, can be insured for a premium of $1.28 a year and a $1.54 premium per annum over seven years. The age caps out at 60, where one must pay a premium of $5.65 a year and $6.16 per annum over seven years.