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Life of a House Slave

The typical life of a female house slave in Mississippi.
by

Oschan Schmidt

on 4 December 2012

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Transcript of Life of a House Slave

The Life of a Female House Slave Daily Life Living Conditions Historical Documents As a house slave, they were around their masters all the time so they overheard a lot of information and would pass it on to their friends and family. A flier advertising the need of black slaves. House slaves weren't typically considered people or even "employees" but they were considered property and were spoken of as if they were cattle. The job of a house slave was usually considered as better working conditions than the job of a field slave. The job of a house slave may have been better working conditions but it wasn't easy. A house slave's job started in the morning with the making of breakfast for her master and ended with cleaning up after dinner. A lot of the house slaves were part white (quadroon, mulatto, octoroon, etc.). Their masters found them more "attractive" which, which in their owner's eyes, made them more suitable to work in the home. The house slave's job was mostly taking care of their master's every "need." These needs included housework such as cleaning the house, dishes, watching children, cooking meals, making clothes for their masters and many other tasks that the owners of the house slaves did not want to do. Even after working from dawn until sundown, the house slaves were usually not even given proper sleeping quarters. Some even lived in a corner, not even a room. As a house slave, it was somewhat custom to raise your children to be a house slave House slaves were given more opportunities for learning to read and write but their job wasn't necessarily easier than a field slave's. Punishments of house slaves could be physical or emotional. Physical punishments included whipping beating and many other forms of abuse. Emotional punishments were when slaves owner separated families by selling a family member. Certain amounts of food were given out on Saturdays but some owners allowed the growing of a garden which added to the weekly rations of food. Some slaves also ate scraps form their masters' meals. Occasionally, the owners provided clothing as well, usually around Christmas. (http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/experience/living/history2.html) Although some house slaves lived in the house so they were available to assist their master in the middle of the night if needed. Unlike field slaves, some house slaves did not get Sundays off. Missing slave poster. Slave quarters http://www.pbs.org/wnet/slavery/experience/living/f_april.html A slave owner's journal
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