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Plantation owners who suffered damage to their plantations during the Civil War were not owed compensation, because the rebellion, having failed, was deemed to be illegal (had the Confederacy won, it might have chosen to compensate plantation owners). Damage sustained in the course of an illegal rebellion is the fault of those who illegally rebelled. Similarly, former slave owners were not compensated for the loss of their slaves, because the United States no longer recognized that slavery was legal or acceptable; slavery was ended as a morally objectionable practice. It was the slaves who deserved compensation for their unpaid labor, and not the slave owners for the crime of enslaving human beings.

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Q: Could a plantation owner bill the government for the loss of his plantation and his slaves that escaped during the Civil War?
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