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Title: Slavery Author: gr-lab Last modified by: Muse, Ginny Created Date: 1/28/2005 12:11:35 AM Document presentation format: On-screen Show (4:3) Company – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Slavery

Capture and the Middle Passage
  • After capture, Africans were packed tightly into
    slave ships.
  • The death rate of the passengers was 50.

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The Middle Passage
Destination, Auction, and Seasoning
  • Most Africans landed in Brazil with the least
    number landing in North America.
  • Slaves were auctioned off to the highest bidder.
  • Slaves were put through a process of seasoning
    to get them ready for work.
  • They learned an European language, were named an
    European name, and were shown labor requirements.

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The Beginnings of Slavery in the United States
  • The Portuguese and Spanish had already brought
    Africans to South and Latin America.
  • In 1619, the first Africans were brought to the
    colony Jamestown, Virginia by the Dutch.

Why Not Enslave the Native Population?
  • Native Americans were highly likely to catch
    European diseases.
  • They were familiar with the terrain and could
    escape easier.
  • They had political allies that could fight
    against the owners.

Reasons for Using Enslaved African Labor
  • Proximity-It only took 2-6 weeks to get to the
    colonies from the Caribbean at first.
  • Experience-They had previous experience and
    knowledge working in sugar and rice production.
  • Immunity from diseases-Less likely to get sick
    due to prolonged contact over centuries.
  • Low escape possibilities-They did not know the
    land, had no allies, and were highly visible
    because of skin color.

Slavery in the Colonies
  • New England colonies-no large plantation systems
    slaves lived in cities and small farms
  • Chesapeake Bay colonies-large tobacco
    plantations center of the domestic slave trade
  • Carolinas and Georgia-large rice and cotton

The Effects of the American Revolution and the
  • Gradual abolition of slavery in the northern
  • End of the Atlantic Slave Trade in 1808
  • Entrenchment of slavery in the South with the
    invention of the cotton gin in 1793 by Eli

Life of a Slave
  • Most slaves had Sundays off and they went to
  • Most slaves could not read or write, and it was
    illegal for them to learn.
  • Slave Codes-They could not leave their home
    without a pass, carry a weapon, gather in groups,
    own property, legally marry, defend themselves
    against a white person, or speak in court.

  • Flight-Slaves would runaway.
  • Truancy-Flight for a short amount of time and
    then the slave came back.
  • Refusal to reproduce-Women refused to have
  • Covert Action-Slaves would sometimes kill
    animals, destroy crops, start fires, steal stuff,
    break tools, poison food.

May 2, 1766. Run away from the subscriber, in
Mecklenburg county on Wednesday last, a fellow
named Jack. It appears he has been principally
concerned in promoting the late disorderly
meetings among the Negroes, and is gone off for
fear of being prosecuted for many robberies he
has committed. He is a low squat made fellow,
bow-legged, his eyes remarkably red, has been
branded on the right cheek R, and on the left M,
though not easily to be perceived. It is supposed
he intends for Carolina or Georgia. Whoever
apprehends the said slave, and will deliver him
to me, shall receive 50s. If taken 50 miles from
home and 6d pence a mile for a greater distance.
  • 4 major slave revolts-
  • Stono Rebellion-failed revolt in South Carolina
    in 1739
  • Gabriel Prosser-led failed revolt in Virginia in
  • Denmark Vessey-led failed revolt in South
    Carolina in 1822
  • Nat Turner-killed 60 white people in Virginia in

  • Slaves were often brutally punished for
  • Punishments included whipping, branding, being
    sold, gagged (silence), and other torturous
    methods were used.

Slaves Daily Life and Labor
  • 90 of slaves lived on plantations or farms
  • Most slaves on cotton plantations worked sunup to
    sundown, 6 days/week
  • About 75 of slaves were field workers, about 5
    worked in industry
  • Urban slaves had more autonomy than rural slaves

Conditions of Slavery
  • Lived in crude quarters that left them exposed to
    bad weather and disease.
  • Diets consisted of cornmeal and salt pork.
  • The weather conditions of the South made health
    problems like yellow fever, dysentery, and
    malaria common.
  • Slave codes reinforced the concept that slaves
    were property and prevented slaves from having
    any rights.

Field Slaves
  • Majority were field slaves and worked dawn to
    dusk. Some worked under the task system which
    required slaves to complete a specific job once
    done they were free to manage own affairs.
  • Did skilled work like carpentry and ironsmithing
    and unskilled work like tending the crops.
  • The women also had to care of their families by
    cooking, tending house and taking care of the
    children too!
  • Masters hired out slaves to perform other duties
    and keep the slaves wages.

House Slaves
  • Household slaves cooked, cleaned, and nursed the
    master's children.
  • Are constantly watched by their masters and
    mistresses. Had far less privacy than those who
    worked the fields.
  • House slaves faced beatings, verbal abuse and
    sexual assault.

Slave Quarters
The Big House
  • Write a narrative about, or from the perspective
    of an enslaved African. Write about their daily
    life, interactions with their owners, and fellow
    enslaved Africans. Your character can be either a
    field slave, or a house slave. Explain what
    his/her job is. What a day in their life would be
    like. You may contemplate running away (remember,
    this was a small amount of enslaved people).
    Should be five paragraphs.