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The Great House Farm
Transcript of The Great House Farm
The Wye plantation settled by Colonel Edward Lloyd was known to the slaves as the Great House Farm. At this farm, tobacco, corn, and wheat were produced. Colonel Lloyd kept from three to four hundred slaves on his home plantation, and owned many of the outside farms around him. Much business took place on all the farms with exchanging and selling products. The plantation has now shrunk from 42,000 acres to 1,300 acres, and is still owned by the descendents of Colonel Lloyd.
How slaves were treated
The slaves on this farm, and all others received monthly allowances of food, and one pair of clothing for the year. The food given was eight pounds of pork or fish, and one bushel of corn meal. The clothing consisted of two linen shirts, one linen trouser, one jacket, one pair of trousers for winter, made of coarse negro cloth, one pair of stocking, and one pair of shoes. If any of the clothing fell apart, they went without.
Life on the farm
The plantation of Colonel Lloyd looked much like a country village. Mechanical operations were performed on the farm like shoe making, mending, weaving, blacksmiths, coopering, and grain-grinding, and these were performed by the slaves. It gave off a business-like aspect which made it very appealing to the slaves from the other farms. There were a number of houses on the farm which gave it an advantage over the other farms.
The slaves that were able to be sent on errands from their master’s to the Great House Farm felt very worthy in a sense. The slaves selected to go to the Great House Farm, for the monthly allowance were enthusiastic. On their way to the farm, they would sing
“ I am going away to the Great House Farm! O, yeah! O, year! O! “
Fredrick Douglass spent a couple years on the plantation in his early years. While living on the plantation he witnessed many horrible brutal abuse to the slaves. The counts that he witnessed was later written in his Narrative. He was able to write his life and the experiences he went through, for readers to gain a better understanding of the lives slaves had to live.
Reading about Fredrick Douglass, and his life shortly lived on the plantation, really opened my eyes to what the slaves thought was "great". The slaves who visited the Great House Farm, thought it was such a worthy place to be able to be called upon to run errands, but really it served as a abusive hole for the slaves who remained on the plantation. Being able to learn more about what went on, on the plantation gave me a better insight to what Douglass saw. He did a good job illustrating in words the experiences he saw on the farm.