Name: _______________________________________ Date: __________Henry Clay Bruce, Twenty-Nine Years a Slave (1895)In January...
What do the slaves do when they work all night long?From Wikipedia: Slaves did just about all the physical labor on atobac...
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Tobacco plantations


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Tobacco plantations

  1. 1. Name: _______________________________________ Date: __________Henry Clay Bruce, Twenty-Nine Years a Slave (1895)In January, 1846, with my older brothers I was hired to JudgeApplegate, who conducted a tobacco factory at Keytesville, Missouri.I was then about ten years old. At Judge Applegates I was kept busyevery minute from sunrise to sunset, without being allowed to speak aword to anyone. I was too young then to be kept in such closeconfinement. It was so prison-like to be compelled to sit during theentire year under a large bench or table filled with tobacco, and tielugs all day long except during the thirty minutes allowed for breakfastand the same time allowed for dinner. I often fell asleep. I could notkeep awake even by putting tobacco in my eyes. I was punished bythe overseer, a Mr. Blankenship, every time he caught me napping,which was quite often during the first few months.Why does Bruce call the plantation a prison?What did Bruce do to try to stay awake?How long did Bruce get to eat?Francis Fredric, Fifty Years of Slavery (1863)My master had about 100 slaves, engaged chiefly in the cultivation oftobacco, this and wheat being the staple produce of Virginia at thattime. The slaves had to work very hard in digging the ground withwhat is termed a grub hoe. The slaves leave their huts quite early inthe morning, and work until late at night, especially in the spring andfall. I have known them very often, when my master has been awaydrinking, to work all night long, husking Indian corn to put into cribs.What did the slaves on Frederic’s plantation harvest?
  2. 2. What do the slaves do when they work all night long?From Wikipedia: Slaves did just about all the physical labor on atobacco plantation. Growing tobacco is very labor-intensive. Theseeds are tiny, and are sprouted in seed beds. Once they are up alittle bit they have to be transplanted to the fields. After they grow alittle they have to be "suckered" - the top part has to be pinched off sothey will be bushy. They have to be hoed, to keep the soil loose, andweeded. They they had to be harvested, by hand. Once harvested,they had to be cured. This usually involved pushing a sharp stickthrough the base of the stalk of plants, so a number were on the stick,hanging upside down. Then the sticks were hung up in a curing barn.Meanwhile, a "cooper", who was a person who made barrels, wasmaking large "hogshead" barrels to hold the cured plants. Thesebarrels were packed with about 1000 pounds of tobacco. Then thesehad to be rolled onto a ship at the plantation dock. There was lots ofwork to be done.Read more: the jobs required to grow tobaccoWhat’s a hogshead?Who made the hogshead?How much tobacco was loaded into the hogshead?