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Life on Plantations
Transcript of Life on Plantations
Plantation life for slaves was cruel and unjust in America during the 1800s. People forced to work on plantations were considered the property of
others (Plantation Life 1). There are two types of people who worked on plantations, house slaves and field slaves. The house slaves had a better life than field slaves because they had access to better food and other supplies (A Slave's Life 1). Works Cited
"A Slave's Life." http://library.thinkquest.org/06aug/01071/slavelife.htm N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec 2012.
"Black Peoples of America - How Slaves Lived." http://www.historyonthenet.com/Slave_Trade/how_slaves_lived.htm. N.p., 10 2012. Web. 9 Dec 2012.
Diouf, Sylvaine A. Growing Up in Slavery. Brookfield: Millbrook Press, 2001. Print.
Frankel, Neil A.. "Slavery Image Collections." http://www.slaverysite.com/images/images2.htm. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Dec 2012.
Kamma, Anne. ...If You Lived When There Was Slavery in America. New York: Scholastics, 2004. Print.
"Plantation Life." http://www.understandingslavery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=309&Itemid=221. Understanding Slavery, n.d. Web. 16 Dec 2012.
"Primary Sources." http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/bhistory/underground_railroad/primary_sources.htm. Scholastic Inc., n.d. Web. 16 Dec 2012.
"The Slave Family." http://www.bowdoin.edu/~prael/projects/gsonnen/page5.html. N.p.. Web. 16 Dec 2012. DIET
Slave owners tried to spend the least amount of money they could on food for their slaves (BPA 1). Every Sunday the slaves would receive their serving of food for the week (Kamma 22). A slave's diet was high in calories and normally consisted of foods such as rice, cornbread, and some type of fatty meat (Diouf 38). This is a group of slaves, all ages, posing for a picture and enjoying the little time they have off. CLOTHING
Both boys and girls wore the same thing, a large t-shirt, until they got old enough to be given otherwise (Diouf 46). The clothes they wore were made of cheap materials and did not last long (BPA 1). This was a problem because if your clothes did not last all year you would have to wear rags until given new clothes (Kamma 20). HOUSING
Some houses were provided by the plantation owner, but others had to be built by the slaves. Either way the houses were cramped and provided living quarters for to ten people (BPA 1). The cabins were dark inside because there was usually only one source of light, and beds were made out of old rags or straw. To keep out cold and rain from the house mud or other materials were stuffed in the cracks (Kamma 16-17). This is a typical house, or slave quarters that slaves would be given to live in. JOBS
What a slave did on a plantation depended on what they were skilled in. Special skills include cooking, sewing, metalworking, etc (Plantation Life 1). Since the children hadn't found their skill yet they would be kept busy with chores and odd jobs such as feeding chickens and cleaning, but as they got older the difficulty of the jobs increased. (Kamma 39). Young girls would become nannies to the babies born into the plantation (Diouf 48). Even pregnant women had to work, no matter what their condition, until the baby was born. They were then given a month of rest (A Slave's Life 1). This is a group of slaves who are working with the cotton they picked. CHILDREN
Slaves were encouraged to have children so that there would be more slaves to work on the plantations (A Slave's Life 1). Due to an inadequate diet given to the mother and hard work done while she was pregnant, slave babies were usually born smaller. Many slave children will also suffer from a variety of illnesses such as intestinal worms, tetanus, and measles. Slave children are also rarely supervised so lots of accidents with equipment often occurred (Diouf 36-37). When a child reached the age of five they began doing work on the plantation (A Slave's Life 1). This picture shows a slave mother and her child working on the plantation. FREE TIME
Since Slaves did not have that much free time, they tried to do all they could in the little time they did have. Some slaves spent their free time in church, while others would spend their time relaxing or mending their homes (BPA 1). During the winter slaves had the most free time. Work might completely stop for field slaves but at least slow down for house slaves (Kamma 48). Thanks for watching! PUNISHMENT
Slaves knew they were being treated unfairly but would not dare complain due to a fear of punishment (BPA 1).The most common form of punishment was whipping, which is extremely painful. Children especially were punished for their slightest mistakes (Diouf 49-50). EDUCATION
Most slave owner's did not like their slaves to have the ability to read, but some did (A Slave's Life 1). Owners did not want their slaves to read because they were afraid the slaves would get too smart or become more rebellious (BPA 1). RELIGION
Religion was one of the only freedoms slaves had, For this reason it is considered a form of resistance against slave owners. The religions of some slaves were brought over from Africa and were altered by their new lifestyle as a slave. An example of a new religion created is Voodoo. No matter what the religion, having something to worship was a slave's escape from the world (Plantation Life 1). MARRIAGE
Slaves were encouraged to marry and have a big family. Slave owner's thought that if a male slave were married it would take away the desire to run away, but many males were not interested in marrying a fellow slave so that they did not have to see their wife suffer (Plantation Life 1). This is an example of a slave family. It covers three generations. CONCLUSION
Although the issue of slavery no longer exists in the U.S. it can never be erased from our history. The slaves were people too and had to live in conditions that were considerably unfavorable.