Essay on the treatment of slaves

Reconstruction and the Formerly Enslaved W. Fitzhugh Brundage William B.

Essay on the treatment of slaves

Slavery on the Western Border: This belief in the mild nature of Missouri slavery has largely persisted in spite of the more complex picture painted by the men and women who actually endured enslavement in the state.

Southerners who owned a large number of slaves generally chose to migrate to regions where they believed slavery was secure and where they could engage in large-scale cotton production.

Neither description applied to Missouri. In fact, slavery in western Missouri was often just as brutal as elsewhere in the South. Missouri instead emerged as a magnet for small-scale slaveholders, who were interested in practicing the diversified agriculture found in their original homes in the Upper South.

The small number of slaves living on most Missouri slaveholdings altered the nature of the relationship between slaves and owners, as well as the family and community lives of enslaved people, but in the end these differences did not result in a more humane form of slavery.

These new Missourians—both black and white—quickly set about building farms and communities that resembled those they left behind in their eastern homes.

Over time, however, they created a distinctive society that was profoundly shaped by the experience of small-scale slavery — on the eve of the Civil War, over 90 percent of Missouri slaveholders owned fewer than 10 slaves. The profile of most Essay on the treatment of slaves slaveholding households resembled family farms rather than plantations.

Most Missouri farmers practiced diversified agriculture, raising a combination of cash crops, such as tobacco and hemp, as well as corn and livestock. They did not require a large number of workers to farm successfully and so many searched for other ways to keep slavery profitable.

The result was a system of slavery that was economically flexible. Missouri slaveholders regularly employed slaves at non-agricultural tasks and hired out their underemployed workers to their neighbors.

In addition, they rarely hired overseers and instead often worked alongside their slaves, supervising and supplementing their labor in their homes and fields. Small-scale slavery greatly influenced the work conditions and social interactions of black and white Missourians. Close living and working conditions frequently eroded the authority of owners and provided slaves with opportunities to resist their enslavement.

Intimate relations resulted in better treatment for some slaves, but at the same time exposed others to the worst forms of physical and psychological abuse.

Essay on the treatment of slaves

The small number of slaves living on individual farms forced enslaved men and women to look beyond their home for marriage partners. The average enslaved Missouri family consisted of a mother and her children living on one farm and the husband and father on another.

Most men only saw their families on the weekends. In spite of these many challenges, enslaved Missourians tenaciously created and maintained strong family ties that often endured for many years.

Enslaved Missourians also resisted isolation by creating social and kinship networks within rural neighborhoods.

They established relationships with other enslaved people as they traveled throughout the countryside running errands for their owners, on hiring assignments, or visiting family members.

Most owners allowed slaves to celebrate with family and friends at weddings, births, and funerals, as well as at work-related parties such as corn huskings, but slaves also clandestinely attended religious services led by black preachers, visited their loved ones without permission, or gambled and danced at underground parties in the woods.

Additionally, knowledge of the local geography and friendships cultivated through years of socializing served enslaved Missourians well as they approached the revolutionary moment of emancipation.

Missouri was convulsed by dramatic demographic and political changes in the years leading up to the Civil War.

This influx of non-slaveholding settlers resulted in a decline of enslaved people as a percentage of the total population, from 18 percent in to 10 percent in Although most white Missourians remained supportive of slavery, a small minority, primarily comprised of these newcomers, began to voice criticisms of the institution.

Congress passed the Kansas-Nebraska Act inwhich allowed the new residents of the territories to determine the status of slavery, white Missourians generally agreed that it was essential that Kansas become a slave state.

In order to ensure that outcome, a number of western Missourians staked land claims in Kansas — some even moved there with their slaves, while many others crossed the state line into Kansas Territory to vote illegally on election days in and Indeed the Creator seems to have planted in the negro an innate principle of protection against the abuse of arbitrary power; and it is this law of nature which imperatively associates the true interest of the owner with the good treatment and comfort of the slave.

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While the account was drawing out, he continued smoking, in a state of mind that a monarch might envy. When 1/5(1).

Mar 17,  · Widespread memes used against African-Americans say America was built by Irish slaves whose history has been covered up.

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That’s false, historians say. Freedom’s Story is made possible by a grant from the Wachovia Foundation. Freedom’s Story Advisors and Staff Reconstruction and the Formerly Enslaved.

Slave Punishments