Life in the south 1850's

Life in the south 1850's

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  • Most slaves worked long hard days in the fields or in the master's home. There were two systems used to manage work. Either the task system which assigned slaves one job to do then they were finished for the day, or the gang system where slaves had to put in as much effort possible in a day because the field overseers were paid by the amount of work the slaves did.  
  • Slaves housing on the plantations consisted of poorly built , two room cabins that were not well kept by the plantation owners and were often poorly furnished as well with a few old mattresses.
  • In their own time most slave women and children would sing, play games, cook, and do the housework. Occasionally slaves would have an opportunity to get educated, meaning learning basic math, reading, and writing.  
  • Most often, house slaves would take care of the children of the family rather then their own mother's and would form a maternal bond, of sorts, with the slave who raised them.
  • Slavery also spread into some cities too. However, slavery in the city was much different than on a farm. In cities slaves were sent on errands which allowed them to form a connection with white people.
  • Even though the slave trade had been illegal in the US since 1808, slave auctions still took place in the south to sell slaves to other plantation owners. These autions often led to the separation of many black families.
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