A Day in the Cotton Fields

A Day in the Cotton Fields

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  • The slaves would have to get up every morning and go straight to the field for work. They would have a long sack on their shoulders and a barrel at the end of each field row. The barrels were used to carry cotton when their sacks were filled.
  • Each day, the slaves were given 10-15 minutes to swallow their food. One type of food they ate was cold bacon. They were required to keep working all day and not even stop at dinner time. They must keep working until the driver tells them to stop. Sometimes, if the slaves ate more than given, they would get whipped or beaten.
  • Once the men were done working in the fields, they would have to carry their baskets over to the gin house. This is were the cotton would be weighed. No matter how tired or restless the slave is, they can only come up to the house with fear. If the man doesn't have the required amount he knows he must pay the punishment.
  • Normally, each slave was required to bring in 200 pounds of cotton. First, the cotton must be weighed to see the capability of each slave. Then, the workers would have to bring in that much cotton every night or more. If they bring less, they are considered to be dozing off ad will suffer the penalty of being whipped. 
  • Once they are done picking cotton, their day is not over yet. They all still must attend to their chores. One feeds the mules, another one swine, and another may cut some wood. These weren't the only chores, and the slaves couldn't sleep until they were done. 
  • Finally at the end of the day, the slaves could sleep. The bed were described as planks about 12 inches wide and 10 feet long. The said their bed was a plank of wood. Also, there was no window and the cabin was built of logs. Soon, they would have to wake up and continue the day all over again.
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