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Slavery. Antebellum North Carolina and the United States.

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Slavery

Slavery

Antebellum North Carolina

and the

United States


“Slaves prayed for freedom….Slavery was a bad thing and freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

-Patsy Mitchner,

former slave from Wake County


Slavery in nc
Slavery in NC freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • 1790-100,572 slaves in NC=25% of the total population

  • In 1860 NC’s populations:

    • 331,059 slaves

    • 629,942 whites

    • 30,463 free blacks


Slavery in nc1
Slavery in NC freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • In 1860 NC:

    • Most slave owners only owned a few slaves

    • Three percent owned more than 20.

    • Two percent owned more that 50.

  • The first slaves in NC were in the Cape Fear region to grow rice and make naval stores.


Slavery in nc2
Slavery in NC freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Slavery spread across the state as agriculture grew.

  • By 1860, there were more slaves than whites in 16 counties. Cotton was the main crop for 11, while five others grew tobacco.

  • The mountain region had the fewest slaves, except when slave owners came to the cooler mountain resorts in the summer.


Slave populations across nc
Slave Populations across NC freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”


The slave trade
The Slave Trade freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • In 1808, the international slave traded ended in the US.

  • NC stopped importing slaves in 1795. They feared slave revolts in the Caribbean would spread.

  • It is estimated that between 1810 and 1860 50,000 African slaves were illegally smuggled into the US.


Slave trade
Slave Trade freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Slave trade between the states

    • over 835,000 slaves from the upper South to the newly opened states of Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.


An observation
An Observation freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • In 1844, an English visitor described a coffle – line of slaves chained together.

    “The female slaves were, some of them, sitting on logs of wood, whilst others were standing, and a great many little black children were warming themselves a the fires of the bivouack. In front of them all, and prepared for the march, stood, in double files, about two hundred male slaves, manacled and chained to each other.”


The slave code
The Slave Code freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Slave Codes defined the social, economic, and physical place of slaves.

  • Slave Codes got harsher after slaves began to revolt and others began to call for the abolition, or end, of slavery.


The slave code1
The Slave Code freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Prohibited actions included:

    • Learning to read or write

    • Showing disrespect to a white person

    • Trespassing on whites’ properties

    • Marrying free blacks

    • Producing forged papers for traveling

    • Hiring themselves out


The slave code2
The Slave Code freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Prohibited actions also included:

    • Raising horses, cattle, hogs, or sheep

    • Selling alcohol

    • Gambling

    • Hunting with a gun

    • setting fire to woods

    • Selling articles of property without written permission

    • Stealing themselves-running away


Life under slavery acquiring the basics
Life Under Slavery- freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”Acquiring the Basics

  • Clothes were usually issued twice a year-spring and fall

    They are to have Two good Suits of Clothes-one for Summer , and one of good woolen cloth for Winter-two pair of good double-soled shoes and one pair of woolen Stockings, one good wool hat and a Blanket not less that six feet long. A woman having one child a Blanket is to be supplies for every two children.

    Josiah Collins, III


Life under slavery food
Life Under Slavery-Food freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Slaves received meat, meal, molasses, potatoes, and corn.

  • An 1853 issue of Farmer’s Journal recommended giving men five pounds of pork and meal per week in winter, women four pounds. During summer, the meat was to be increased by one pound and a quart of molasses.


Life under slavery food1
Life Under Slavery-Food freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Slaves added to these rations by keeping their own gardens, hunting, and fishing.

  • Some slave owners encouraged slaves to grown their own extra crops and livestock.

  • Many produced products and sold them to earn money to buy things their masters would not provide.


Life under slavery homes
Life Under Slavery-Homes freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Most housing was poorly built with inferior materials or materials found nearby.

  • Stick and stone chimneys, one door, and glassless windows.

  • Some slave owners built sturdy one- and two-story houses.


Work routines
Work Routines freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Jobs done by slaves were different in different parts of the state.

  • Some worked in the masters’ homes.

  • Most worked outside growing rice, cotton, and tobacco.


Work routines1
Work Routines freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Rice

    • working in flooded fields

    • bent over for hours at a time

    • Expected to produce 4 or 5 500 lb barrels each season


Work routines2
Work Routines freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Cotton

    • Never-ending weeding

    • Six pickings per season


Work routine
Work Routine freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Tobacco

    • Seasons overlapped-continuous labor

    • Labor intensive

      • Transplanted

      • Primed

      • Topped

      • Suckered

    • During the day-in the fields

    • At night-stripping leaves off plants for curing


Work routine1
Work Routine freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Planters wanted slaves busy all the time.

  • Worked in groups under a slave driver and/or white overseers

    • Made sure slaves continued working

  • Cleared land for farming, loaded crops, dug ditches and wells


Work routine2
Work Routine freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • When not in the field, women spent time spinning, weaving, sewing, preparing food, and minding children.

  • Children’s jobs:

    • Kept chickens out of gardens

    • Shooed flies

    • Carried water to hands in the fields

    • Gathered nuts, berries, and firewood


Work routine3
Work Routine freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • In western NC, slaves tended livestock, worked in manufacturing, resorts, and mines, and built railroads and roads.

  • Specialized skills: coachman, house servant, cook, blacksmith, and carpenter

    • Doubly valuable to owners

    • Could be hired out by masters


Slave communities
Slave Communities freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Women were encouraged to marry people from other plantations.

    • Children became property of the woman’s owner.

  • Laws did not recognize slave marriages.

    • Changes in the master’s life made for changes in the slaves’ lives.


Slave communities1
Slave Communities freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Slaves were given to newly married children, to clear debts, and remove troublemakers.

  • “I’m going to put you in my pocket,” meant the owner was going to sale the slave.


Slaves and religion
Slaves and Religion freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • During the Great Revival in the early 1800’s, most slaves converted to Christianity.

  • Separate churches were established in many NC cities.

  • Due to talk of revolt, laws were passed forbidding black preachers from speaking at worship meetings with slaves from different masters.


Resistance to slavery
Resistance to Slavery freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • David Walker, free black from NC, wrote An Appeal to the Coloured Citizens of the World.

    • Quoted the Declaration of Independence and asked whites to think about slaves’ independence.

  • Nat Turner, a preacher, led the US’s bloodiest slave revolt in 1831.

    • Turned violent and many were killed

    • Turner was captured, tried, and hanged.


Resistance to slavery1
Resistance to Slavery freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Armed revolts didn’t work even though there are records on 65 in the US.

  • Resisted in other ways:

    • Faked illness

    • Forged passes

    • Stole from their masters

    • Ran away-some lived in the Great Dismal Swamp for as long as 30 years.


Free blacks
Free Blacks freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • There were free blacks living in NC before the Revolutionary War.

  • A child’s status was determined by his/her mother. Free mom=free child

  • Some Revolutionaries manumitted, or freed, their slaves.

    • By 1790, NC was the only state that didn’t allow owners to manumit their own slaves.

    • They had to show a court why the slave deserved freedom.


Free blacks1
Free Blacks freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Many free blacks moved to cities and towns to find work and escape the constant attention of whites.

  • Discrimination=when people are denied their rights because of prejudice

    • Free blacks lost the right to vote in NC in 1835.

    • Free black women were taxed, while white women weren’t.


Free blacks2
Free Blacks freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Some cities required free blacks to wear a tag that said “FREE” on their clothing.

  • Free blacks were not allowed to entertain slaves in their homes on Sundays or at night.


Free blacks3
Free Blacks freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • Noted Free Blacks in NC

    • John Chavis-Revolutionary war hero, respected teacher of blacks and whites

    • William Meredith-started a Methodist church in Wilmington with blacks and whites

    • Thomas Day Milton-respected cabinet maker who’s wife was allowed to come to NC only after the General Assembly set aside certain laws forbidding free blacks from coming into the state.


Free blacks4
Free Blacks freedom, of the kind we got with nothing to live on was bad. Two snakes full of poison. One lyin’ with his head pointin’ north, the other with his head pointin’ south. Their names was slavery and freedom. The snake call slavery lay with his head pointed south and the snake called freedom lay with his head pointed north. Both bit…and they was both bad.”

  • In 1830, 192 free blacks in NC owned slaves.

    • 90 only owned one.

    • Some owned their wives and children.

  • John Carruthers Stanly, freed slave who became a successful business man owned about 160 slaves.

    • Stanly was well-respected by whites, owning a pew in the local church.

    • Stanly treated his slaves poorly.


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