The economy of enslaved Virginians consisted of productive activities outside of those required by the enslaver. Enslaved individuals grew vegetables, raised chickens, and plied their trades during their time off because it allowed them to better provision their families and amass some savings. By the end of the eighteenth century, Virginia law prohibited trade between enslaved people and all but their enslaver. Enforcement of laws prohibiting the “slaves’ economy” did not stop its growth and instead drove aspects underground. Whether the economy of the enslaved consisted of the sale of produce or poultry or enslaved peoples’ self-hire, enslavers were the primary beneficiaries of these activities. Enslavers profited when enslaved people provided their own food and. They also profited when enslaved peoples’ accumulation of goods or livestock created a disincentive to self-emancipation. While some enslaved Virginians were able to take advantage of the market economy to make slight improvements in their standard of living and to feel a measure of autonomy taken from then by enslavement, the economy of the enslaved never threatened the system of slavery because it largely benefited whites in power.