Masters And Slaves Essay

849 words - 4 pages

As it is stated in our history, slavery began in the early 1700’s. Former slave William J. Anderson stated in his 1857 narrative that “these facts will seem too awful to relate and there are some of the real 'dark deeds but its history, our history” ("Master/Slave" March 2007). Slavery was an abomination and needed to end. Everything was about ownership, treating slaves less than human, and knowing that you were going to live a slave and die a slave.
The relationship between the master and slave was a simple relationship, an as I own you mentality. Harriet Jacobs (who was a former slave) stated that “she realized that her status as property, defined her place in the master and slave relationship and no matter how humane a master might be, he or she could sell a slave with little or no discomfort” ("Master/Slave" March 2007). Women of slavery had to endure numerous advances of sexual abuse from their masters. If they declined advances they were beaten, so “an enormous number of slaves became concubines for these men” ("Master-Slave Relations”). If a slave, a mistress, were to bear an offspring of their master’s, the child would still then be a slave, but most of the time, a house slave. Women slaves were bought to produce more numbers of slaves. Basically, the woman slave’s main purpose was to bear more workers. This is how their “stock “grew. Slaves were like a well oiled machine to them, they would keep on working until their masters allowed them to quit. Often this will be from sun up to sun down.
Slaves were treated less than human. Most of the plantations in the south where split between house slaves and field slaves; the lighter skinned slaves were the house slaves and the darker skinned slaves were the field slaves. The house slaves jobs consist of cooking, cleaning, and watching the plantation owners children (if they have any) under the direction of the planters wife. The jobs of a field slave servant consist of plant, tend, and harvest cotton, sugar, rice and tobacco. The working conditions on the plantations were never-ending for slaves. The male slave’s jobs were to tend the fields, pastures, and gardens while their masters were riding on horseback equipped with whips to monitor the slaves. They always threatened to punish "stragglers" (what they called the slaves which is a name given to an animal that needs guidance) with a flogging. Plantation owners also exploited the work of skilled...

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