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Slavery in America 1609–1865. Origins Slavery has existed since the beginning of human history. People were enslaved for a number of reasons: they were.

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Presentation on theme: "Slavery in America 1609–1865. Origins Slavery has existed since the beginning of human history. People were enslaved for a number of reasons: they were."— Presentation transcript:

1 Slavery in America 1609–1865

2 Origins Slavery has existed since the beginning of human history. People were enslaved for a number of reasons: they were captured in battle, they owed a debt, or they were born to slave parents. The word slave comes from the Slavic people of Eastern Europe who were conquered so often that their name became synonymous with servitude. Most cultures have practiced slavery in one form or another.

3 Middle Passage This was the section of the Atlantic slave trade that transported African people from Africa to slave markets in the Americas. It was called the Middle Passage because it was the second of the three-part triangle trade route. Slaves were packed tightly on ships, shackled, and fed very little for the three- to five-month journey. About eighteen million Africans were transported between 1600 and 1800, and about three million died on the journey.

4 Middle Passage El Mino Slave Castle Ghana Doorway of no return

5 Arrival in America Europeans originally enslaved American Indians, but after many died from diseases, they began importing African slaves who were resistant to European diseases. The first African slaves arrived in Jamestown, Virginia, on a Portuguese ship in Shortly before their arrivals, slaves usually were fed better to make them look healthy. Slaves were auctioned to plantation owners and businessmen from the city. They performed a variety of jobs. Slave Auction

6 Slave Codes Slave codes were laws to control slaves. These codes forbid slaves from learning to read, owning firearms, or marrying a white person. The penalty a slave faced for learning to read was to have his or her thumb cut off. These laws also made children born to slaves for life (generational slavery). The ends of a whip were tipped with iron barbs. This slave collar was equipped with bells. A slave yolk was used to bind two slaves together. Captured African Slave Slaves wore slave tags. CICERO © 2010

7 Slaves Resisted! Slaves were bound to a life of servitude. Slaves resisted in a number of ways: escaping, slowing down on the job, intentionally doing a job wrong, or participating in violent rebellion. One of the most famous slave revolts was in Virginia. Nat Turner led seventy other slaves to kill fifty- five white men, women, and children. Turner and his men were later captured and hanged. Slaves also resisted by singing spirituals, or religious folk songs that contained coded messages. Slave spirituals led to the creation of jazz and the blues. Southern Account of Turner’s Rebellion Nat Turner Reward Poster CICERO © 2010

8 The Underground Railroad The Underground Railroad was a large network of people who helped fugitive slaves escape to the North and Canada. It is estimated that up to 100,000 slaves escaped the South with the help of “conductors.” or guides. The most famous of these guides was Harriet Tubman. Slaves escaping North would use a series of “stations,” or safe houses as refuge along the route. The paths slaves traveled North were known as “tracks.” Although slavery was outlawed in the North, escaping slaves were not truly free until they reached Canada. This quilt shows the track pattern that told escaped slaves this was a “station,” or safe place. Lawn jockeys were used to mark stations on the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman CICERO © 2010

9 Was It Really a Train? Was It Really Underground? The name was created to confuse people, especially those who supported slavery. Although some slaves did escape using trains, there were actually a number of routes to freedom, most of which involved walking. The name was meant to deceive slave catchers. Although some slaves hid in cellars on their journey, they traveled above ground.

10 North = Freedom? Contrary to what most people believe, slaves did not automatically gain their freedom when they reached the northern United States. Many slave catchers would monitor the border with Canada to attempt to capture slaves as they crossed. If a slave reached Canada, he or she would be free. Canada was not the only way to reach freedom. Many slaves traveled south to Mexico where slavery was illegal. Others journeyed west or into Florida where they joined American Indian tribes. William Clark’s slave York was amazed by how well American Indians treated him when he accompanied the Corps of Discovery.

11 Conductors A conductor on the Underground Railroad guided slaves to freedom. The most famous conductor was Harriet Tubman. Slaves referred to her as “Moses” because she was leading her people to freedom or “the promised land.” Tubman had been a slave whose master badly mistreated her. After she escaped her enslavement, she helped many slaves escape to freedom. Slave owners in the south offered a reward for her capture. Tubman was a tough woman who carried a revolver under her skirt. On one occasion when a slave she was escorting north was scared and talked about going back, Tubman threatened to shoot him stating, “a live runaway could do great harm by going back, but a dead one could tell no secrets.” Harriet Tubman

12 Stations Stations on the Underground Railroad did not refer to actual train stations. Stations were resting spots where slaves would wait until the people helping could show them the way north. Another codeword for these stations was depot. Sometimes trains and boats were used to transport runaway slaves. These modes of transportation would ensure the slaves would reach freedom more quickly. Transportation from these stations would be at night for fear the slaves could be easily captured during the day. The Levi Coffin House in Newport, Indiana, was known as “The Grand Central Station” of the Underground Railroad.

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14 Henry “Box” Brown Henry Brown was a slave in Virginia during the nineteenth century. When he heard of the Underground Railroad, he was determined to travel north to ensure his freedom. Brown decided to mail himself north in a box labeled dry goods. The box was addressed to James Miller McKim, an abolitionist. Brown endured a twenty-six hour trip to Philadelphia. He made it to his destination and became an anti- slavery speaker. Henry “Box” Brown spent much of his twenty-six hour journey upside down in his crate. When pulled from the box and asked how he felt, Brown reportedly replied, “I feel free!”

15 Bethel AME Church, Greenwich Township Holden House, Jersey City Peter Mott House, Lawnside Croft Farm, Cherry Hill Wheatley’s, Burlington * In 1745 about 4,000 slaves lived in New Jersey, most in the southern part of the state.

16 Secret Codes Slaves and abolitionists used secret codes to refer to the Underground Railroad. “Agents” or “shepherds” were people that would help slaves find the “railroad.” Those who led the slaves were “conductors” or “guides.” “Stations” were hiding places. Men and women who hid runaway slaves were “stationmasters.” Slaves referred to themselves as “cargo” or “passengers” and would obtain “tickets” for the railroad. People who contributed money to the Underground Railroad were “stockholders.” Keeping with the railroad imagery, routes were referred to as “lines.”

17 Follow the Drinking Gourd Lyrics (Chorus) Follow the drinking gourd For the old man say Follow the drinking gourd (1 st Verse) When the sun come back When the first quail call Then the time is come Follow the drinking gourd (Chorus)

18 Follow the Drinking Gourd (2 nd Verse) The river banks are a very good road The dead trees show the way Left foot, peg foot going in Follow the drinking gourd (Chorus) (3 rd Verse) The river ends between two hills Follow the drinking gourd Another river on the other side Follow the drinking gourd

19 Follow the Drinking Gourd (Chorus) (Fourth Verse) Walk the little river Meet the great big one The old man waits Follow the drinking gourd

20 Meaning Lyrics (Chorus) Follow the drinking gourd For the old man say Follow the drinking gourd (Chorus) Old man refers to the captain of the underground railroad

21 Meaning (1 st Verse) When the sun come back When the first quail call Then the time is come Follow the drinking gourd (Chorus) (First Verse) Refers to the winter or spring. The days are getting longer, and the angle of the sun is higher each day at noon. Refers to the breeding season. Quail in Alabama start calling to each other in early to mid-April The drinking gourd is a hollowed out gourd used as a water dipper. Here it means the Big Dipper and North Star

22 Meaning (2 nd Verse) The river banks are a very good road The dead trees show the way Left foot, peg foot going in Follow the drinking gourd The first river in the song is the Tombigbee, which empties into Mobile Bay. Its headwaters extend into northeastern Mississippi. According to Parks, Peg Leg Joe marked trees and other landmarks "with charcoal or mud of the outline of a human left foot and a round spot in place of the right foot."

23 Meaning (3 rd Verse) The river ends between two hills Follow the drinking gourd Another river on the other side Follow the drinking gourd The headwaters of the Tombigbee River end near Woodall Mountain, the high point in Mississippi and an ideal reference point for a map song. The "two hills" could mean Woodall Mountain and a neighboring lower hill. But the mountain itself evidently has a twin cone profile and so could represent both hills at once. The river on the other side of the hills is the Tennessee, which extends outward in an arc above Woodall Mountain. The left- hand side proceeds virtually due north to the Ohio river border with Illinois – definitely the preferred route, since the right hand side meanders back into northern Alabama and then proceeds up into Tennessee.

24 Meaning (Fourth Verse) Walk the little river Meet the great big one The old man waits Follow the drinking gourd When the Tennessee......meets the Ohio River. The Tennessee and Ohio rivers come together in Paducah, KY, opposite southern Illinois. Per one of Parks's informants, the runaways would be met on the banks of the Ohio by the old sailor. Of course, the chances that Peg Leg Joe himself would be there to meet every escapee (as depicted literally in the children's books) are quite small


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