Gildas Salaün on Pop'média: From American mining money to Nantes piastres

Category Interview

Pop' Média: Mémoires de la Traite et de l'esclavage's guest for its Places du Commerce series is Gildas Salaün, friend of the Nantes IEA, heritage conservation attaché and elected representative of the city of Nantes.

He offers us: #5 Rue de l'ancienne-monnaie, De l'argent des mines américaines aux piastres nantaises

When we think of colonial imports during the slave trade, we often think of sugar, coffee, tobacco and cotton. Silver - the metal - is rarely mentioned. Extracted from the mines of “Spanish America” (Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru), silver was then traded to French merchants and slave traders.

It was at the corner of the Place du Bouffay - where the money workshop once stood, and renamed “rue de l'Ancienne-Monnaie” after its destruction in 1820 - that the silver was converted into French numéraire. This little-known story of France's silver enrichment is crucial to our understanding of the mechanisms of international trade at the time. Talking about the arrival of silver during the slave trade allows us to look beyond the individual responsibilities of the slave traders, and evoke the responsibility of the State and its mercantile logic, which also influenced the thinking of Colbert, the author of the famous “Code Noir”...

Gildas Salaün, ami de l'IEA de Nantes, attaché de conservation du patrimoine et élu de la ville de Nantes à écouter sur Pop'média : "De l'argent des mines américaines aux piastres nantaises"