While less well-known than other facets of institutional slavery, hiring out of the enslaved was a common and long-standing arrangement throughout the nearly 250-year existence of race-based slavery in Virginia. Enslavers commonly hired out enslaved individuals for a set fee and time period. This allowed enslavers the flexibility to allot enslaved labor to a wide variety of tasks, which contributed to slavery’s viability. It also fit with Virginia’s increasingly diversified economy in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, being adaptable to rural and urban settings as well as commercial and industrial sectors. All ranks of white society engaged in hiring enslaved people, including many who could not afford to purchase enslaved laborers. On a yearly basis, hiring out affected thousands of enslaved men, women, and children, who were separated from their families and communities and who had to endure and adapt to new living and working conditions. For many enslaved African Americans in Virginia, being hired out was a more common experience than being sold, and one that could occur at multiple points in their lives, causing repeated disruption.