RBG Nat Turner Instructional Unit


Published on

Restoring America’s Memory: A Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge 2006-2007 Great Americans Biography Symposia Series Nat Turner Instructional Unit

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

RBG Nat Turner Instructional Unit

  1. 1. A U.S. Department of Education Grant Program Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools Restoring America’s Memory: A Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge 2006-2007 Great Americans Biography Symposia Series Nat Turner Instructional Unit Table of ContentsBackground Africans In America – People and Events: Nat Turner’s Rebellion 1831 …………………… 3 Nat Turner Biography …………………………………………………...…………………… 5 Slavery…………………………………………………...……………………………………. 7 Africans in America …………………………………………………...……………………… 17Literacy Links Common Features and Patterns in Social Studies Reading ……...…………………………... 27 Unwritten History ………………………………………………….............................................. 29 RAFT Assignment …………………………………………………...………………………….. 32 Making Big Words – continents …………………………………...…………………………… 33 Making Big Words – frightening …………………………………...………………………….. 36 Making Words – millions …………………………………………...………………………….. 39 Making Words – scared …………………………………………….…………………………… 42 Frederick Douglass Cloze Activity …………………………………………………...………… 45Poetry and Song On Being Brought from Africa to America ………………………..…………………………… 47 The Slave’s Complaint …………………………………………….…………………………… 48 Death of An Old Carriage Horse ……………………………………………………………….. 49 This Train …………………………………………………...………………………………… 50 Civil War …………………………………………………...…………………………………… 51 The Drinking Gourd …………………………………………………...……………………….. 52 The Ballad of Nat Turner …………………………………………………...…………………... 53 12 Sonnets in Memory of Nat Turner …………………………………………………...………. 54 Ode to Ethiopia (Lyrics in a Lowly Life, 1896) by Paul Laurence Dunbar …………………….. 60 Accountability (Lyrics in a Lowly Life, 1896) by Paul Laurence Dunbar ……………………… 62 Student Poetry …………………………………………………...……………………………… 63Restoring America’s Memory: 1 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  2. 2. Teaching and Learning Resources You Were There: A Witness to History Speech ……………………………………………… 65 An Introduction to Slave Narratives: Harriet Jacobs’s Life of a Slave Girl ………………….. 66 Lessons for the Children: Creating a Picture Book About Slavery lesson plan ……………… 69 The Middle Passage According to Olaudah Equiano lesson plan ……………………………. 71 The Underground Railroad lesson plan …………………………………………………......... 73 Applying Question–Answer Relationships to Pictures …………………………………. 74 Teaching With Documents – The Amistad Case …………………………………….............. 82Resources on CD Graphics Jeopardy – blank template and sounds Lesson Plans – Materials Primary Sources Digital History – Frederick Douglass – experience with a Negro breaker Digital History – Frederick Douglass – Matters fro which a slave may be whipped Digital History – Frederick Douglass - Assesses the meaning of emancipation Digital History – Frederick Douglass - Uses a black sailor’s papers to escape Digital History – William Lloyd Garrison – How It Is with a Slave Digital History – Primary Source Readings and Questions – Slavery Narrative – Olaudah Equiano Narrative – Solomon Northup Narrative - Harriet Jacobs Narrative – Omar ibn Said Nat Turner’s Confession Singular Escape The Fugitive Slave Act 1850 full text The Heroic Slave Slavery’s Opponents and Defenders Follow the Drinking Gourd Frederick Douglass by Paul Dunbar Paul Laurence Dunbar Slavery in America Teacher Resources (see online resources for links) Online Resources PowerPoint Underground Railroad Video Power Point and materials Nat Turner’s rebellionRestoring America’s Memory: 2 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  3. 3. People & Events Nat Turners Rebellion 1831 Nat Turner was born on October 2, 1800, in Southampton County, Virginia, the week beforeGabriel was hanged. While still a young child, Nat was overheard describing events that had happenedbefore he was born. This, along with his keen intelligence, and other signs marked him in the eyes of hispeople as a prophet "intended for some great purpose." A deeply religious man, he "therefore studiouslyavoided mixing in society, and wrapped [him]self in mystery, devoting [his] time to fasting and praying."In 1821, Turner ran away from his overseer, returning after thirty days because of a vision in which theSpirit had told him to "return to the service of my earthly master." The next year, following the death of hismaster, Samuel Turner, Nat was sold to Thomas Moore. Three years later, Nat Turner had another vision.He saw lights in the sky and prayed to find out what they meant. Then "... while laboring in the field, Idiscovered drops of blood on the corn, as though it were dew from heaven, and I communicated it to many,both white and black, in the neighborhood; and then I found on the leaves in the woods hieroglyphiccharacters and numbers, with the forms of men in different attitudes, portrayed in blood, and representingthe figures I had seen before in the heavens."On May 12, 1828, Turner had his third vision: "I heard a loud noise in the heavens, and the Spirit instantlyappeared to me and said the Serpent was loosened, and Christ had laid down the yoke he had borne for thesins of men, and that I should take it on and fight against the Serpent, for the time was fast approachingwhen the first should be last and the last should be first... And by signs in the heavens that it would makeknown to me when I should commence the great work, and until the first sign appeared I should conceal itfrom the knowledge of men; and on the appearance of the sign... I should arise and prepare myself and slaymy enemies with their own weapons."At the beginning of the year 1830, Turner was moved to the home of Joseph Travis, the new husband ofThomas Moores widow. His official owner was Putnum Moore, still a young child. Turner describedTravis as a kind master, against whom he had no complaints.Then, in February, 1831, there was an eclipse of the sun. Turner took this to be the sign he had beenpromised and confided his plan to the four men he trusted the most, Henry, Hark, Nelson, and Sam. Theydecided to hold the insurrection on the 4th of July and began planning a strategy. However, they had topostpone action because Turner became ill.On August 13, there was an atmospheric disturbance in which the sun appeared bluish-green. This was thefinal sign, and a week later, on August 21, Turner and six of his men met in the woods to eat a dinner andmake their plans. At 2:00 that morning, they set out to the Travis household, where they killed the entirefamily as they lay sleeping. They continued on, from house to house, killing all of the white people theyencountered. Turners force eventually consisted of more than 40 slaves, most on horseback.By about mid-day on August 22, Turner decided to march toward Jerusalem, the closest town. By thenword of the rebellion had gotten out to the whites; confronted by a group of militia, the rebels scattered,and Turners force became disorganized. After spending the night near some slave cabins, Turner and hismen attempted to attack another house, but were repulsed. Several of the rebels were captured. TheRestoring America’s Memory: 3 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  4. 4. remaining force then met the state and federal troops in final skirmish, in which one slave was killed andmany escaped, including Turner. In the end, the rebels had stabbed, shot and clubbed at least 55 whitepeople to death.Nat Turner hid in several different places near the Travis farm, but on October 30 was discovered andcaptured. His "Confession," dictated to physician Thomas R. Gray, was taken while he was imprisoned inthe County Jail. On November 5, Nat Turner was tried in the Southampton County Court and sentenced toexecution. He was hanged, and then skinned, on November 11.In total, the state executed 55 people, banished many more, and acquitted a few. The state reimbursed theslaveholders for their slaves. But in the hysterical climate that followed the rebellion, close to 200 blackpeople, many of whom had nothing to do with the rebellion, were murdered by white mobs. In addition,slaves as far away as North Carolina were accused of having a connection with the insurrection, and weresubsequently tried and executed.The state legislature of Virginia considered abolishing slavery, but in a close vote decided to retain slaveryand to support a repressive policy against black people, slave and free.Restoring America’s Memory: 4 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  5. 5. Nat TurnerNat, remembered today as Nat Turner, (October 2, 1800 – November 11, 1831) was an American slavewhose failed slave rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia, was the most remarkable instance of blackresistance to enslavement in the antebellum southern United States. His methodical slaughter of whitecivilians during the uprising made him a controversial figure, but he is still considered by many to be aheroic figure of black resistance to oppression. Though he became known as "Nat Turner" in the aftermathof the uprising, his actual given name was simply "Nat". Early lifeNat was born in Southampton County, Virginia. He was singularly intelligent, picking up the ability to readat a young age and experimenting with homemade paper and gunpowder. He grew up deeply religious andwas often seen fasting and praying. He frequently received visions which he interpreted as being messagesfrom God, and which greatly influenced his life; for instance, when Nat was 21 years old he ran away fromhis master, but returned a month later after receiving such a vision. He became known among fellow slavesas "The Prophet".On February 12, 1831, an annular solar eclipse was seen in Virginia. Nat took this to mean that he shouldbegin preparing for a rebellion. The rebellion was initially planned for July 4, Independence Day, but waspostponed due to deliberation between him and his followers and illness. On August 13, there was anatmospheric disturbance, a solar eclipse, in which the sun appeared bluish-green. Nat took this as the finalsignal, and a week later, on August 21, the rebellion began. Rebellion: Nat Turners slave rebellionNat started with a few trusted fellow slaves. The rebels traveled from house to house, freeing slaves andkilling all the white people they found. The insurgency ultimately numbered more than 50 slaves and freeblacks.Because the slaves did not want to alert anyone to their presence as they carried out their attacks, theyinitially used knives, hatchets, axes, and blunt instruments instead of firearms. Nat called on his group to"kill all whites." The rebellion did not discriminate by age or sex, although Nat later indicated that heintended to spare women, children, and men who surrendered as it went on. Before Nat and his brigade ofslaves met resistance at the hands of a white militia, 57 white men, women and children had been killed. Capture and executionThe rebellion was suppressed within 48 hours, but Nat eluded capture until October 30 when he wasdiscovered hiding in a cave and then taken to court. After his execution, a lawyer, Thomas Ruffin Gray,who had access to the jail in which Nat had been held, took it upon himself to publish The Confessions ofNat Turner, derived partly from research done while Nat was in hiding and partly from conversations withNat before his trial. This document is the primary historical document regarding Nat. However, its authorsbias is problematic. It is probable that Gray suppressed some facts and gave undue emphasis to others. Itseems unlikely, for example, that Nat would have said such things as, “we found no more victims to gratifyour thirst for blood.” However, the book does contain other lines which appear genuine, particularly thepassages in which Nat describes his visions and early childhood.On November 5, 1831, Nat was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.He was hanged on November 11 in Jerusalem, Virginia, now known as Courtland, Virginia. His body wasthen flayed, beheaded and quartered, and various body parts were kept by whites as souvenirs.Restoring America’s Memory: 5 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  6. 6. ConsequencesPrior to the Nat Turner Revolt, there was a fairly substantial abolition movement in the state of Virginia,largely on account of economic trends that made slavery less profitable in the Old South in the 1820s andfears of the rising number of blacks in whites, especially in the Tidewater and Piedmont regions. Most ofthe movements members, including acting governor John Floyd, supported resettlement for these reasons.Considerations of white racial and moral purity also influenced many of these abolitionists.However, fears of repetitions of the Nat Turner Revolt served to polarize moderates and slave ownersacross the South. Municipalities across the region instituted repressive policies against slaves and freeblacks. The freedoms of all black people in Virginia were tightly curtailed, and an official policy wasestablished that forbade questioning the slave system on the grounds that any discussion might encouragesimilar slave revolts. There is evidence of trends in support of such policies and for slavery itself inVirginia before the revolt. This was probably due in part to the recovering Southern agricultural economyand the spread of slavery across the continent which made the excess Tidewater slaves a highly marketablecommodity. Nats actions probably sped up existing trends.In terms of public response and loss of white lives, no other slave uprising inflicted as severe a blow to thecommunity of slave owners in the United States. Because of this, Nat is regarded as a hero by manyAfrican Americans and pan-Africanists worldwide.Nat finally became the focus of popular historical scholarship in the 1940s, when historian HerbertAptheker was publishing the first serious scholarly work on instances of slave resistance in the antebellumSouth. Aptheker stressed how the rebellion was rooted in the exploitative conditions of the Southern slavesystem. He traversed libraries and archives throughout the South, managing to uncover roughly 250 similarinstances, though none of them reached the scale of the Nat Turner Revolt.Restoring America’s Memory: 6 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  7. 7. SlaveryIntroduction Beginning at least as early as 1502, European slave traders shipped approximately 11 to 16 millionslaves to the Americas, including 500,000 to what is now the United States. By the beginning of theeighteenth century, slaves could be found in every area colonized by Europeans. Initially, English colonists relied on indentured white servants, but by the late seventeenth century,faced with a shortage of servants, they increasingly resorted to enslaved Africans. Three distinctivesystems of slavery emerged in the American colonies. In Maryland and Virginia, slavery was widely usedin raising tobacco and corn and worked under the "gang" system. In the South Carolina and Georgia lowcountry, slaves raised rice and indigo, worked under the "task" system, and were able to reconstituteAfrican social patterns and maintain a separate Gullah dialect. In the North, slavery was concentrated onLong Island and in southern Rhode Island and New Jersey, where most slaves were engaged in farmingand stock raising for the West Indies or were household servants for the urban elite. The American Revolution had contradictory consequences for slavery. Thousands of slaves freedthemselves by running away. In the South, slavery became more firmly entrenched, and expanded rapidlyinto the Old Southwest after the development of the cotton gin. In the North, in contrast, every state freedslaves by statute, court decision, or enactment of gradual emancipation schemes. During the decades before the Civil War, slave grown cotton accounted for over half the value of allUnited States exports, and provided virtually all the cotton used in the northern textile industry and 70percent of the cotton used in British mills. The slave South failed to establish commercial, financial, ormanufacturing companies on the same scale as the North.Background Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington were slaveholders. So, too, were BenjaminFranklin and the theologian Jonathan Edwards. John Newton, the composer of "Amazing Grace," captaineda slave ship early in his life. Robinson Crusoe, the fictional character in Daniel Defoes famous novel, wasengaged in the slave trade when he was shipwrecked. Slavery has often been treated as a marginal aspect ofhistory, confined to courses on southern or African American history. In fact, slavery played a crucial rolein the making of the modern world. Slavery provided the labor force for the Slavery played anindispensable role in the settlement and development of the New World. Slavery dates to prehistoric timesand could be found in ancient Babylon, classical Greece and Rome, China, India, and Africa as well as inthe New World.Slavery in Historical Perspective Slavery in the United States was not unique in treating human beings like animals. The institution ofslavery could be found in societies as diverse as ancient Assyria, Babylonia, China, Egypt, India, Persia,and Mesopotamia; in classical Greece and Rome; in Africa, the Islamic world and among the New WorldIndians. At the time of Christ, there were probably between two and three million slaves in Italy, makingup 35 to 40 percent of the population. Englands Domesday book of 1086 indicated that 10 percent of thepopulation was enslaved. Among some Indian tribes of the Pacific Northwest, nearly a quarter of thepopulation consisted of slaves. In 1644, just before the Dutch ceded Manhattan to the British, 40 percent ofthe population consisted of enslaved Africans. It is notable that the modern word for slaves comes from "Slav." During the Middle Ages, most slavesRestoring America’s Memory: 7 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  8. 8. in Europe and the Islamic world were people from Slavic Eastern Europe. It was only in the fifteenthcentury that slavery became linked with people from sub-Saharan Africa.The Newness of New World Slavery Was the slavery that developed in the New World fundamentally different from the kinds of servitudefound in classical antiquity or in other societies? In one respect, New World slavery clearly was not unique.Slavery everywhere permitted cruelty and abuse. In ancient India, Saxon England, and ancient China, amaster might mistreat or even kill a slave with impunity. Yet in four fundamental respects New World slavery differed from slavery in classical antiquity and inAfrica, eastern and central Asia, or the Middle East.1. Slavery in the classical and the early medieval worlds was not based on racial distinctions. Racialslavery originated during the Middle Ages, when Christians and Muslims increasingly began to recruitslaves from east, north central, and west Africa. As late as the fifteenth century, slavery did notautomatically mean black slavery. Many slaves came from the Crimea, the Balkans, and the steppes ofwestern Asia. But after 1453, when the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople, the capital of easternChristendom, Christian slave traders drew increasingly upon captive black Muslims, known as Moors, andupon slaves purchased on the West African coast or transported across the Sahara Desert.2. The ancient world did not necessarily regard slavery as a permanent condition. In many societies,including ancient Greece and Rome, manumission of slaves was common, and former slaves carried littlestigma from their previous status.3. Slaves did not necessarily hold the lowest status in pre-modern societies. In classical Greece, manyeducators, scholars, poets, and physicians were in fact slaves.4. Only in the New World that slavery provided the labor force for a high-pressure profit making capitalistsystem of plantation agriculture producing cotton, sugar, coffee, and cocoa for distant markets. Most slavesin Africa, in the Islamic world, and in the New World prior to European colonization worked as farmers orhousehold servants, or served as concubines or eunuchs. They were symbols of prestige, luxury, and powerrather than a source of labor.Slavery in Africa Slavery existed in Africa before the arrival of Europeans--as did a slave trade that exported a smallnumber of sub-Saharan Africans to North Africa, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf. But this system ofslavery differed from the plantation slavery that developed in the New World. Hereditary slavery, extending over several generations, was rare. Most slaves in Africa were female.Women were preferred because they bore children and because they performed most field labor. Slavery inearly sub-Saharan Africa took a variety of forms. While most slaves were field workers, some served inroyal courts, where they served as officials, soldiers, servants, and artisans. Under a system known as"pawnship," youths (usually girls) served as collateral for their familys debts. If their parents or kindefaulted on these debts, then these young girls were forced to labor to repay these debts. In manyinstances, these young women eventually married into their owners lineage, and their familys debt wascancelled. Under a system known as "clientage," slaves owed a share of their crop or their labor to an owner or alineage. Yet they owned the bulk of their crop and were allowed to participate in the societys politicalactivities. These slaves were often treated no differently than other peasant or tenant farmers.The Impact of the Slave Trade on West and Central Africa The trans-Atlantic trade profoundly changed the nature and scale of slavery in Africa itself. Thedevelopment of the Atlantic slave trade led to the enslavement of far greater numbers of Africans and tomore intense exploitation of slave labor in Africa. While the trade probably did not reduce the overall population, it did skew the sex ratio. In Angola,there were just 40 to 50 men per 100 women. As a result of the slave trade, there were fewer adult men toRestoring America’s Memory: 8 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  9. 9. hunt, fish, rear livestock, and clear fields. The slave trade also generated violence, spread disease, andresulted in massive imports of European goods, undermining local industries.Enslavement Many Americans mistakenly believe that most slaves were captured by Europeans who landed on theAfrican coast and captured or ambushed people. It is important to understand that Europeans wereincapable, on their own, of kidnapping 20 million Africans. Most slaves sold to Europeans had not been slaves in Africa. They were free people who were capturedin war or were victims of banditry or were enslaved as punishment for certain crimes or as repayment for adebt. In most cases, rulers or merchants were not selling their own subjects, but people they regarded asalien. Apologists for the African slave trade long argued that European traders purchased Africans who hadalready been enslaved and who otherwise would have been put to death. Thus, apologists claimed, theslave trade actually saved lives. This is a serious distortion of the facts. Some independent slave merchantsdid stage raids on unprotected African villages and kidnap and enslave Africans. Professional slave traders,however, set up bases along the West African coast where they purchased slaves from Africans inexchange for firearms and other goods. Before the end of the seventeenth century, England, France,Denmark, Holland, and Portugal had all established slave trading posts on the West African coast. The massive European demand for slaves and the introduction of firearms radically transformed WestAfrican society. A growing number of Africans were enslaved for petty debts or minor criminal orreligious offenses or following unprovoked raids on unprotected villages. An increasing number ofreligious wars broke out with the goal of capturing slaves. European weapons made it easier to captureslaves. Some African societies like Benin in southern Nigeria refused to sell slaves. Others, like Dahomey,appear to have specialized in enslavement. Drought, famine, or periods of violent conflict might lead aruler or a merchant to sell slaves. In addition, many rulers sold slaves in order to acquire the trade goods--textiles, alcohol, and other rare imports--that were necessary to secure the loyalty of their subjects. After capture, the captives were bound together at the neck and marched barefoot hundreds of miles tothe Atlantic coast. African captives typically suffered death rates of 20 percent or more while beingmarched overland. Observers reported seeing hundreds of skeletons along the slave caravan routes. At thecoast, the captives were held in pens (known as barracoons) guarded by dogs. Our best guess is thatanother 15 to 30 percent of Africans died during capture, the march from the interior, or the wait for slaveships along the coast.The Middle Passage Between 10 and 16 million Africans were forcibly transported across the Atlantic between 1500 and1900. But this figure grossly understates the actual number of Africans enslaved, killed, or displaced as aresult of the slave trade. At least 2 million Africans--10 to 15 percent--died during the infamous "MiddlePassage" across the Atlantic. Another 15 to 30 percent died during the march to or confinement along thecoast. Altogether, then, for every 100 slaves who reached the New World, another 40 had died in Africa orduring the Middle Passage. On shipboard, slaves were chained together and crammed into spaces sometimes less than five feethigh. Conditions within the slave ships were unspeakably awful. Inside the hold, slaves had only half thespace provided for indentured servants or convicts. Urine, vomit, mucous, and horrific odors filled thehold. The Middle Passage usually took more than seven weeks. Men and women were separated, with menusually placed toward the bow and women toward the stern. The men were chained together and forced tolie shoulder to shoulder. During the voyage, the enslaved Africans were usually fed only once or twice aday and brought on deck for limited times.Restoring America’s Memory: 9 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  10. 10. The death rate on these slave ships was very high, reaching 25 percent in the seventeenth and earlyeighteenth centuries and remaining around ten percent in the nineteenth century as a result of malnutritionand such diseases as dysentery, measles, scurvy, and smallpox. The most serious danger was dehydrationdue to inadequate water rations. Diarrhea was widespread and many Africans arrived in the New Worldcovered with sores or suffering fevers. Many Africans resisted enslavement. On shipboard, many slaves mutinied, attempted suicide, jumpedoverboard, or refused to eat. Our best estimate is that there was a revolt on one in every ten voyages acrossthe Atlantic. The level of slave exports grew from about 36,000 a year in the early eighteenth century to almost80,000 a year during the 1780s. By 1750, slavers usually contained at least 400 slaves, with some carryingmore than 700. During the peak years of the slave trade, between 1740 and 1810, Africa supplied 60,000captives a year outnumbering Europeans migrating to the New World.The Origins of New World Slavery By the beginning of the eighteenth century, black slaves could be found in every New World areacolonized by Europeans, from Nova Scotia to Buenos Aires. While the concentrations of slave labor weregreatest in Englands southern colonies, the Caribbean, and Latin America, where slaves were employed inmines or on sugar, rice, tobacco, and cotton plantations, slaves were also put to work in northern seaportsand on commercial farms. In 1690, one out of every nine families in Boston owned a slave. It was not inevitable that Europeans in the New World would rely on African slaves to raise crops,clear forests, and mine precious metals. In every New World colony, Europeans experimented with Indianslavery, convict labor, and white indentured servants. Why did every European power eventually turn to African labor? Europeans imported African slavespartly for demographic reasons. As a result of epidemic diseases, which reduced the native population by50 to 90 percent, the labor supply was insufficient to meet demand. Africans were experienced in intensiveagriculture and raising livestock and knew how to raise crops like rice that Europeans were unfamiliarwith. Initially, English colonists relied on indentured white servants rather than on black slaves. Over halfof all white immigrants to the English colonies during the seventeenth century consisted of convicts orindentured servants. As late as 1640, there were probably only 150 blacks in Virginia (the colony with the highest blackpopulation), and in 1650, 300. But by 1680, the number had risen to 3,000 and by 1704, to 10,000. Facedby a shortage of white indentured servants and fearful of servant revolt, English settlers increasinglyresorted to enslaved Africans. Between 1700 and 1775, more than 350,000 Africans slaves entered theAmerican colonies.Slavery in Colonial North America The first generation of Africans in the New World tended to be remarkably cosmopolitan. Few of thefirst generation came directly from Africa. Instead, they arrived from the West Indies and other areas ofEuropean settlement. These "Atlantic Creoles" were often multilingual and had Spanish or Portuguesenames. Sometimes they had mixtures of African and non-African ancestry. They experienced a period ofrelative racial tolerance and flexibility that lasted until the 1660s. A surprising number of Africans wereallowed to own land or even purchase their freedom. Beginning in the late 1660s, colonists in the Chesapeake colonies of Maryland and Virginia imposednew laws that deprived blacks, free and slaves, of many rights and privileges. At the same time, they beganto import thousands of slaves directly from Africa. During the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, three distinctive systems of slavery emerged inthe American colonies. In the Chesapeake colonies of Maryland and Virginia, slavery was widely used inagriculture--in raising tobacco and corn and other grains--and in non-agricultural employment--inshipbuilding, ironworking, and other early industries.Restoring America’s Memory: 10 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  11. 11. In the South Carolina and Georgia Low Country, slaves raised rice and indigo and were able toreconstitute African social patterns and maintain a separate Gullah dialect. Each day, slaves were requiredto achieve a precise work objective, a labor system known as the task system. This allowed them to leavethe fields early in the afternoon to tend their own gardens and raise their own livestock. Slaves often passedtheir property down for generations. In the North, slavery was concentrated in productive agriculture on Long Island and in southernRhode Island and New Jersey. Most slaves were engaged in farming and stock raising for the West Indiesor as household servants for the urban elite.Slavery’s Evolution At the beginning of the eighteenth century, most slaves were born in Africa, few were Christian, andvery slaves were engaged in raising cotton. By the start of the American Revolution, slavery had changeddramatically. As a result of a demographic revolution, a majority of slaves had been born in the NewWorld and were capable of sustaining their population by natural reproduction. Meanwhile, Second, a"plantation revolution" not only increased the size of plantations, but also made them more productive andefficient economic units. Planters expanded their operations and imposed more supervision on their slaves. A third revolution was religious. During the colonial period, many planters resisted the idea ofconverting slaves to Christianity out of a fear that baptism would change a slaves legal status. By the earlynineteenth century, slaveholders increasingly adopted the view that Christianity would make slaves moresubmissive, orderly, and conscientious. Slaves themselves found in Christianity a faith that could give themhope in an oppressive world. In general, slaves did not join their masters churches. Most became Baptistsor Methodists.A fourth revolution altered the areas in which slaves lived and worked. Between 1790 and 1860, 835,000slaves were moved from Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas to Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, andTexas. We know that slaves were frequently sold apart from their families or separated from familymembers when they were moved to the Old Southwest. Finally, there was a revolution in values and sensibility. For the first time in history, religious andsecular groups denounced slavery as sinful and as a violation of natural rights. During the 1760s, the firstmovements in history began to denounce slavery.Life Under Slavery Slaves suffered extremely high mortality. Half of all slave infants died during their first year of life,twice the rate of white babies. And while the death rate declined for those who survived their first year, itremained twice the white rate through age 14. As a result of this high infant and childhood death rate, theaverage life expectancy of a slave at birth was just 21 or 22 years, compared to 40 to 43 years forantebellum whites. Compared to whites, relatively few slaves lived into old age. A major contributor to the high infant and child death rate was chronic undernourishment. Slaveowners showed surprisingly little concern for slave mothers health or diet during pregnancy, providingpregnant women with no extra rations and employing them in intensive fieldwork even in the last weekbefore they gave birth. Not surprisingly, slave mothers suffered high rates of spontaneous abortions,stillbirths, and deaths shortly after birth. Half of all slave infants weighed less than 5.5 pounds at birth, orwhat we would today consider to be severely underweight. Infants and children were badly malnourished. Most infants were weaned early, within three or fourmonths of birth, and then fed gruel or porridge made of cornmeal. Around the age of three, they began toeat vegetables soups, potatoes, molasses, grits, hominy, and cornbread. This diet lacked protein, thiamine,niacin, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, and as a result, slave children often suffered from nightblindness, abdominal swellings, swollen muscles, bowed legs, skin lesions, and convulsions.Slave Resistance and Revolts Enslaved African Americans resisted slavery in a variety of active and passive ways. "Day-to-dayresistance" was the most common form of opposition to slavery. Breaking tools, feigning illness, stagingRestoring America’s Memory: 11 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  12. 12. slowdowns, and committing acts of arson and sabotage--all were forms of resistance and expression ofslaves alienation from their masters. Running away was another form of resistance. Most slaves ran away relatively short distances andwere not trying to permanently escape from slavery. Instead, they were temporarily withholding their laboras a form of economic bargaining and negotiation. Slavery involved a constant process of negotiation asslaves bargained over the pace of work, the amount of free time they would enjoy, monetary rewards,access to garden plots, and the freedom to practice burials, marriages, and religious ceremonies free fromwhite oversight. Some fugitives did try to permanently escape slavery. While the idea of escaping slavery quicklybrings to mind the Underground Railroad to the free states, in fact more than half of these runaways headedsouthward or to cities or to natural refuges like swamps. Often, runaways were relatively privileged slaveswho had served as river boatmen or coachmen and were familiar with the outside world. Especially in the colonial period, fugitive slaves tried to form runaway communities known as"maroon colonies." Located in swamps, mountains, or frontier regions, some of these communities resistedcapture for several decades. During the early eighteenth century there were slave uprisings in Long Island in 1708 and in NewYork City in 1712. Slaves in South Carolina staged several insurrections, culminating in the StonoRebellion in 1739, when they seized arms, killed whites, and burned houses. In 1740 and 1741,conspiracies were uncovered in Charleston and New York. During the late eighteenth century, slave revoltserupted in Guadeloupe, Grenada, Jamaica, Surinam, San Domingue (Haiti), Venezuela, and the WindwardIsland and many fugitive slaves, known as maroons, fled to remote regions and carried on guerrilla warfare(during the 1820s, a fugitive slave named Bob Ferebee led a band in fugitive slaves in guerrilla warfare inVirginia). During the early nineteenth century, major conspiracies or revolts against slavery took place inRichmond, Virginia, in 1800; in Louisiana in 1811; in Barbados in 1816; in Charleston, South Carolina, in1822; in Demerara in 1823; and in Jamaica and in Southampton County, Virginia in 1831. Slave revolts were most likely when slaves outnumbered whites, when masters were absent, duringperiods of economic distress, and when there was a split within the ruling elite. They were also mostcommon when large numbers of native-born Africans had been brought into an area at one time. The main result of slave insurrections was the mass executions of blacks. After a slave conspiracywas uncovered in New York City in 1740, 18 slaves were hanged and 13 were burned alive. AfterDenmark Veseys conspiracy was uncovered, the authorities in Charleston hanged 37 blacks. FollowingNat Turners insurrection, the local militia killed about 100 blacks and 20 more slaves, including Turner,were later executed. In the South, the preconditions for successful rebellion did not exist, and tended tobring increased suffering and repression to the slave community. Violent rebellion was rarer and smaller in scale in the American South than in Brazil or theCaribbean, reflecting the relatively small proportion of blacks in the southern population, the lowproportion of recent migrants from Africa, and the relatively small size of southern plantations. Comparedto the Caribbean, prospects for successful sustained rebellions in the American South were bleak. InJamaica, slaves outnumbered whites by ten or eleven to one; in the South, a much larger white populationwas committed to suppressing rebellion. In general, Africans were more likely than New Worldborn slavesto participate in outright revolts. Not only did many Africans have combat experience prior to enslavement,but they also had fewer family and communities ties that might inhibit violent insurrection.The Economics of Slavery Like other slave societies, the South did not produce urban centers on a scale equal with those in theNorth. Virginias largest city, Richmond, had a population of just 15,274 in 1850. That same year,Wilmington, North Carolinas largest city, had just 7,264 inhabitants. Southern cities were small becausethey failed to develop diversified economies. Unlike the cities of the North, southern cities rarely becamecenters of commerce, finance, or processing and manufacturing and Southern ports rarely engaged ininternational trade.Restoring America’s Memory: 12 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  13. 13. By northern standards, the Souths transportation network was primitive. Traveling the 1,460 milesfrom Baltimore to New Orleans in 1850 meant riding five different railroads, two stagecoaches, and twosteamboats. Its educational system also lagged far behind the Norths. In 1850, 20 percent of adult whitesoutherners could not read or write, compared to a national figure of 8 percent. Nevertheless, there is no reason to think that slavery was doomed for economic reasons. Slavery wasadaptable to a variety of occupations, ranging from agriculture and mining to factory work. During thedecades before the Civil War, slave grown cotton accounted for over half the value of all United Statesexports, and provided virtually all the cotton used in the northern textile industry and 70 percent of thecotton used in British mills. Nevertheless, the Souths political leaders had good reason for concern. Within the South, slaveownership was becoming concentrated into a smaller number of hands. The proportion of southern familiesowning slaves declined from 36 percent in 1830 to 25 percent in 1860. At the same time, slavery wassharply declining in the upper South. Between 1830 and 1860, the proportion of slaves in Missourispopulation fell from 18 to 10 percent; in Kentucky, from 24 to 19 percent; in Maryland, from 23 to 13percent. By the middle of the nineteenth century, slavery was becoming an exception in the New World,confined to Brazil, Cuba, Puerto Rice, a number of small Dutch colonies, and the American South. But themost important threat to slavery came from abolitionists, who denounced slavery as immoral.Facts about the Slave Trade and SlaverySlave TradeThe level of slave exports grew from about 36,000 a year during the early 18th century to almost 80,000 ayear during the 1780s.The Angolan region of west-central Africa made up slightly more than half of all Africans sent to theAmericas and a quarter of imports to British North America.Approximately 11,863,000 Africans were shipped across the Atlantic, with a death rate during the MiddlePassage reducing this number by 10-20 percent.As a result between 9.6 and 10.8 million Africans arrived in the Americas.About 500,000 Africans were imported into what is now the U.S. between 1619 and 1807--or about 6percent of all Africans forcibly imported into the Americas. About 70 percent arrived directly from Africa.Well over 90 percent of African slaves were imported into the Caribbean and South America. Only about 6percent of imports went directly to British North America. Yet by 1825, the U.S. had a quarter of blacks inthe New World.The majority of African slaves were brought to British North America between 1720 and 1780. (Averagedate of arrival for whites is 1890)ComparisonsAmerican plantations were dwarfed by those in the West Indies. About a quarter of U.S. slaves lived onfarms with 15 or fewer slaves. In 1850, just 125 plantations had over 250 slaves.In the Caribbean, Dutch Guiana and Brazil, the slave death rate was so high and the birth rate so low thatthey could not sustain their population without importations from Africa. Rates of natural decrease ran ashigh as 5 percent a year. While the death rate of U.S. slaves was about the same as that of Jamaican slaves,the fertility rate was more than 80 percent higher.U.S. slaves were further removed from Africa than those in the Caribbean. In the 19th century, the majorityof slaves in the British Caribbean and Brazil were born in Africa. In contrast, by 1850, most U.S. slaveswere third-, fourth-, or fifth generation Americans.Restoring America’s Memory: 13 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  14. 14. DemographySlavery in the U.S. was distinctive in the near-balance of the sexes and the ability of the slave population toincrease its numbers by natural reproduction.Unlike any other slave society, the U.S. had a high and sustained natural increase in the slave populationfor a more than a century and a half.In 1860, 89 percent of the nations African Americans were slaves; blacks formed 13 percent of thecountrys population and 33 percent of the Souths population.In 1860, less than 10 percent of the slave population was over 50 and only 3.5 percent was over 60.The average age of first birth for slave women was around 20. Child spacing averaged about 2 years.The average number of children born to a slave woman was 9.2--twice as many in the West Indies.Most slaves lived in nuclear households consisting of two parents and children: 64 percent nuclear; 21percent single parents; 15 percent non-family.Mother-headed families were 50 percent more frequent on plantations with 15 or fewer slaves than on largeones. Smaller units also had a disproportionately large share of families in which the father and motherlived on different plantations for most of the week.Average number of persons per household was 6.Average age of women at birth of their first child was about 21.Few slaves lived into old age. Between 1830 and 1860, only 10 percent of slaves in North America wereover 50 years old.ChildrenMost infants were weaned within three or four monthsThere were few instances in which slave women were released from field work for extended periods duringslavery. Even during the last week before childbirth, pregnant women on average picked three-quarters ormore of the amount normal for women.Half of all slave babies died in the first year of life--twice the rate for white babies.The average birth weight of slave infants was less than 5.5 pounds.Slave children were tiny; their average height did not reach three feet until they were 4; they were 5.5inches shorter than modern children and comparable to children in Bangladesh and the slums of Lagos.At 17, slave men were shorter than 96 percent of men today and slave women shorter than 80 percent ofcontemporary women.Slaves did not reach their full stature--67 inches for men and 62.5 inches for women--until their mid-20s.Children entered the labor force as early as 3 or 4. Some were taken into the masters house to be servantswhile others were assigned to special childrens gangs called "trash gangs," which swept yards, cleareddrying cornstalks from fields, chopped cotton, carried water to field hands, weeded, picked cotton, fedwork animals, and drove cows to pasture.By age 7, over 40 percent of the boys and half the girls had entered the work force. At about 11, boysbegan to transfer to adult field jobs.LaborAt the beginning of the 18th century, it was common for small groups of slaves to live and work bythemselves on properties remote from their masters homes.Restoring America’s Memory: 14 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  15. 15. Sugar field workers in Jamaica worked about 4,000 hours a year--three times that of a modern factoryworker. Cotton workers toiled about 3,000 hours a year.he median size of slaveholdings ranged from approximately 25 slaves in the tobacco regions of Maryland,Virginia, and North Carolina, to 30-50 slaves in upland cotton regions. Plantations in the Sea Islands ofSouth Carolina and Georgia and the sugar parishes of Louisiana averaged 60-80 slaves. In small areas ofLouisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina, slaves lived on 125-175 person units.In 1790, 44 percent of enslaved Africans lived on units of 20 or more slaves. In 1860, the figure was 53percent (and approximately a third lived on units with 50 or more slaves).Half of all masters owned five or fewer slaves. While most small slaveholders were farmers, adisproportionate share were artisans, shopkeepers, and public officials.Prices of slaves varied widely over time. During the 18th century, slave prices generally rose. Though theyfell somewhat before the start of the revolution, by the early 1790s, even before the onset of cottonexpansion, prices had returned to earlier levels. Prices rose to a high of about $1,250 during the cottonboom of the late 1830s, fell to below half that level in the 1840s, and rose to about $1,450 in the late 1850.Males were valued 10-20 percent more than females; at age ten, childrens prices were about half that of aprime male field hand.By 1850, about 64 percent of slaves lived on cotton plantations; 12 percent raised tobacco, 5 percent sugar,4 percent rice.Among slaves 16-20, about 83 percent of the males and 89 percent of the females were field hands. Theremainder were managers, artisans, or domestic servants.Growing cotton required about 38 percent of the labor time of slaves; growing corn and caring for livestock31 percent; and 31 percent improving land, constructing fences and buildings, raising other crops, andmanufacturing products such as clothes.Slaves constructed more than 9,500 miles of railroad track by 1860, a third of the nations total and morethan the mileage of Britain, France, and Germany.About 2/3s of slaves were in the labor force, twice the proportion among free persons. Nearly a third ofslave laborers were children and an eighth were elderly or crippled.DiseaseSlaves suffered a variety of maladies--such as blindness, abdominal swelling, bowed legs, skin lesions, andconvulsions--that may have been caused by beriberi (caused by a deficiency of thiamine), pellagra (causedby a niacin deficiency), tetany (caused by deficiencies of calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D), rickets(also caused by a deficiency of Vitamin D), and kwashiorkor (caused by severe protein deficiency).Diarrhea, dysentery, whooping cough, and respiratory diseases as well as worms pushed the infant andearly childhood death rate of slaves to twice that experienced by white infants and children.Domestic Slave TradeBetween 1790 and 1860, 835,000 slaves were moved from Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas toAlabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.Between 16 and 60 percent of slaves were shipped west by traders.ProfitabilitySlaveholding became more concentrated over time. The fraction of households owning slaves fell from 36percent in 1830 to 25 percent in 1860.Restoring America’s Memory: 15 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  16. 16. The distribution of wealth in the South was much more unequal than that of the North.Nearly 2 of 3 males with estates of $100,000 or more lived in the South in 1860.If the North and South are treated as separate nations, the South was the fourth most prosperous nation inthe world in 1860. Italy did not achieve the southern level of per capita income until the eve of World WarII.During the Civil War, 140,500 freed slaves and 38,500 free blacks served in the Union Army.Restoring America’s Memory: 16 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  17. 17. Africans in AmericaIntroductionThe years 1450-1750 brought enormous changes to the North American continent. The native Americans,or Indians, as the Europeans came to call them, first encountered European explorers, and before long, sawtheir world transformed and largely destroyed by European settlers. And European explorers not onlyventured to the lands and natural wealth of the Americas; they also traveled to Africa, where they began atrans-Atlantic slave trade that would bring millions of Africans to the Americas as well. This slave tradewould over time lead to a new social and economic system: one where the color of ones skin coulddetermine whether he or she might live as a free citizen or be enslaved for life.Map: The British ColoniesBy the early 1600s, England was eager to gain a colonial foothold on the North American continent. Thefirst enduring settlement was founded at Jamestown in Virginia in 1607. Colonies in Massachusetts andelsewhere up and down the eastern seaboard were settled as the century progressed. The English settlershad occasionally friendly relations with the native "Indians" of these lands, but for the most part, theinteraction between the two turned hostile. Labor to clear the forests, tend the plantations and farms, andwork in the developing seafaring industry became a crucial concern.From 1619 on, not long after the first settlement, the need for colonial labor was bolstered by theimportation of African captives. At first, like their poorEnglish counterparts, the Africans were treated asindentured servants, who would be freed of theirobligations to their owners after serving for several years.However, over the course of the century, a new race-basedslavery system developed, and by the dawn of the newcentury, the majority of Africans and African Americanswere slaves for life.Control over the captive population became a significantissue for whites as rebellion and fear of rebellion spread.Map InformationVirginia: British1619: A Dutch ship brings the first permanent Africansettlers to Jamestown. Africans soon are put to work on Coloniestobacco plantations.1663: A Virginia court decides that a child born to a slavemother is also a slave.1705: The General Assembly declares imported servantswho were not Christians in their native lands slaves, andall negro, mulatto, and Indian slaves property.Massachusetts:1641: Massachusetts becomes the first colony to recognize slavery as a legal institution.The Middle Passage:1680: The Royal African company transports 5000 African captives annually. By the 18th century, 45,000Africans are transported annually on British ships.South Carolina:1700s: Almost half of the slaves coming to North America arrive in Charleston. Many stay in SouthCarolina to work on rice plantations.1739: The Stono rebellion breaks out around Charleston; over 20 whites are killed by Jemmy and his band.Restoring America’s Memory: 17 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  18. 18. New York:1741: Fires break out in New York City, which has the second-largest urban population of blacks.Numerous blacks are accused and executed in a witch-hunt atmosphere.Georgia:1750: Georgia is the last of the British North American colonies to legalize slavery.Europeans Come to Western AfricaConcerning the trade on this Coast, we notified your Highness that nowadays the natives no longer occupythemselves with the search for gold, but rather make war on each other in order to furnish slaves. . . TheGold Coast has changed into a complete Slave Coast.- William De La PalmaDirector, Dutch West India Co.September 5, 1705The history of the European seaborne slave trade with Africa goes back 50 years prior to Columbus initialvoyage to the Americas. It began with the Portuguese, who went to West Africa in search of gold. The firstEuropeans to come to Africas West Coast to trade were funded by Prince Henry, the famous Portuguesepatron, who hoped to bring riches to Portugal. The purpose of the exploration: to expand Europeangeographic knowledge, to find the source of prized African gold, and to locate a possible sea route to valuable Asian spices. Many years had passed between the arrival of Europeans to Africa and 1795, the time this image was engraved. The Portuguese, who had explored much of the coast of western Africa under the sponsorship of Prince Henry, landed along the shores of the Senegal River 350 years earlier. Image Credit: Musée national des Arts dAfriqueIn 1441, for the first time, Portuguese sailors obtained gold dust from traders on the western coast ofAfrica. The following year, Portuguese explorers returned from Africa with more gold dust and anothercargo: ten Africans.Forty years after that first human cargo traveled to Portugal, Portuguese sailors gained permission from alocal African leader to build a trading outpost and storehouse on Africas Guinea coast. It was near a regionthat had been mined for gold for many years and was called Elmina, which means "the mine" inPortuguese. Although originally built for trade in gold and ivory and other resources, Elmina was the firstof many trading posts built by Europeans along Africas western coast that would also come to exportslaves.The well-armed fort provided a secure harbor for Portuguese (and later Dutch and English) ships. Africanswere either captured in warring raids or kidnapped and taken to the port by African slave traders. Therethey were exchanged for iron, guns, gunpowder, mirrors, knives, cloth, and beads brought by boat fromEurope.When Europeans arrived along the West African coast, slavery already existed on the continent. However,in his book The African Slave Trade, Basil Davidson points out that slavery in Africa and the brutal formof slavery that would develop in the Americas were vastly different. African slavery was more akin toRestoring America’s Memory: 18 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  19. 19. European serfdom --the condition of most Europeans in the 15th century. In the Ashanti Kingdom of WestAfrica, for example, slaves could marry, own property and even own slaves. And slavery ended after acertain number of years of servitude. Most importantly, African slavery was never passed from onegeneration to another, and it lacked the racist notion that whites were masters and blacks were slaves.New World Exploration and English AmbitionFor the English in the New World there are really three labor options. One is to transport people fromEngland to the New World. Another is to employ or exploit the indigenous labor... And the third is to bringpeople from Africa.- Peter Wood, historianAt the end of the 16th century, Spain and Portugal dominated the South American continent and parts ofthe Caribbean. They had also gotten a foothold in Central America and the southern portions of NorthAmerica, in Florida and the Southwest. England, with colonizing ambitions of its own, was eager toestablish a foothold on the North American coast.Urging their countrymen to join in the race for the colonization of the New World were two men, an uncleand his nephew, each named Richard Hakluyt. In a number of popular pamphlets they made the argumentfor colonization: England stood to gain glory, profit, and adventure. The younger sons of English nobility,lacking property at home, would have new lands to lord over. Merchants would have exotic products tobring home and new markets in which to sell their goods. The clergy could convert "savages" toChristianity. The landless poor, who burdened English towns and cities in increasing numbers, would haveopportunity to rise up from their poverty.English colonial ambition and the exhortations of the Hakluyts set the stage for Englands first lastingsettlement in the New World: Jamestown. The colony on Chesapeake Bay was first and foremost abusiness enterprise. It was funded by investors in the Virginia Company of London, who recruited the menwho would settle Jamestown. The investors wanted what all investors dream of: a quick return of profit.The settlers were told to settle on an inland river that might lead to the Pacific and the riches of Asia.Failing that, investors hoped settlers would send home profitable goods, such as minerals, wooden masts,dyes, plant medicines, glass, and tar.Captain John Smith, one of the leaders of the Jamestown venture, later wrote that the force behindthe settlement "was nothing but present profit."In 1607, 105 colonists landed in Jamestown, and by 1609, 500 settlers had come. However, Englishambition was at first dashed by ignorance and an unforgiving land. Famine struck during the winter of1609-1610. The settlers had arrived in the midst of a severe regional drought, and they had been tooarrogant to till the soil. They could have received help from native Americans, but they considered theindigenous people to be savages and, eventually, enemies. The settlers ate their cattle, hogs, poultry, andfinally their horses. And then they starved. Some cases of cannibalism were recorded. By the spring of1610, only 60 were left alive. Nearly nine of every ten colonists had died. The dream of fortune had turnedinto a deadly nightmare.Not willing to give up and absorb heavy financial losses, the Virginia Company of London sent morecolonists from England. In the next few years, they experimented with various types of tobacco, and by1617, found success with a variety of seed from Trinidad. Only three years later, a staggering 55,000pounds of tobacco reached English markets. Jamestown had found a way to survive: by growing andselling tobacco.Restoring America’s Memory: 19 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  20. 20. But all these new tobacco fields required many hands and hard labor. At first, the men needed in the fieldscame from the working classes of England. While the world of colonial America was controlled by thewealthy Englishmen, most immigrants were poor men under 25 years of age. At first, the supply of willingconscripts matched the demand. The population of England had swelled from under three million in 1500to more than five million by the mid-1600s. The homeless and the unemployed turned their hopes to theNew World. Throughout the 17th century, between half and two-thirds of all white immigrants to theAmerican colonies came as indentured servants.In exchange for passage to Virginia or other colonies, these poor English people traded 4-7 years of theirlabor. They were fed, sheltered and clothed in exchange for their work. After their time was up, theseindentured servants received their so-called "freedom dues." This often amounted to a bushel of corn forplanting, a new suit of clothes and 100 acres of land. Now these men (and small numbers of women too)were free to labor for a living on their own. The turn-over in indentured servants was rapid, Howard Pyle so aspiring planters considered two other illustrated many options for solving the need for plantation historical and labor. One was to hire or exploit the native adventure stories for Americans. But such workers were susceptible periodicals, including to new diseases and often proved unreliable, as Harpers Weekly. In they could always choose to leave work behind 1917, he created this and return to their people. There was also a depiction of the 1619 second option. In 1619, a Dutch ship that had arrival of Virginias pirated the cargo of a Spanish vessel -- captive first blacks. Africans --anchored at Jamestown in the mouth of the James River. The ship needed supplies, so the Dutch sailors traded the Africans for food. The colonists purchased the Africans, baptized them, and gave them Christian names. At least some of these Africans, like their white counterparts, werepurchased according to the usual terms for all indentured servants. They and other Africans who weretransported to America at this time would become free after their years of service.The English who had settled in Jamestown and, over the rest of the 17th century, in the other British NorthAmerican colonies soon reached a turning point. Would they continue to hire Europeans and Africans asindentured servants? Or would they rely on Africans as enslaved workers for life, the model that haddeveloped in the Caribbean? The colonists had a choice to make. They could use laborers who were free orwho would one day become free. Or they could force people to work their fields for them indefinitely,without any hope of freedom for themselves or their children. To this day, we carry the scars of thedecision they made: gradually, over several generations, they chose slavery.By the start of the 16th century, almost 200,000 Africans had been transported to Europe and islands in theAtlantic. But after the voyages of Columbus, slave traders found another market for slaves: New Worldplantations. In Spanish Caribbean islands and Portuguese Brazil by the mid 1500s, colonists had turned tothe quick and highly profitable cultivation of sugar, a crop that required constant attention and exhaustinglabor. They tried to recruit native Americans, but many died from diseases brought by Europeans, such assmallpox, diphtheria, and tuberculosis. And the Indians who survived wanted no part of the work, oftenfleeing to the countryside they knew so well. European colonists found an answer to their pressing laborshortage by importing enslaved workers from Africa.Restoring America’s Memory: 20 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  21. 21. By 1619, more than a century and a half after the Portuguese first traded slaves on the African coast,European ships had brought a million Africans to colonies and plantations in the Americas and force themto labor as slaves. Trade through the West African forts continued for nearly three hundred years. TheEuropeans made more than 54,000 voyages to trade in human beings and sent at least ten to twelve millionAfricans to the Americas.From Indentured Servitude to Racial SlaveryWe sometimes imagine that such oppressive laws were put quickly into full force by greedy landowners.But thats not the way slavery was established in colonial America. It happened gradually -- one person at atime, one law at a time, even one colony at a time. All servants imported and brought into the Country. . .who were not Christians in their native Country. . . shall be accounted and be slaves. All Negro, mulattoand Indian slaves within this dominion. . . shall be held to be real estate. If any slave resists his master. . .correcting such slave, and shall happen to be killed in such correction. . . the master shall be free of allpunishment. . . as if such accident never happened.- Virginia General Assembly declaration, 1705One of the places we have the clearest views of that "terrible transformation" is the colony of Virginia. Inthe early years of the colony, many Africans and poor whites -- most of the laborers came from the Englishworking class -- stood on the same ground. Black and white women worked side-by-side in the fields.Black and white men who broke their servant contract were equally punished.All were indentured servants. During their time as servants, they were fed and housed. Afterwards, theywould be given what were known as "freedom dues," which usually included a piece of land and supplies,including a gun. Black-skinned or white-skinned, they became free.Historically, the English only enslaved non-Christians, and not, in particular, Africans. And the status ofslave (Europeans had African slaves prior to the colonization of the Americas) was not one that was life-long. A slave could become free by converting to Christianity. The first Virginia colonists did not eventhink of themselves as "white" or use that word to describe themselves. They saw themselves as Christiansor Englishmen, or in terms of their social class. They were nobility, gentry, artisans, or servants.One of the few recorded histories of an African in America that we can glean from early court records isthat of "Antonio the negro," as he was named in the 1625 Virginia census. He was brought to the colony in1621. At this time, English and Colonial law did not define racial slavery; the census calls him not a slavebut a "servant." Later, Antonio changed his name to Anthony Johnson, married an African Americanservant named Mary, and they had four children. Mary and Anthony also became free, and he soon ownedland and cattle and even indentured servants of his own. By 1650, Anthony was still one of only 400Africans in the colony among nearly 19,000 settlers. In Johnsons own county, at least 20 African men andwomen were free, and 13 owned their own homes.In 1640, the year Johnson purchased his first property, three servants fled a Virginia plantation. Caught andreturned to their owner, two had their servitude extended four years. However, the third, a black mannamed John Punch, was sentenced to "serve his said master or his assigns for the time of his natural life."He was made a slave.Traditionally, Englishmen believed they had a right to enslave a non-Christian or a captive taken in a justwar. Africans and Indians might fit one or both of these definitions. But what if they learned English andconverted to the Protestant church? Should they be released from bondage and given "freedom dues?"Restoring America’s Memory: 21 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  22. 22. What if, on the other hand, status were determined not by (changeable ) religious faith but by(unchangeable) skin color?This disorder that the indentured servant system had created made racial slavery to southern slaveholdersmuch more attractive, because what were black slaves now? Well, they were a permanent dependent laborforce, who could be defined as a people set apart. They were racially set apart. They were outsiders. Theywere strangers and in many ways throughout the world, slavery has taken root, especially where people areconsidered outsiders and can be put in a permanent status of slavery. - David Blight, historianAlso, the indentured servants, especially once freed, began to pose a threat to the property-owning elite.The colonial establishment had placed restrictions on available lands, creating unrest among newly freedindentured servants. In 1676, working class men burned down Jamestown, making indentured servitudelook even less attractive to Virginia leaders. Also, servants moved on, forcing a need for costlyreplacements; slaves, especially ones you could identify by skin color, could not move on and become freecompetitors.In 1641, Massachusetts became the first colony to legally recognize slavery. Other states, such as Virginia,followed. In 1662, Virginia decided all children born in the colony to a slave mother would be enslaved.Slavery was not only a life-long condition; now it could be passed, like skin color, from generation togeneration.In 1665, Anthony Johnson moved to Maryland and leased a 300-acre plantation, where he died five yearslater. But back in Virginia that same year, a jury decided the land Johnson left behind could be seized bythe government because he was a "negroe and by consequence an alien." In 1705 Virginia declared that"All servants imported and brought in this County... who were not Christians in their Native Country...shall be slaves. A Negro, mulatto and Indian slaves ... shall be held to be real estate."English suppliers responded to the increasing demand for slaves. In 1672, England officially got into theslave trade as the King of England chartered the Royal African Company, encouraging it to expand theBritish slave trade. In 1698, the English Parliament ruled that any British subject could trade in slaves.Over the first 50 years of the 18th century, the number of Africans brought to British colonies on Britishships rose from 5,000 to 45,000 a year. England had passed Portugal and Spain as the number onetrafficker of slaves in the world.The African Slave Trade and the Middle Passage.Who are we looking for, who are we looking for?Its Equiano were looking for.Has he gone to the stream? Let him come back.Has he gone to the farm? Let him return.Its Equiano were looking for. - Kwa chant about the disappearance of an African boy, EquianoThis African chant mourns the loss of Olaudah Equiano, an 11-year-old boy and son of an African triballeader who was kidnapped in 1755 from his home in what is now Nigeria. He was one of the 10 to 12million Africans who were sold into slavery from the 15th through the 19th Centuries.."I believe there are few events in my life that have not happened to many," wrote Equiano in hisAutobiography. The "many" he refers to are the Africans taken as free people and then forced into slaveryin South America, the Caribbean and North America.Restoring America’s Memory: 22 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  23. 23. Along the west coast of Africa, from the Cameroons in the south to Senegal in the north, Europeans builtsome sixty forts that served as trading posts. European sailors seeking riches brought rum, cloth, guns, andother goods to these posts and traded them for human beings. This human cargo was transported across theAtlantic Ocean and sold to New World slave owners, who bought slaves to work their crops.European traders such as Nicolas Owen waited at these forts for slaves; African traders transported slavesfrom the interior of Africa. Equiano and others found themselves sold and traded more than once, often inslave markets. African merchants, the poor, royalty -- anyone -- could be abducted in the raids and warsthat were undertaken by Africans to secure slaves that they could trade. The slave trade devastated Africanlife. Culture and traditions were torn asunder, as families, especially young men, were abducted. Gunswere introduced and slave raids and even wars increased. In 1888, Harpers requested that Henry M. Stanleys Through a Dark Continent be adapted for young readers. On Stanleys recommendation, Thomas Wallace Knox was selected to write the book, which would be entitled, The Boy Travellers on the Congo. The illustrations used in Knoxs book came from several volumes on African travels, including the book it was based on. Slave Caravans on the Road accompanies text describing Arab involvement with the slave trade and the town of Mombasa, a port on Africas east coast. The book tells how Arabs made war with natives and enslaved captives, as well as inciting war between various tribes in order to purchase, as slaves, the prisoners of thoseAfter kidnapping potential slaves,merchants forced them to walk in slave caravans to the European coastal forts, sometimes as far as 1,000miles. Shackled and underfed, only half the people survived these death marches. Those too sick or wearyto keep up were often killed or left to die. Those who reached the coastal forts were put into undergrounddungeons where they would stay -- sometimes for as long as a year -- until they were boarded on ships.Just as horrifying as these death marches was the Middle Passage, as it was called -- the transport of slavesacross the Atlantic. On the first leg of their trip, slave traders delivered goods from European ports to WestAfrican ones. On the "middle" leg, ship captains such as John Newton (who later became a foe of slavery),loaded their then-empty holds with slaves and transported them to the Americas and the Caribbean. Atypical Atlantic crossing took 60-90 days but some lasted up to four months Upon arrival, captains sold theslaves and purchased raw materials to be brought back to Europe on the last leg of the trip. Roughly 54,000voyages were made by Europeans to buy and sell slaves.Africans were often treated like cattle during the crossing. On the slave ships, people were stuffed betweendecks in spaces too low for standing. The heat was often unbearable, and the air nearly unbreathable.Women were often used sexually. Men were often chained in pairs, shackled wrist to wrist or ankle toankle. People were crowded together, usually forced to lie on their backs with their heads between the legsof others. This meant they often had to lie in each others feces, urine, and, in the case of dysentery, evenblood. In such cramped quarters, diseases such as smallpox and yellow fever spread like wildfire. Thediseased were sometimes thrown overboard to prevent wholesale epidemics. Because a small crew had tocontrol so many, cruel measures such as iron muzzles and whippings were used to control slaves.Restoring America’s Memory: 23 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  24. 24. The importation of slaves had been prohibited in the United States since [1808], and yet, the trade continued illegally on a smaller scale for many years -- even up to the outbreak of the Civil War. Published in the June 2, 1860 issue of Harpers Weekly, The Slave Deck of the Bark "Wildfire" illustrated how Africans travelled on the upper deck of the ship. On board the ship were 510 captives, recently acquired from an area of Africa near the Congo River. The author of the article reported seeing, upon boarding the ship, "about four hundred and fifty native Africans, in a state of entire nudity, in a sitting or squatting posture, the most of them having their k l t d t f ti l f th i h d d "Over the centuries, between one and two million persons died in the crossing. This meant that the livingwere often chained to the dead until ship surgeons such as Alexander Falconbridge had the corpses thrownoverboard.While ships were still close to shore, insurrections of desperate slaves sometimes broke out. Many wentmad in these barbaric conditions; others chose to jump to their watery deaths rather than endure. Equianowrote of his passage: "Often did I think many of the inhabitants of the deep much happier than myself."The Growth of Slavery in North AmericaIs not the slave trade entirely at war with the heart of man? And surely that which is begun by breakingdown the barriers of virtue, involves in its continuance destruction to every principle, and buries allsentiments in ruin! When you make men slaves, you... compel them to live with you in a state of war.- Olaudah Equiano, former slaveSlavery became a highly profitable system for white plantation owners in the colonial South. In SouthCarolina, successful slave owners, such as the Middleton family from Barbados, established a system offull-blown, Caribbean-style slavery. The Middletons settled on land near Charleston, Carolinas main portand slave-trading capital. They took advantage of the fact that at the end of the 17th century, some of theearliest African arrivals had shown English settlers how rice could be grown in the swampy coastalenvironment. With cheap and permanent workers available in the form of slaves, plantation ownersrealized this strange new crop could make them rich.As rice boomed, land owners found the need to import more African slaves to clear the swamps where therice was grown and to cultivate the crop. Many of the Africans knew how to grow and cultivate the crop,which was alien to Europeans. By 1710, scarcely 15 years after rice came to Carolina, Africans began toout-number Europeans in South Carolina.Slavery was rapidly becoming an entrenched institution in American society, but it took brutal force toimposed this sort of mass exploitation upon once-free people. As Equiano wrote, white and black livedtogether "in a state of war." The more harshly whites enforced racial enslavement, the more they came tofear black uprisings. As they became more fearful, they responded by further tightening the screws ofoppression.Restoring America’s Memory: 24 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  25. 25. "If youre a white authority, youre constantly trying to figure how tightly you want to impose the lid withrespect to people running away. How fierce should the punishments be? Should it be a whipping? Should itbe the loss of a finger or a hand or a foot? Should it be wearing shackles perpetually?"- Peter Wood, historianCarolina authorities developed laws to keep the African American population under control. Whipping,branding, dismembering, castrating, or killing a slave were legal under many circumstances. Freedom ofmovement, to assemble at a funeral, to earn money, even to learn to read and write, became outlawed. This disturbing image was created for a book entitled, Narrative of a Five-Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. The author, Englishman John Gabriel Stedman, was hired by the Dutch to help quell slave uprisings in their South American colony. In his "narrative" he describes the plants and animals he encountered, as well as how he and fellow soldiers tortured runaway slaves who had been recaptured. A Negro Hung Alive by the Ribs to a Gallows is based on a crude sketch by Stedman, engraved by the famous English poet and artist, William Blake. Its graphic depiction of a slave in Surinam hanging by a single rib illustrates the general lack of compassion whites had when dealing with enslaved Africans throughout the world. Image Credit: James Ford Bell Library, University of Minnesota This disturbing image was created for a book entitled, Narrative of a Five-Years Expedition against the Revolted Negroes of Surinam. The author, Englishman John Gabriel Stedman, was hired by the Dutch to help quell slave uprisings in their South A i l I hi " ti " h d ib th l t d i l hAt times the cruelty seemed almost casual. A Virginia slaveowners journal entry for April 17, 1709 reads:"Anaka was whipped yesterday for stealing the rum and filling the bottle up with water. I said my prayersand I danced my dance. Eugene was whipped again for pissing in bed and Jenny for concealing it."On the 9th of September last at Night a great Number of Negroes Arose in Rebellion, broke open a Storewhere they got arms, killed twenty one White Persons, and were marching the next morning in a Daringmanner out of the Province, killing all they met and burning several Houses as they passed along the Road.- Wm BullWhite fears of the people they kept enslaved were entirely justified. On September 9, 1739, an African mannamed Jemmy, thought to be of Angolan origin, led a march from Stono near Charleston toward Floridaand what he believed would be freedom on Spanish soil. Other slaves joined Jemmy and their numbersgrew to nearly 100. Jemmy and his companions killed dozens of whites on their way, in what becameknown as the Stono Rebellion. White colonists caught up with the rebels and executed those whom theymanaged to capture. The severed heads of the rebels were left on mile posts on the side of the road as awarning to others.White fear of blacks was also rampant in New York City, which had a density of slaves nearing that ofCharleston. In 1741, fires were ignited all over New York, including one at the governors mansion. Inwitch-hunt fashion, 160 blacks and at least a dozen working class whites were accused of conspiringagainst the City of New York. Thirty-one Africans were killed; 13 were burned at the stake. Four whiteswere hung.A few white men, although in the minority, balked at the cruelty toward African slaves. Francis Le Jau, anAnglican minister who oversaw a church built on land donated by the Middletons, spoke against the crueltyRestoring America’s Memory: 25 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  26. 26. of Carolina slavery. Samuel Sewall, a Boston judge, wrote a pamphlet called The Selling of Joseph,criticizing slavery.Georgia, the last free colony, legalized slavery in 1750. That meant slavery was now legal in each of thethirteen British colonies that would soon become the United States. But the conflict between those whosupported racial enslavement and those who believed in freedom was only just beginning. In thetumultuous generation of the American Revolution, protests against "enslavement" by Britain and demandsfor American "liberty " would become common in the rebellious colonies, and many African Americans,both slave and free, had high hopes that the rhetoric of Independence would apply to them. These hopes,however, would eventually be dashed, and it would take a bloody civil war three generations later to finallybring an end to the enslavement of black Americans.Teacher’s Guide athttp://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aia/part1/narrative.htmlRestoring America’s Memory: 26 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  27. 27. Common Features and Patterns in Social Studies ReadingEveryday ReadingWhat kinds of reading do you do every day? Probably more than you think. For example, when youare waiting for dinner, you might look over the newspaper headlines or television listings. You mayread e-mail and surf the Internet. You go to school and do homework. This all requires plenty ofreading.Social Studies ReadingWhen you are reading for a social studies class, you may not be reading just for pleasure. You aregathering information. What kinds of social studies reading does your teacher assign? How can youget the most benefit out of each kind?Social studies reading falls into two basic groups: primary sources and secondary sources. Primarysources include firsthand information: eyewitness accounts, true stories someone tells about his orher own life, speeches, laws, and other official documents. Secondary sources are everything else.They are other peoples versions of something that has happened.Primary sources letters court records diaries oral (spoken) histories speeches government records autobiographiesSecondary sources textbooks biographies news reports histories magazine or journal articlesBoth groups are important in social studies. Textbooks and other secondary sources give youthe big picture about an era or a special theme in history. Diary accounts and other primarysources give you real-life details, feelings, and viewpoints about historical events and times.For most social studies students, though, reading assignments tend to be secondary sources-textbooks and other histories.Features and Patterns to Look ForHere are some of the most common features to watch for when you read social studies assignments:Common Features Graphics Special Text•maps •bulleted/ numbered lists•charts •boxed or shaded text•graphs •special chapter introductions with key topics•time lines •special chapter endings with summaries•photos •questions to think about•drawings •highlighted materialEach of these features needs your attention as you read. They give you important information that isRestoring America’s Memory: 27 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  28. 28. not found in the regular text.Here are some of the most common patterns in social studies readings.These are ways of organizing information to be aware of as you read.Common Patterns • Chronological order • Main idea and details • Cause and effect • Compare and contrastLearn how to recognize these features and patterns. Then you can use the best reading strategy foreach one. This will help you master your social studies material. It will also help you organize andexpress your thoughts better when you write. In the following lessons, you will look at many of thesecommon features and patterns in more detail.Restoring America’s Memory: 28 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools
  29. 29. Unwritten History The integration of history and archaeology has led to the study of people who have often beendenied a voice in traditional history because of race, class, or gender. The historical archaeologistchallenges traditional interpretations of the past and questions written sources of history. Thehistorical archaeologist goes directly to the people for evidence of the peoples history. The followingtwo examples show historical archaeology at work. While digging a site for an office tower in lower Manhattan, New York City, workers unearthedthe bones of some 400 bodies buried in an 18th-century cemetery for African slaves. The informationheld in this cemetery provided data about the health of enslaved Africans prior to the AmericanRevolution. Half of the 400 skeletons belonged to children under the age of 12. Nearly half of thosewere infants. Of the children who survived infancy, half showed signs of illness and malnutrition.Evidence of cultural continuity from Africa to the New World was found in a heart-shaped design oftacks hammered into one coffin lid. The design is thought to be a ritual symbol of the Akan people ofGhana and Ivory Coast. The second example is found in the excavations at Southern plantations by Charles H. Fairbanksin the 1960s. Fairbankss research pieced together information from the enslaved people. Byexcavating slave cabins, he found that Africans ate a variety of wild local plants, hunted game withguns, trapped and ate raccoons and opossums, caught mullet and catfish in tidal streams, and cookedin their homes. And like the evidence of the New York coffin design, Fairbankss evidence alsoshowed that African culture and identity-expressed in the peoples pottery, food, and architecture-hadbeen preserved in the New World.Main Idea 1 Answer Score Mark the main idea M 15 Mark the statement that is too broad B 5 Mark the statement that is too narrow N 5 Score 15 points for each correct answer. a. Historical archaeologists study cemeteries and plantations. b. Historical archaeologists study the nonwritten evidence of people lives. c. Historical archaeology is a field of study.Check the correct answer for 2-6Subject Matter 2 This passage mostly focuses ona. why historical archaeology is important.b. what historical archaeology can show about poor or enslaved people.c. how historical archaeology is changing today.d. comparing classical archaeology and historical archaeologyRestoring America’s Memory: 29 Nat Turner Instructional UnitA Renaissance of Teacher Knowledge Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools