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Southern Slavery.

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Presentation on theme: "Southern Slavery."— Presentation transcript:

1 Southern Slavery

2 Indentured Servitude ½ to ¾ of all new arrivals to the Chesapeake in the 17th c. were indentured servants—main labor force Most were single, and sold for 4-7 years of their labor in return for passage to America and their maintenance and support; 80% were male Indentured servants did have basic civil rights of all English subjects   Received freedom after completion indenture got an allowance, but not usually any land created a class of discontent young men w/o land move into the backcountry—continued conflict with Indians

3 Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676 1676, back-country unrest and political rivalries created a major conflict in Virginia The new back-country gentry was at odds in crucial ways with its tidewater counterparts: isolated geographically from the colonial government in constant danger of attack from the Indians Property owners in the backcountry disliked Berkeley’s attempts to hold the line of settlement steady so as to avoid antagonizing the Indians. Indians in western Va. upset with the continual movement of whites into their lands. 1675, Doeg Indians raided a western plantation and killed a white servant. Bands of local whites retaliated indiscriminately

4 Bacon’s Rebellion Nathaniel Bacon demanded that Gov. William Berkeley send the militia out to pursue Indians Berkeley refused, and instead ordered the construction of several new forts in the west Bacon responded by offering to organize a volunteer army of back-country men Berkeley rejected this proposal Bacon ignored Berkeley and launched a series of generally unsuccessful attacks on the Indians Berkeley then dismissed Bacon from the governor's council and proclaimed him and his men to be rebels. Twice, Bacon led his army east to Jamestown. But his forces were defeated after Bacon died. 1677, Doeg Indians signed treaty that opened western lands to white settlement.

5 Significance of Bacon’s Rebellion
Struggle between Indian and white spheres in Va. Unwillingness of English to abide by treaties Backcountry-Tidewater rivalry among elites Problem of free, landless men. Most of them former indentured servants, had formed bulk of Bacon's constituency during the rebellion. Unable to find work or land, they moved west a large, unstable, population eager for land. Landed elites in BOTH eastern and western Va. began to recognize a common interest in dealing with the problem of landless white men Seek the African slave trade as a means to fulfill their need for labor—replace indentured servitude

6 Slave Trade Trans-Atlantic slave trade begun by Portuguese
—small scale; “disposable persons” —large scale By 1850, 1/3 of all persons of African descent lived outside of Africa an estimated 10 million Africans captured and sold into slavery Most slaves NOT captured by Europeans traded for with African monarchs for guns, goods “Middle passage”—Atlantic crossing; ‘seasoning’ in the West Indies ½ of all slaves died before they reached final destination in Americas

7 Slavery in Colonial Virginia
First African servants to British North America arrived at Jamestown, Va. in 1619 status is unclear—were probably indentured servants   , there were very few blacks in Va. 15,000 whites, 300 blacks in Va. in 1648  Blacks were distinguished by race in early Va. 1629, Va. census distinguished blacks and whites 1640, blacks prohibited from owning firearms 1640, three runaway servants captured—2 were white, one was black whites got 4 years added to indenture; black got life Blacks begin to be sold for life terms—something no white person was subject to 

8 Slavery in Colonial Virginia
1660s, slavery becoming an established practice in Va. As life expectancies increased, slavery became cost-effective slaves didn’t create a problem of a poor underclass when freed slaves could reproduce a new generation of laborers racial slavery bound poor and elite whites together—racial identity black skin identified with inferiority and servitude Laws passed between 1660 and 1705 codify slavery in Va. mid-1600s, most blacks in VA were committed to life servitude 1667 law determined that child would inherit the condition of its mother, and that baptism had no effect on one’s earthly condition 1705 slavery was fully codified in VA law slaves now legally property/real estate, not men could be shot on sight (not innocent until proven guilty) had no right to self-defense blacks tried in separate courts Blacks could not testify against whites Manumission forbidden

9 Development of Southern Slavery
1710, slaves made up 30% of Va.’s population 1750, they made up 41% Slavery soon developed in other Southern colonies SC had a slave majority by mid- 18th c. 1740, slaves accounted for ¼ of the Southern population 1775, they accounted for 40% of Southern colonial population Slavery existed in all 13 colonies before independence But in 1770, Southern colonies had more than 9 times the number of slaves as northern colonies By 1860 there were 4 million slaves in the South 385,000 white families (24%) owned at least one slave 20% had only 1 slave 88% had fewer than 20 slaves 99% owned fewer than 100 slaves Only 14 families had more than 500 slaves

10 Slave Work Slaves involved in every phase of agriculture
Preparing ground, cultivating the crop and harvesting it curing, ginning or milling necessary to get it to market Slaves were also involved in almost every econ. activity on large plantations Some were skilled artisans carpenters, blacksmiths, brick masons, tanners, teamsters, distillers Others worked in the owners home cooks, butlers, maids, wet nurses, laundresses  

11 Work Management Small farms—owners worked alongside slaves
Large farms—owners usually personally directed slave work but often appointed a “driver” Plantations—owners often distant or absent Hired an “overseer” to run plantation, control slaves Overseers supervised drivers who were in charge of work gangs of about 10 slaves Two basic work schemes existed: Gang system was prevalent in the cotton kingdom Gangs worked from sunup to sundown Task system was prevalent in rice and hemp country Slaves assigned specific tasks to do

12 Work Motivation Incentives Force Decent food, housing, time off
Keeping families together Rewards for loyalty or hard work Family gardens, homes, free time Special meals Clothes Competitions Cash prizes, time off, extra food or clothing Force Punishments Extra work, cancellation of dances/parties, stocks, separating family, whippings

13 Hired-out slaves Most industrial slaves were “hired-out”
Contracts usually stipulated the term of service, how much “rent” owner would be paid, who would pay slave’s maintenance, and type of work to be done A means for owners to both make money and remove the burden of maintenance of a slave Some slaves, usually skilled artisans, were even able to hire-out their own time, by which they agreed to pay their master a portion of their wages, while feeding, housing, and clothing themselves Other uses of hired slaves: Planters often hired extra slaves during harvest time Railroads hired slaves as construction workers City dwellers often hired slaves as domestic servants

14 Slave Economy Many slaves were allowed to earn money Selling food
Many slaves raised vegetables, hunted, and fished Skilled artisans could sell their goods woodworking, basket-weaving, broom-making Slaves who worked on Sundays master were often paid La. law even mandated that slaves be paid for Sunday work Hired-out slaves often allowed to keep what they earned over their rental fees Some slaves purchased their own freedom, and the freedom of their families

15 Slave Culture Evidences of African culture in the Americas Food Crafts
Southern food—grits, rice meals (jambalaya), hot spices Crafts Brooms, baskets, canoes Folk Medicine/Conjurers Mix of medicine, magic, and superstition Conjurers often held great influence over slaves Language Gullah Influences on American English—especially Southern dialect Folk tales Used to educate, entertain and vent frustrations Music and Dance secular songs, spirituals, folk songs

16 Slave Families Obstacles for slave families: Physical proximity
“away” marriages Breaking up of families Lack of control/protection of the family Master was the true head of the family Husbands could not protect their wives, parents could not protect children from physical/sexual abuse, sale, violence Master provided food, shelter Legality Slave marriages had no legal standing

17 Slave Religion Before Great Awakening , few slaves were Christians
After the Awakening, masters began converting slaves Church the most “Americanizing” institution for slaves But slaves often adapted African religious traditions into American Christianity Black churches were illegal in the antebellum South most slaves therefore worshipped with their masters some masters did allow separate services in the slave quarter Religion was both a means to control slaves, Owners often used the Bible to pacify slaves “slaves obey thy master…” Religion also a way for slaves to resist Hope of deliverance Hymns used to communicate escape routes

18 Slave Revolts Stono Rebellion (S.C., 1739)
Largest slave uprising in colonial British N. America 60+ people were killed, two-thirds slaves In response, S.C. passed the Negro Act of 1740 Gabriel Prosser Conspiracy (Va., 1800) Revolt undermined by weather and slave betrayal Denmark Vesey Conspiracy (S.C, 1822) Vesey, a free black carpenter, organized 9,000 slaves and planned an armed attack on Charleston, S.C. Vesey conspiracy was also betrayed by slaves, and Vesey was executed along with 34 other conspirators

19 Nat Turner Largest slave rebellion in U.S.
1825 to 1830, Turner was became a popular slave preacher in Va. sermons focused on conflict and liberation August 22, 1831, Turner’s uprising began at the Travis home, where he was enslaved killed everyone in the household. Eventually 60 to 70 slaves joined in Turner’s rebellion Rebellion lasted almost three days, killed 57 whites, and resulted in deaths of over 100 rebels. The uprising intensified both the antislavery movement in North, and the proslavery forces in South.

20 Slave Resistance Slave resistance not just armed rebellion. Poisoning
slow downs destruction of property feigned sickness Theft Arson Infanticide self-injury Murder running away Underground Railroad


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