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S lavery. The peculiar Institution. chattel slavery (outright ownership of a human being, and of his/her descendants.

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s lavery


The peculiar Institution

chattel slavery outright ownership of a human being and of his her descendants
chattel slavery(outright ownership of a human being, and of his/her descendants
  • From the 16th to the 19th centuries, an estimated 12 million Africans were shipped as slaves to theAmericas. Of these, an estimated 645,000 were brought to what is now the United States.
  • By the 1860 United States Census, the slave population in the United States had grown to four million

As a rule, skilled slaves were sold at higher prices.  Moreover, young female slaves sold for the highest dollar amounts since they were potential "breeders" for their owner.  In the late 1850s, male slaves were sold for approximately $1,300-$1,500, while females sold for as high as $1,800. In today’s dollars that would be around $40,000.

conditions of slavery
Conditions of Slavery
  • "There were no beds given the slaves, unless one coarse blanket be considered such, and none but the men and women had these...They find less difficulty from the want of beds, than from the want of time to sleep; for when their day's work in the field is done, the most of them having their washing, mending, and cooking to do, and having few or none of the ordinary facilities for doing either of these, very many of their sleeping hours are consumed in preparing for the field the coming day; and when this is done, old and young, male and female, married and single, drop down side by side, on one common bed,--the cold, damp floor,--each covering himself or herself with their miserable blankets; and here they sleep till they are summoned to the field by the driver's horn."  Frederick Douglass, from The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, 1845
sold down the river
“Sold down the river…”
  • In the 1830s, almost 300,000 slaves were sold away from family and the familiar, with Alabama and Mississippi receiving 100,000 each. Every decade between 1810 and 1860 had at least 100,000 slaves moved from their state of origin. In the final decade before the Civil War, 250,000 were moved. It is estimated that 60–70% of interregional migrations were the result of the sale of slaves. In 1820 a child in the Upper South(VA, SC, NC, MD) had a 30% chance of being sold south by 1860.
legal status
Legal Status
  • Virginia's legal code regarding slaves laid the groundwork upon which many other states would follow.  Draconian in measure, slaves in Virginia faced capital punishment for charges of murder and rape, public flogging for theft (as well as having their ears cut off), and for talking to whites slaves could be maimed, beaten, or branded.After 1705, slave owners could act with impunity toward their slaves, knowing they were virtually held harmless for their behavior under the law
scaring from the whip
Scaring from the whip

Now, I speak what I know, when I say it is like ‘casting pearls before swine' to try to persuade a negro to work. He must be made to work, and should always be given to understand that if he fails to perform his duty he will be punished for it.

the white man s burden
“The White Man’s Burden”
  • Justifying slavery was the task of the slaveholders to maintain control and project authority.  To achieve this end, physical abuse, such as starvation, denial of medical care, sleep deprivation, and torture, was common. Less overt but just as damaging, psychological abuse was also prevalent in the form of fear, intimidation, and threats.  Slaves were taught to believe in their subjugation without question