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Slavery Myths and Realities John Sacher

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1 Slavery Myths and Realities John Sacher

2 Myth #1 Slavery permeated all areas of the South.

3 Slave Population—1860 SlavesTotal PopulationSlave % Virginia 490,865 1,596,318 31% Georgia 462,198 1,057,28644% Mississippi436, ,305 55% Alabama 435, ,20145% South Carolina 402, ,70857% Louisiana331, ,00247% North Carolina 331, ,62233% Tennessee275,7191,109,80125% Kentucky225,4831,155,68420% Texas182, ,21530% Missouri 114,9311,182,01210% Arkansas111, ,45026% Maryland 87, ,04913% Florida 61, ,42444% Delaware 1, ,216 2%

4 Slave Population—1860 SlavesTotal PopulationSlave % South Carolina 402, ,70857% Mississippi436, ,305 55% Louisiana331, ,00247% Alabama 435, ,20145% Georgia 462,198 1,057,28644% Florida 61, ,42444% North Carolina 331, ,62233% Virginia 490,865 1,596,318 31% Texas182, ,21530% Arkansas111, ,45026% Tennessee275,7191,109,80125% Kentucky225,4831,155,68420% Maryland 87, ,04913% Missouri 114,9311,182,01210% Delaware 1, ,216 2%

5 Slave Distribution

6 Myth #2 Almost all slaves produced cotton.

7 Cotton—4.5 million bales (1860)

8 Cotton Gin

9 Where did slaves work? Cotton 55 percent Tobacco 10 percent Sugar/rice/hemp 10 percent Servants 15 percent Trades/industry 10 percent

10 Slave Crops

11 Myth #2a Slaves performed similar tasks regardless of where they worked.

12 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

13 Plantation Layout

14 Myth #3 The South was a land of plantations and slaves.

15 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.

16 How Many People Owned Slaves?

17 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

18

19 Myth #4 Southern law and southern owners were consistent in defining the status of slaves.

20 Slave Codes

21 The Whip

22 Myth #5 By 1860, slavery was unprofitable and dying out.

23 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

24 Slave Prices

25 Slave Sales

26 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.

27 Slave Trade

28 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

29 Myth #6 Given the lack of rebellions, one can conclude that most slaves accepted slavery.

30 Nat Turner’s Rebellion

31 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.”

32 Slave “Diseases” Drapetomia Dysaethesia Aethiopica

33 Underground Railroad Runaway Slave Ad

34 Runaway Slaves


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