African Slave Trade

When the European came to the Caribbean islands there was a small population and that caused a problem of getting work done. They decided to solve this by they captured the native people by force and forced them to go through all the troubles of being a slave. They still didn't have enough so they went to Africa and took them by force as well. By 1540, 10,000 slaves a year were being taken from Africa.


Slavery is defined as bondage, hard working, and drudgery as in the dictionary. Slavery has been around for many centuries. Slaves were brought from Africa to America. When this first started it was to make money and help the slave owners business. Slaves were mainly used to help farm. If you were born of a slave family then you would be considered a slave also. Every member of the family would be put to work for no wedges. The plantation owner would feed them very little so the slave families would try to grow their own food. As a slave you were given very little clothing, housing and privacy. Once you became a slave you stayed a slave.

People of slavery

Zamba Zembola: He was the son of the king of Congo. Born in the year 1780. When Zamba was about 20 he was invited to meet Captain Winton. But after getting to America he was kidnapped. Zamba was a slave for forty years before he was free. To find out more on Zamba read in the book called "The Slave Trade".

**Elizabeth Hobbs/Keckley**

She was born a slave in Virgina in1818. In her lifetime as a slave she was sold three times. At twenty-one she was raped by a white man and became pregnant. She saved enough money to later buy her freedom. She married James Keckley and he turned out to be a free loader. When she went back to work she was a dressmaker for Abraham Lincoln.
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Slave Life


The slave had no protection from their masters by law. The most common way to keep a slave in line was by whipping. The number of slashes a slave got depended on how badly they did something. Some former slaves have reported that some have gotten up to 200 lashes. Back then, women and men both got whipped the same way.
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Control of Slaves

One third of the population in the south was black slaves. These slaves were owned by white people. The whites made their slaves work for long hours out in the hot sun on plantations each day. Some slaves were not happy the way they were treated. They were beaten and put to do work that their owners could have done themselves. And the worst of it all, some were only given enough food just to survive. Some slaves were treated all right. Just like in a family. They were given a room in which to live. And some were given tons to eat. So this proves that all owners weren’t mean to their slaves.

These slaves wanted to be free so badly. But nothing could happen until the end of the war. The war was making progress and the slaves missed their families if they were separated from them. The slaves on the plantations weren't the only ones longing for love and family. The soldiers who were fighting for the rights also wanted love. Many of these soldiers wrote letters to whom they loved to show they really cared. The slaves and soldiers can relate because they are both separated from their family and loved ones.

The Supreme Court made a decision in 1857 that stated white people do not need to respect the rights of black slaves. This wasn’t good news for the north because this means slavery could move to the northern states.

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Slaves had many different types of jobs depending on where they lived and the type of owner they had. Some slaves choose to fight in the military and their owners chose others. An owner chooses only the weak and sometimes sick slaves to go into the military, because they wanted the ones who were fit to work in the fields planting cotton, tobacco, hemp, and corn. In the military the slaves would usually be in the front line at the ages of 18-40. Other wise watching, taking care of the livestock and sometimes delivering the crops. There were common labors that the slaves did inside the house like for example watching the children, washing the cloths, and other things around and outside the house.


Living Conditions

Living conditions for the slaves during the American civil war were very harsh. They could not even partake in any wage-earning trade or labor, so they couldn’t intake any additional pay for their families. Also they could not own property and almost needed all of their needs from their masters, but sadly not all slave owners were as gracious. Slaves homes consisted of poorly cut wood and sometimes hay. Disease was prevalent and many died of malnutrition. The water was never clean and food spoiled. All in all I have no idea how many slaves survived so long in these harsh conditions.

Slave homes
Slave homes

Resistance of Slaves

There have been many slave revolts and outbreaks. The most common form of slave resistance was running away. If a slave had a chance, he or she would almost always make a run for it. That was the common way, but there are many other ways.

Slaves would refuse to do their masters orders and if they did, they would do their job very poorly. They would break the tools that the master provided for them, fake like they were sick, or organize slowdowns so no work was being done. All are forms of resistance and show how they felt towards what was going on.

Some slaves have taken it even further than most regular outbreaks:

“Nat Turner had a religious zeal and a belief that he was the "chosen one" to free himself and his slave brethren. This 31 year old preacher to the slaves devised a plan of "terror and devastation." His organized revolt became America's most famous and violent act involving slave resistance. On August 21, 1831, Nat Turner and six other slaves killed Turner's plantation master and his family in Southampton County, Virginia. Turner increased his supporting band of slaves as they went about killing a total of 60 white slave owners, including their wives and children. Federal and Virginia state troopers encountered the roving band of slaves and killed most of those in rebellion. Other slaves not connected to the rebellion were also killed. An estimate of over 100 slaves were killed, but Nat Turner escaped. He was hunted down as he hid out in the swamps for almost three months. He was finally captured and executed on October 30, 1831. “


Fugitive Slave Law

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1793 was a Federal law which was written with the intention of enforcing a section of the United States Constitution that required the return of runaway slaves. It sought to force the authorities in free states to return fugitive slaves to their masters. In practice, however, the law was rarely enforced because the northern states were against slavery. It was later found to be unconstitutional.[citation needed] The act protected property rights of white slave-owners while violating the rights of the individuals who had been enslaved by an unjust system.

Some Northern states passed "personal liberty laws", mandating a jury trial before alleged fugitive slaves could be moved. Otherwise, they feared free blacks could be kidnapped into slavery. Other states forbade the use of local jails or the assistance of state officials in the arrest or return of such fugitives. In some cases, juries simply refused to convict individuals who had been indicted under the Federal law. Moreover, locals in some areas actively fought attempts to seize fugitives and return them to the South.

The Missouri Supreme Court routinely held that voluntary transportation of slaves into free states, with the intent of residing there permanently or indefinitely, automatically made them free. The Fugitive Slave Law dealt with slaves who went into free states without their master's consent. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, in Prigg v. Pennsylvania (1842), that states did not have to proffer aid in the hunting or recapture of slaves, greatly weakening the law of 1793.
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