The nature of slavery
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The Nature of Slavery. The First Emancipation. During the American Revolution slaves called for freedom (using revolutionary ideals) Most northern states started to end slavery Free blacks increased in number, but most were still slaves. 1800, 89% of blacks are slaves. Life Under Slavery.

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The first emancipation
The First Emancipation

  • During the American Revolution slaves called for freedom (using revolutionary ideals)

  • Most northern states started to end slavery

  • Free blacks increased in number, but most were still slaves.

  • 1800, 89% of blacks are slaves


Life under slavery
Life Under Slavery

  • The Expansion of SlaveryWhitney’s cotton gin (1793) made cotton cultivation profitable

  • Influences the rapid and extensive expansion of slavery after the American Revolution

  • “Trail of Tears” removal of indigenous people for cotton land


  • Vast increase in slaves in 1800’s

  • Slave population increases 7 times between 1790-1860

  • Grew fastest in cotton producing states

  • Alabama & Mississippi

  • Virginia still has largest slave population

  • Slavery looks much different in deep south


Slave labor in agriculture
Slave Labor in Agriculture

  • Geography and region shaped the slave experience (environment & work)

  • 55% of slaves cultivated cotton

  • 10% Tobacco

  • 10% Sugar, rice, hemp

  • 15% Domestic servants

  • 10% Factories


  • Tobacco: Important in VA, MD, KY

  • Difficult crop to produce-long growing season, careful cultivation

  • Rice: Remained in SC, GA. Slaves worked according to the task system, allowing some slave autonomy. Families together



Price of slaves increases
Price of Slaves Increases Deadliest. Mostly men-no families

  • 1830s, male = $1,250

  • 1860, male = $1,800

  • Expensive

  • For the very wealthy

  • 1/4 of whites own slaves


House servants skilled slaves
House Servants & Skilled Slaves Deadliest. Mostly men-no families

  • 75% of slave workforce are field hands

  • In order to keep plantations and farms self sufficient masters used slaves as house servants and craftsmen

  • House Slaves: Often women, cook, clean, tend children, nurses. Men, butlers, gardeners.

  • Work was sometimes less strenuous, but under constant supervision. Lived in mater’s house. Never get a break. On duty 24/7


Domestic slaves cont
Domestic Slaves Cont. Deadliest. Mostly men-no families

  • House servants did not live in slave communities. (no slaves quarters)

  • Skilled slaves were more elite than domestic/house slaves.

  • They were carpenters, blacksmiths, millwrights, etc.

  • “Hire their time”

  • Frederick Douglass was a caulker -- gave % of wage to owner--mostly men


Urban and industrial slavery
Urban and Industrial Slavery Deadliest. Mostly men-no families

  • Most skilled slaves who hired their time lived in southern towns and cities

  • Urban slaves: Worked for wages, could eventually buy freedom for themselves and family members--very rare



Industrial slavery
Industrial Slavery Deadliest. Mostly men-no families

  • Often employed slaves from urban areas

  • Men, women and children worked in textile mills in GA, SC

  • Worked in factories


Domestic slave trade
Domestic Slave Trade Deadliest. Mostly men-no families

  • Expansion of slavery in south and west increased the domestic slave trade

  • Owners sold men, women and children to slave traders

  • Traders shipped slaves to slave markets in New Orleans and other cities

  • Families torn apart



  • Number of those traded was huge Deadliest. Mostly men-no families

  • 1820-1860=50% of slaves were moved to the South

  • Slave Prisons & Slave Pens

  • Held in cities awaiting trade

  • Humiliating process



Slave families
Slave Families groups called cofffles.

  • Sought to preserve families

  • Marriage was unbinding

  • Most slaves could choose their own mates, although there is evidence that masters often did this

  • Procreation

  • Assumed men would be less rebellious


  • Reproduction of “human chattel” groups called cofffles.

  • Thomas Jefferson: “I consider a slave woman who brings a child every two years as more profitable than the best man on the farm”


Sally hemmings
Sally Hemmings groups called cofffles.

  • African American Jefferson’s what to be buried at Montechello along with all Jefferson’s white children and family.



In spite of difficulties enslaved parents instructed their children in family history, religion and survival skills

Extended family relationships are very important





  • Sexual abuse of slave women & the impact of this on the family

  • Long term relationships between women and their masters were common

  • White southerners justified sexual abuse in several ways:

  • Blame the women as being promiscuous, as jezebel

  • Said they seduced white men

  • Failed to note the impact of rape on black women

  • Also failed to look at the inability of black men to protect their wives and daughters


Food and clothing
Food and Clothing family

  • Diet: cornmeal, slat pork, self grown vegetables

  • Deficient in calcium, vitamin C, protein, iron

  • Chronic illness



Socialization of slaves
Socialization of Slaves spring)

  • Children are provided with skills to protect themselves

  • Folktales

  • Tricksters: Animals w/ human personalities

  • Most famous: Brer Rabbit, who uses his wits to overcome threats from vicious antagonists

  • Whites believe in the “Happy Slave” and likened slavery to a school and stated that they were protecting slaves




Religion
Religion front of the master, and another way in front of other slaves

  • Protestantism: By the mid 19th century, most slaves practice

  • In plantation churches, white masters told blacks that Christian slaves must obey their god and their masters


Religion1
Religion front of the master, and another way in front of other slaves

  • Semisecret black church: church services run by slaves

  • Black preachers

  • Emphasized Moses: Deliverance from bondage

  • Services include singing, dancing and music

  • Kumbaya


The character of slavery
The Character of Slavery front of the master, and another way in front of other slaves

  • Historians have debated the character of slavery for over 100 years

  • First historians believed slavery was fantastic--like a school where masters were actually loosing money

  • Portrayed as benign, paternalistic

  • Helping slaves



Punishment
Punishment much to do with a system that rested on force.

  • Masters often offered incentives to entice slaves to perform well.

  • Yet slave labor is forced labor based on the threat of physical violence

  • Whites believed slaves would not work unless they were threatened with the whip


Punishment1
Punishment much to do with a system that rested on force.

  • Fear of the lash: drove slaves to do the work and cooperate

  • Parents teach children how to behave to avoid punishment


Resistance to slavery
Resistance to Slavery much to do with a system that rested on force.

  • Resistance took on many forms:

  • Work slowly

  • Break tools

  • Injured oxen, mules and other draft animals

  • Spit in food

  • Poisoned masters


Resistance
Resistance much to do with a system that rested on force.

  • Fought off attempts at violence

  • Learned to read and write

  • Practiced own religions

  • Ran away

  • Lived in maroon communities & with Native Americans

  • Mounted violent rebellions


Resistance1
Resistance much to do with a system that rested on force.

  • Arson

  • Suicide

  • Infanticide


Resistance2
Resistance much to do with a system that rested on force.

  • Over 250 armed revolts recorded

  • Stono Rebellion

  • Gabriel & Nana Prosser (1800)

  • Nat Turner’s Rebellion (1831)

  • Denmark Vessey (1822)

  • Amistad (1839)


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