Where did slaves work? Cotton 55 percent Tobacco 10 percent Sugar/rice/hemp 10 percent Servants 15 percent Trades/industry 10 percent
Myth #2a Slaves performed similar tasks regardless of where they worked.
PLANTATION ORGANIZATION A. Gang System Owner—Planter (owns 20+ slaves) Overseer—Day-to-day authority figure Driver—Slave Foreman Field Hand—Men and women B. Task System
Myth #3 The South was a land of plantations and slaves.
Some Figures: In 1860, in the slave states, there were 8 million whites who owned 4 million slaves. The number of slaveholders in 1860— approx. 387,000 In other words, only approximately 5% of all whites owned slaves.
How Many People Owned Slaves?
RATIO OF SLAVEHOLDERS TO FAMILIES, (1860) STATE:SLAVEHOLDERS TOTAL FAMILIES PCT MISSISSIPPI SOUTH CAROLINA GEORGIA ALABAMA FLORIDA LOUISIANA TEXAS NORTH CAROLINA VIRGINIA TENNESSEE ARKANSAS Total
Myth #4 Southern law and southern owners were consistent in defining the status of slaves.
Myth #5 By 1860, slavery was unprofitable and dying out.
Value of Southern Crops Tobacco 1849—106 million lbs. 1859—347 million lbs. Rice 1849—215 million lbs. 1859—187 million lbs. Sugar $60 million $180 million Cotton 2.5 million bales to 4.5 million bales
And, while we’re on the subject of the slave trade….Myth #5a The international slave trade went primarily from Africa to the American colonies.
Some comparative figures…. To United States To Saint Domingue To ,000Total 860, ,000Alive in 1791= French & 480,000 Span. Terr. 30,000 Illegal (est.) 50, , million, million in US
Myth #6 Given the lack of rebellions, one can conclude that most slaves accepted slavery.
Nat Turner’s Rebellion
Charles Ball “I was never acquainted with a slave who believed, that he violated any rule of morality by appropriating to himself any thing that belonged to his master, if it was necessary to his comfort.”