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A slave is someone who is owned by another person - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Slavery. A slave is someone who is owned by another person Slaves were forced to work their whole lives without pay. Slaves were a piece of property, so owners were allowed to do whatever they want with their slaves. They could whip tem, sell them, or even work them to death.

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  • A slave is someone who is owned by another person

  • Slaves were forced to work their whole lives without pay.

  • Slaves were a piece of property, so owners were allowed to do whatever they want with their slaves. They could whip tem, sell them, or even work them to death.

  • Most people in the South wanted to keep their slaves after the Revolution.

  • In the beginning, the first English settlers didn’t use slaves to do most of the hard work. They were indentured servants.

  • Slaves were cheap and worked their whole lives without pay. People didn’t think slavery was wrong.

  • Native Americans were first, but they died of diseases or ran away.

  • Spain and Portugal were using Africans for more than hundred years –in places like Hispaniola, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Brazil.

  • Massachusetts was the first English colony to make slavery legal, in 1641. Slavery was legal everywhere.

3.6 to 5 million Africans were taken to Brazil.

4 to 5 million Africans were taken to the Caribbean.

200,000 Africans were taken to Mexico

300, 000 Africans were taken to Guianas (South America)

250,000 Africans were taken to the Colonies.


  • Slaves lived on a plantation.

  • Some plantations were small farms with only a few slaves.

  • Others were very big with hundreds of slaves. Most were in between.

  • Tobacco, rice, sugar, indigo, and cotton were grown there.

  • The owner often lived in a fancy house called The Big House.

  • The plantation was like a small village. In each house, special work was done, such as weaving cloth, sewing clothes, making candles, soap, and shoes.

  • Slaves made everything. They had carpentry shops and blacksmiths.

  • Slaves lived in towns and big cities. They worked in factories and people’s homes.

Slave Row

  • Most cabins in slave row were small, with one or two rooms.

  • Twelve people- a whole family-lived in one cabin. This is where you ate, slept, and spent time together.

  • It was dark inside with one small window. Slaves used lighted pine knots or grease lamps for light. They poured grease in a pan and lit it.

  • It was smoky in a cabin. The women would cook in pots hanging in an open fireplace. On winter nights, you had to keep the fire going to stay warm.

  • To keep out of the rain and cold, you stuffed cracks in the walls with rags and mud.

  • Some slaves slept in a bed and others slept on the dirt floor on a mattress, or on some rags. People made their own mattress sacks with cornhusks, straw, or soft moss that the children gathered.

  • For a pillow, you rolled up some clothing and tucked it under your head.

  • There would be one blanket. During the day, the mattresses were pulled off the floor and put away.

  • Many chimneys were made out of sticks and mud. If they caught fire, your whole house could burn down.

  • They build chimneys that tilts away from the house. The chimney would be held up by poles.

  • If there was a fire, all you had to do was rush outside and knock down the poles. The burning chimney would fall to the ground, away from the cabin. The house would be safe.

  • Some of the slave cabins at Monticello, the home of President Thomas Jefferson, had tilted chimneys.

  • Every winter, owners would hand out new clothes to their slaves. But often owners didn’t give them enough clothes to wear, even though it was the slaves’ hard work that made the owners rich.

  • Usually your clothes had to last you all year. If you wore out your clothes, you’d be wearing rags until you got new ones.

  • Many boys and girls wore just long shirts.

  • Sometimes owners gave boys pants to wear, and girls got skirts or dresses.

  • Slave kids rarely wore shoes, even if it rained or snowed.

  • At ten years old, you would start working in the fields or doing adult work.

  • That is when you would get a pair of shoes, warm jacket, and socks. Children stopped wearing the long shirts at that age.

  • Slaves went barefoot during the summer. They saved their shoes for the winter.

    “We didn’t have hardly any clothes, and most of the time they were just rags. We went barefoot until it got real cold. Our feet would crack open from the cold and bleed. We would sit down (and) bawl and cry because it hurt so. Mother made moccasins for our feet from old pants.”

    Emma Knihgt, a slave in Missouri

  • Every Sunday, you got some food from the plantation owner. It was the same very week. (bacon, cornmeal, and molasses)

  • A child got half of what an adult got until you are ready to work in the fields.

  • You ate cornmeal mush with molasses and bacon. You also ate ash cakes (small, thick pancakes made of cornmeal and water baked over the fire) You had to scrape off the ashes.

  • To get extra food, slaves carried clubs and dogs to go hunting for opossum and raccoons on Sundays or at night.

  • Fishing was another way. Some owners had a little piece of land for vegetables and to raise chickens. Children trapped rabbits and picked wild nuts and berries in the woods.

  • Most young slaves lived with their parents. Sometimes parents had to live in two different places because they had two different owners

  • At ten, children were often sold away from their families. Young kids weren’t sold.

  • Senior citizen slaves looked after babies and young children. Everyone else worked. You would see your parents in the mornings, late in the evenings, and on Sundays.

  • If your father belonged to another slave owner, he would walk many miles to get there sometimes through rivers and dark woods.

  • He would bring you food or blankets. He would go hunting or fishing with you on Sundays.

  • If the slave owner didn’t give permission, your dad could be in big trouble when he visited you. If caught he could be whipped. Slave went anyway. They were willing to risk beatings, so they could be with their families.

    “My father was sold away from us when I was small …..

    He would often slip back to our cottage at night. We would gather around him and crawl up in his lap, tickled slap to death, but he gave us these pleasures at a painful risk. When his Master missed him, he would beat him all the way home. We would track him by the blood stains.” (Hannah Chapman, a slave in Mississippi)

  • Some kids would be named after the day of the week or the owner gave children the names he wanted them to have.

  • Slaves couldn’t use their own family names. They had to take the last names of their owners

    ex. Your name is John Owner name is Sole New name is John Sole

  • If you were sold, you would take the name of the new owner.

  • Some slaves had secret names, so other slaves would know only.

  • Some owners tried to keep slave families together. They knew slaves worked harder and didn’t run away.

  • Owners sold slaves for money.

  • When an owner dies, there was always fear that your family split up. Families would be split up or given to someone in the dead owner’s family- maybe wife and son.

  • Your new owner could be much younger than you. He might be a baby.

  • If you wanted to visit someone on another plantation, you would need a pass.

  • If you lived in town and you had to go to the store, you need a pass. Slaves couldn’t go anywhere without a pass.

  • A pass was a note written by the slave owner. It gave you permission to go somewhere.

    Henry has permission to go from my plantation to Mr. Scott’s and return by 12 o’clock tonight

    Joseph Moore

    January 1, 1850

  • If you didn’t have a pass, patrollers who combed the land would whip him- sometimes so hard his back was bloody, and he was so sore he couldn’t work for days.

  • Many slaves were caught when they slipped off to visit family or friends at a nearby plantation.

  • If a slave was caught in town, the patrollers might take him to a fenced-in area, tie him to a post, and whip him there.

  • Slaves used all kinds of tricks to fool the patrollers. Some dragged bushes to wipe out their footprints.

  • Slaves pretended to be asleep and then sneak out after patrollers went by.

  • Slave children couldn’t go to school. Most slaves couldn’t read and write, or count. Most haven’t seen a map of the US, or the world.

  • If you were lucky, you could go to a secret school. You would sneak out of the Quarters at night and go far into the woods. A fellow slave would teach you and other slaves whatever he knew.

  • You might try and find someone to teach you alone. Slave children learned by listening to songs and stories told in the Quarters.

  • Stories about Brer Rabbit were popular because he always outsmarted the powerful fox, just as slaves sometimes found ways to outsmart their owners.

  • A few owners wanted their slaves to read the Bible. Others wanted their slaves to be able to read, so they could do their jobs betters.

  • Others just believed slaves should know how to read.

  • An owner who taught his own slave to read wasn’t punished, even if that was against the law. In may states, a white person could go to jail if he or she taught someone else’s slave to read.

  • Phillis Wheatley, a seven-year-old slave girl from Africa, was taught more than just reading. Her Boston owners also taught her history, geography, astronomy, and English and Latin literature before they freed her.

  • When Phillis was about sixteen, a book of her poems was published in England. Many people didn’t believe that a black person could have written such a great book, but she proved them all wrong She became world-famous.

  • White children taught their black playmates how to read---usually in secret.

  • White children would slip off after school and secretly teach black children what they had just learned.

  • Owners were afraid that if slaves could read and write, they would write fake passes.

  • If you knew how to read and write, you could write a fake pass or had a bad attitude.

  • In 1831, Nat Turner led a slave revolt that killed fifty-seven whites. Turner was caught and killed, but whites knew he had been a preacher who knew how to read and write. Slaves who could read and write were dangerous.

  • They passed strict new laws to punish anyone who tired to teach slaves.

  • If you knew how to read, you were whipped cruelly. Some were sold as soon as the owner found out hey could read.

  • You could be punished for just holding a book, or looking in one. Being caught with pencil and paper was a major crime.

  • One little boy was given a whipping because he and some white children were playing with ABC blocks.

  • Slaves did all kinds of work. They worked in would write fake passes. houses, factories, built bridges and railroads, dug canals. Cleared wild land for new settlements, and drained swamps to make rice fields.

  • Most worked on the farm. Most feared to work in the rice field. It was flooded, hot, and you would have to stand in water all day.

  • You were bitten by watery bugs and snakes. Many go sick and died.

  • They were carpenters and mechanics. They were shoemakers also.

  • Slaves worked from dawn to dusk. They were watched by an overseer. An overseer (boss of the plantation) never let slaves rest. They told where to work and what to do. He punished them

  • An overseer could be an indentured servant or another slave. They got a share of the profits, so he pushed the slaves to work more to make money.

  • Slaves were waken-up by a horn when it was dark and ate breakfast. By the time the second horn blew, you better be standing ready to work in the fields or you get a whipping.

  • After six or seven hours, lunch consisted of corn cakes and bacon. It was nine o’clock when you got home. The overseer made sure you go enough sleep.

  • Young children did chores like feeding chickens and sweeping the yard. As you get older, you could drive the cows to pasture, or bring water and wood to the kitchen.

  • Children worked in the owner’s house. They scrubbed the floor, polished the brass, and fan the flies away while the owner’s family ate dinner.

  • Girls as young as four had to take care of the owner’s children. One girl made a baby stop screaming by screaming herself.

  • Children picked worms off the tobacco plans. If you missed a worm, the overseer would have you bite the worm in half.

  • Usually between ten and twelve, you now worked long hours with the adults.

  • Kids played games with white children. A lot of kids didn’t realize they were slaves.

  • Hide and seek, hopscotch, jump rope, and other games were played. Children made their own toys. Dolls were made out of rags.

How Did Slaves Help Each Other? the yard. As you get older, you could drive the cows to pasture, or bring water and wood to the kitchen.

  • Snuck food to someone who had run away and was living in the woods or swamps.

  • Become “family” to a child who was separated from his parents.

  • Write a fake pass for a slave who couldn’t write.

  • Give some of their cotton to a slow picker, so he/she didn’t get whipped for coming up short.

  • Share food they got for hunting and fishing.

  • The Golden Rule of Slaves: Never tell the owner, or any white person, what goes on in the Quarters.

  • If you tell about a slave who was planning to run away or visit another plantation could get another slave whipped or sold.

  • Sometimes owners gave treats to children for spying on grown-ups in the Quarters. If you were caught spying, you were punished.

Did Slaves Get Married? the yard. As you get older, you could drive the cows to pasture, or bring water and wood to the kitchen.

  • Yes, they did! They had to get permission to get married by the owner.

  • At a slave marriage, slaves didn’t promise to be together “until death do us part”.

  • Owners liked it because they didn’t run away and they had more children.

  • There was a lot of dancing and food at slave weddings.

  • Slaves had a special way to celebrate marriages------ they “jumped the broom”.

  • They laid down a broom on the floor, and the couple joined hands and jumped backward over the broomstick.”

  • Sometimes they raised the broom. Touching the broom brought bad luck.

  • Christmastime was the best! Work slowed down for field slaves and house slaves between Christmas and New Years.

  • There was presents, dancing, visiting, and religious services.

  • Slave owners handed out passes so family members who lived nearby could travel and see them.

  • On this day, they played a game called “Christmas Gif”. The first person out of the group who yells that saying gets a gift.

  • Slaves heard the news when they went into town by listening at the post office to white people talking. House slaves kept their ears open while they worked in the Big House.

  • If you heard that the owner had money problems, slaves might be sold. They ran away.

  • If you knew how to read, you could look at the newspapers. Slaves passed the news around.

Were any black people free? slaves and house slaves between Christmas and New Years.

  • Yes, many. Most blacks were still slaves, but by 1860 there were 488, 000 free blacks in America. Nearly half lived in the slaves in the South.

  • If free, you had a chance to go to school.

  • Many free blacks like Fredrick Douglas, who escaped on a Maryland plantation worked to end slavery. A person who works to end slavery is called an “abolitionist”. They helped slaves escape on the “Underground Railroad”.

  • The easiest way to go free if your mom was free, then you would be born free.

  • You can go free by the slave owner. He might reward you.

  • George Washington arranged to have all his slaves freed after he and his wife died.

  • Most owners didn’t free their slaves.

  • A slave named Venture Smith, saved money by doing extra word and bought his freedom. He saved after being free again and bought his wife, Meg, and their three kids to freedom. This didn’t always work. Owners might take the money.

  • If you were free, there was a chance you might be kidnapped. Kidnappers could grab you and sell you to someone far away.

  • Solomon Northup of New York was free all of his life until he was kidnapped and sold to a Louisiana slave owner. He finally got word to NY officials and was released.His daughter didn’t’ recognize him because he was gone for twelve years.

Escape to Freedom slaves and house slaves between Christmas and New Years.

  • Slaves who were caught were beaten badly, or even killed.

  • Owners paid big rewards for capturing runaways, so slave hunters were everywhere.

  • Leaving on a Sunday could give you a head start because there is no work.

  • The first thing you had to worry about is the slave dogs. You would rub onion or hot pepper on your shoes to get the dogs off your scent.

  • Slaves walked in the creek where the dogs couldn’t smell you.

  • Owners put out ads what the slaves looked like. Slaves wore disguises like false mustaches. Men dressed like women, and women like men. One girl was fifteen and dressed like a boy.

  • Some slaves hid in vegetable wagons, on steamships, or stole the owner’s horse for a fast getaway.

  • By 1861, more than sixty thousand slaves had escaped in the North.

Henry "Box" Brown slaves and house slaves between Christmas and New Years.

Civil War slaves and house slaves between Christmas and New Years.

  • In 1861, the Civil War began and many slaves ran away to join the Northern Army.

  • In 1863, Abraham Lincoln freed all the slaves in the North. This was called the Emancipation Proclamation. The South declared itself a new country.

  • The Northern Army camp put many slaves to work by digging trenches, repairing equipment, and building roads.

  • Over 180,000 men fought as soldiers in all-black units while women nursed the wounded, cooked, and did laundry.

  • Harriet Tubman became a spy for the Northern Army.

  • During the four year war over a half million slaves ran away to freedom.

  • When slavery ended, you would look for your family. One way to search was to put ads in newspapers. Some spend years looking for their families.

End of Slavery slaves and house slaves between Christmas and New Years.

  • The Civil War ended in 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution. It made slavery illegal.