Many slaves living in cities worked as domestics, but others worked as blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, bakers, or other tradespeople. Often, slaves were hired out by their masters, for a day or up to several years. Sometimes slaves were allowed to hire themselves out.
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- 1 What jobs did African slaves do?
- 2 How much did slaves get paid a day?
- 3 Did slaves earn any money?
- 4 How did slaves eat?
- 5 How did slaves earn money?
- 6 What did slaves do to get punished?
- 7 How long did slaves usually live?
- 8 What did slaves do on Sundays?
- 9 What age did slaves start working?
- 10 What did slaves wear?
- 11 What did house slaves do?
- 12 What jobs did child slaves do?
- 13 Where do slaves sleep?
- 14 How long did slaves work for?
- 15 Did slaves have a day off?
- 16 What did slaves drink?
- 17 What were the slaves living conditions like?
- 18 How did slaves get clothes?
- 19 How was slaves treated?
- 20 What did slaves do in the winter?
- 21 How did slaves cook?
- 22 How did slaves escape?
- 23 What were slaves whipped with?
- 24 What happened to most runaway slaves?
- 25 How much sleep did slaves get?
- 26 Did slaves celebrate birthdays?
- 27 How did slaves keep warm in the winter?
- 28 Did slaves have jewelry?
- 29 What did slaves call their master?
- 30 What did slaves sleep?
- 31 How did slaves pick cotton?
- 32 Did slaves make furniture?
- 33 How did the slaves get health care?
- 34 How did slaves wash clothes?
- 35 How were slaves captured in Africa?
- 36 What kind of slavery still exists today?
- 37 How did slaves make sugar?
- 38 Did slaves work in the rain?
- 39 How did slaves harvest tobacco?
- 40 What did slaves do for Easter?
- 41 What did American slaves eat?
- 42 Who held slaves?
- 43 Why did the slaves sing?
- 44 How much food did slaves get?
- 45 What was the African diet before slavery?
- 46 What rights did slaves have?
- 47 Who ended slavery?
- 48 Why were slaves not allowed to read or write?
- 49 Who were the first slaves in history?
- 50 What did slaves do when it wasn’t cotton season?
- 51 What year did slavery end?
- 52 How long did house slaves work a day?
- 53 How many pair of pants did adult slaves have?
- 54 What colors did slaves wear?
What jobs did African slaves do?
The vast majority of enslaved Africans employed in plantation agriculture were field hands. Even on plantations, however, they worked in other capacities. Some were domestics and worked as butlers, waiters, maids, seamstresses, and launderers. Others were assigned as carriage drivers, hostlers, and stable boys.
How much did slaves get paid a day?
Let us figure the lifetime wages owed to a typical 60 year old slave. Let us say that the slave, He/she, began working in 1811 at age 11 and worked until 1861, giving a total of 50 years labor. For that time, the slave earned $0.80 per day, 6 days per week.
Did slaves earn any money?
Some enslaved people received small amounts of money, but that was the exception not the rule. The vast majority of labor was unpaid.
How did slaves eat?
Weekly food rations — usually corn meal, lard, some meat, molasses, peas, greens, and flour — were distributed every Saturday. Vegetable patches or gardens, if permitted by the owner, supplied fresh produce to add to the rations. Morning meals were prepared and consumed at daybreak in the slaves’ cabins.
How did slaves earn money?
Generally speaking, slaves enjoyed few material benefits beyond crude lodgings, basic foods and cotton clothing. Still, some plantation slaves were able to earn small amounts of cash by telling fortunes or playing the fiddle at dances. Others sold poultry, meats and liquor or peddled handicrafts.
What did slaves do to get punished?
Slaves were punished for not working fast enough, for being late getting to the fields, for defying authority, for running away, and for a number of other reasons. The punishments took many forms, including whippings, torture, mutilation, imprisonment, and being sold away from the plantation.
How long did slaves usually live?
As a result of this high infant and childhood death rate, the average life expectancy of a slave at birth was just 21 or 22 years, compared to 40 to 43 years for antebellum whites. Compared to whites, relatively few slaves lived into old age.
What did slaves do on Sundays?
During their limited leisure hours, particularly on Sundays and holidays, slaves engaged in singing and dancing. Though slaves used a variety of musical instruments, they also engaged in the practice of “patting juba” or the clapping of hands in a highly complex and rhythmic fashion.
What age did slaves start working?
Between the ages of seven and twelve, boys and girls were put to work in intensive field work. Older or physically handicapped slaves were put to work in cloth houses, spinning cotton, weaving cloth, and making clothes.
What did slaves wear?
The majority of enslaved people probably wore plain unblackened sturdy leather shoes without buckles. Enslaved women also wore jackets or waistcoats that consisted of a short fitted bodice that closed in the front.
What did house slaves do?
A house slave was a slave who worked, and often lived, in the house of the slave-owner, performing domestic labor. House slaves had many duties such as cooking, cleaning, being used as a sexual slave, serving meals, and caring for children.
What jobs did child slaves do?
Slave children, under their parents and masters, lived in fear of punishment and isolation. Though circumstances widely varied, they often worked in fields with adults, tended animals, cleaned and served in their owners’ houses, and took care of younger children while their parents were working.
Where do slaves sleep?
Slaves on small farms often slept in the kitchen or an outbuilding, and sometimes in small cabins near the farmer’s house. On larger plantations where there were many slaves, they usually lived in small cabins in a slave quarter, far from the master’s house but under the watchful eye of an overseer.
How long did slaves work for?
During the winter, slaves toiled for around eight hours each day, while in the summer the workday might have been as long as fourteen hours. Sunday was a day off for everyone at Mount Vernon, both free persons and slaves.
Did slaves have a day off?
Slaves were generally allowed a day off on Sunday, and on infrequent holidays such as Christmas or the Fourth of July. During their few hours of free time, most slaves performed their own personal work.
What did slaves drink?
in which slaves obtained alcohol outside of the special occasions on which their masters allowed them to drink it. Some female house slaves were assigned to brew cider, beer, and/or brandy on their plantations.
What were the slaves living conditions like?
Life on the fields meant working sunup to sundown six days a week and having food sometimes not suitable for an animal to eat. Plantation slaves lived in small shacks with a dirt floor and little or no furniture. Life on large plantations with a cruel overseer was oftentimes the worst.
How did slaves get clothes?
“Carry-overs” from Africa included cultivation of indigo and cotton, knowledge of dyeing, weaving and sewing, as handwoven garments, hair styles and head wrappings, and use of color. Slave seamstresses made all clothing worn by slaves. Field slaves dressed according to law or dress codes.
How was slaves treated?
Slaves were punished by whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding, rape, and imprisonment. Punishment was often meted out in response to disobedience or perceived infractions, but sometimes abuse was performed to re-assert the dominance of the master (or overseer) over the slave.
What did slaves do in the winter?
In his 1845 Narrative, Douglass wrote that slaves celebrated the winter holidays by engaging in activities such as “playing ball, wrestling, running foot-races, fiddling, dancing, and drinking whiskey” (p.
How did slaves cook?
Slaves could roast potatoes in hot ashes while wrapped in leaves, like they would with cornbread or ash-cake, or cook them over the fire with other foods. Nellie Smith, a former slave from Georgia, remembered her grandmother would bake potatoes alongside a roast.
How did slaves escape?
Many Means of Escape
Most often they traveled by land on foot, horse, or wagon under the protection of darkness. Drivers concealed self-liberators in false compartments built into their wagons, or hid them under loads of produce. Sometimes, fleeing slaves traveled by train.
What were slaves whipped with?
The whip that was used to do such damage to the slaves was called a “cat-of-nine tails”. It was a whip that was woven and flowed into nine separate pieces. Each piece had a knot in the middle, and broken glass, and nails at the very end.
What happened to most runaway slaves?
Many captured fugitive slaves were flogged, branded, jailed, sold back into slavery, or even killed. Not only did fugitive slaves have the fear of starvation and capture, but there were also threats presented by their surroundings.
How much sleep did slaves get?
Sixteen to eighteen hours of work was the norm on most West Indian plantations, and during the season of sugarcane harvest, most slaves only got four hours of sleep.
Did slaves celebrate birthdays?
Most slaves never knew the day they were born. They often had to guess at the year of their birth. Knowing one’s birthday gives a sense of destiny.
How did slaves keep warm in the winter?
To keep warm at night, precautions were taken in the bedchambers. The enslaved chambermaids would add a heavy wool bed rug and additional blankets to the beds for the winter months. In the Chesapeake region, rugs were often imported from England and were especially popular in the years before the Revolution.
Did slaves have jewelry?
With cash or, in some instances, credit, slaves purchased colorful ribbon, hats, jewelry, fine textiles, and even ready-made garments to supplement their wardrobes.
What did slaves call their master?
An enslaver exerted power over those they kept in bondage. They referred to themself as a master or owner – hierarchical language which reinforced a sense of natural authority.
What did slaves sleep?
Most slaves’ cabins would have been outfitted with pallets for the adults to sleep on—children often slept on the floor—and perhaps wooden boxes or stools for sitting. There might be some rudimentary utensils used for cooking, and bowls or gourds from which to eat.
How did slaves pick cotton?
In 1794, inventor Eli Whitney devised a machine that combed the cotton bolls free of their seeds in very short order. Manually, one enslaved person could pick the seeds out of 10 pounds of cotton in a day. The cotton gin, which Whitney patented in 1794, could process 100 pounds in the same time.
Did slaves make furniture?
Abrams, said that most of the furniture that slaves made ”was used in utility areas like kitchens and dairies” and that ”very little of it made its way into the parlor of dining room.
How did the slaves get health care?
Sick slaves rarely saw doctors
Instead, the white master and his wife would provide the health care, though rarely were either one trained physicians. Older enslaved women also helped, and brought their knowledge of herbs, roots, plants and midwifery from Africa to the Americas.
How did slaves wash clothes?
Slaves were required to keep their own clothing clean. If slaves washed their clothing items it was after working all day in the field, and then they were required to wash the clothing at a stream.
How were slaves captured in Africa?
The capture and sale of enslaved Africans
Most of the Africans who were enslaved were captured in battles or were kidnapped, though some were sold into slavery for debt or as punishment. The captives were marched to the coast, often enduring long journeys of weeks or even months, shackled to one another.
What kind of slavery still exists today?
Global estimates indicate that there are as many as forty million people living in various forms of exploitation known as modern slavery. This includes victims of forced labor, debt bondage, domestic servitude, human trafficking, child labor, forced marriage, and descent-based slavery.
How did slaves make sugar?
Enslaved people worked from dawn until dusk. At harvest time, sugar cane was cut with machetes and loaded onto carts. This was back-breaking work. The harvested cane was taken to the sugar mill where it was crushed and boiled to extract a brown, sticky juice.
Did slaves work in the rain?
Slavery and the Making of America . The Slave Experience: Living | PBS. Although slaves on the Eustatia Plantation often had to work through showers, on many days in the account book, the overseer notes that slaves did not work because of rain.
How did slaves harvest tobacco?
Harvesting the tobacco plants took place as the plants ripened in late August or early September and it was the most labor-intensive part of the crop cycle. The plants were cut and allowed to wilt in the field for several hours, and then the stalks would be gathered and dried in a barn.
What did slaves do for Easter?
Some slaves were given an hour or two every Sunday for religious observance; for the many who were not, Easter was an important ritual and celebration. Easter observance among slaves also fulfilled slaveholders’ demands that slaves practice Christianity.
What did American slaves eat?
Faunal remains in excavations have confirmed that livestock such as pigs and cows were the principal components of slaves’ meat diets. Other sites show remnants of wild species such as opossum, raccoon, snapping turtle, deer, squirrel, duck, and rabbit.
Who held slaves?
|No.||President||Approximate number of slaves held|
Why did the slaves sing?
Music was a way for slaves to express their feelings whether it was sorrow, joy, inspiration or hope. Songs were passed down from generation to generation throughout slavery. These songs were influenced by African and religious traditions and would later form the basis for what is known as “Negro Spirituals”.
How much food did slaves get?
The men and women slaves received, as their monthly allowance of food, eight pounds of pork, or its equivalent in fish, and one bushel of corn meal.
What was the African diet before slavery?
Before slavery, in West Africa, our diet consisted heavily of plant-based foods such as ground provisions, fruits and greens. Meat was either not on the menu or eaten occasionally in smaller portions as a stew. They also consumed no dairy products.
What rights did slaves have?
Slaves had no constitutional rights; they could not testify in court against a white person; they could not leave the plantation without permission. Slaves often found themselves rented out, used as prizes in lotteries, or as wagers in card games and horse races.
Who ended slavery?
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “all persons held as slaves… shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free,” effective January 1, 1863. It was not until the ratification of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, in 1865, that slavery was formally abolished ( here ).
Why were slaves not allowed to read or write?
DINSMORE DOCUMENTATION, CLASSICS ON AMERICAN SLAVERY. Fearing that black literacy would prove a threat to the slave system — which relied on slaves’ dependence on masters — whites in many colonies instituted laws forbidding slaves to learn to read or write and making it a crime for others to teach them.
Who were the first slaves in history?
As for the Atlantic slave trade, this began in 1444 A.D., when Portuguese traders brought the first large number of slaves from Africa to Europe. Eighty-two years later (1526), Spanish explorers brought the first African slaves to settlements in what would become the United States—a fact the Times gets wrong.
What did slaves do when it wasn’t cotton season?
For example, they could work as carpenters and loggers. Solomon Northup and many of his fellow cotton picking slaves were also hired out to grow sugar cane. He spent September through January working the sugar cane fields and making sugar in the sugar mill.
What year did slavery end?
Passed by Congress on January 31, 1865, and ratified on December 6, 1865, the 13th amendment abolished slavery in the United States and provides that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or …
How long did house slaves work a day?
Most slaves worked eight to eighteen hours a day. By the end of the night the house slaves cooked dinner and cleaned up. Every day the cycle of work would continue (except for field slaves on Saturdays, their day off).
How many pair of pants did adult slaves have?
|Second Read Questions||Third Read Questions|
|allowance—a set amount provided to someone, often of food bushel—a measure of about 8 gallons coarse—rough, not soft How many pairs of pants did adult slaves have?||1. Why does Douglass describe the clothing that slaves were given in such detail? What is he trying to show?|
What colors did slaves wear?
Most of their garments were whitish or brownish-white, but blue and white check linens were also to be found. Occasionally, a slave would abscond while dressed in something memorable— a blue silk vest, a pair of striped red linen culottes—indicating ownership of more than the basic uniform.
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