No RIGHTS.The easiest way to make sure plantationowners could keep getting free labor from thekidnapped people of Africa was to make laws thatmade sure slaves had NO RIGHTS. If the slaveshad rights, would landowners be able to treatthem however they wanted?
In 1640, three servants working for a farmer named Hugh Gwynran away to Maryland. Two were white; one was black. They werecaptured in Maryland and returned to Jamestown, where the courtsentenced all three to thirty lashes -- a severe punishment. The twowhite men were sentenced to an additional four years of servitude.But, in addition to the whipping, the black man, a man named JohnPunch, was ordered to "serve his said master or his for the time ofhis natural Life." John Punch no longer had hope for freedom. Itwasnt until 1661 that a reference to slavery entered into Virginialaw. The following year, the colony went one step further by statingthat children born would be bonded or free according to the statusof the mother.
The FIRST Slave Laws Virginia, 1639Act X. All persons except Negroes are to be provided with arms andammunitions or be ﬁned at the pleasure of the governor and council.Maryland, 1664If whatsoever free-born [English] woman shall intermarry with anyslave. . . (she) shall serve the master of such slave during the life ofher husband; and that all the issue of such free-born women, somarried shall be slaves as their fathers were.
The FIRST Slave Laws Virginia, 1667Act III. Whereas some doubts have arisen whether children that are slaves bybirth. . . should be made free, it is enacted that baptism does not alter thecondition to the person as to his bondage or freedom. Virginia, 1682Act I. It is enacted that all servants. . . which shall be imported into this countryeither by sea or by land, whether Negroes, Moors [Muslim North Africans],mulattoes or Indians who are not Christian at the time of their ﬁrst purchase bysome Christian... are hereby deemed and taken to be slaves to all intents.
Field SlavesField Slaves- Field slaves worked in the ﬁelds fromsunrise to sunset, and at harvest time they toiled 18hours a day. Woman worked the same hours as themen, and pregnant ﬁeld slaves were expected tocontinue until their child was born.
House SlavesHouse Slaves-House slaves usually lived more comfortably thanﬁeld slaves. They usually had better food and weresometimes given the family’s used clothing. Eventhough it was illegal, some house slaves wereeducated by the woman in the family. Sometimes thehouse slaves were treated like the master’s child.
ChildhoodWhen a slave was only 12 months old his/hermother could be sold far away. When a slave wasfour, they sometimes worked as a babysitter.When a slave was around the age of ﬁve, theywould run errands and carry water to the ﬁeldslaves. Around the age of eight, children would beexpected to work on the plantation.
FamilyOver 32% of marriages were canceled by mastersas a result of slaves being sold away from thefamily home. A slave husband could be partedfrom his wife, and children from their mothers.“Again I was to be torn from a comfortablehome, and all my plans for the welfare of mychildren were to be frustrated by that demonSlavery!”
EducationEducation: "In most of us colored folks was the great desire to [be]able to read and write. We took advantage of every opportunity toeducate ourselves. The greater part of the plantation owners were veryharsh if we were caught trying to learn or write. It was the law that if awhite man was caught trying to educate a negro slave, he was liable toprosecution entailing a ﬁne of ﬁfty dollars and a jail sentence. We werenever allowed to go to town and it was not until after I ran away that Iknew that they sold anything but slaves, tobacco, and wiskey. Ourignorance was the greatest hold the South had on us. We knew wecould run away, but what then? An offender guilty of this crime wassubjected to very harsh punishment." John W. Fields, Age 89
ClothingClothing: Every year, slaves usuallyreceived two linen shirts, two pairs oftrousers, one jacket, one pair of socks,one pair of shoes, an overcoat, and awool hat.
Food Slaves usually received cornmeal salt herrings, and eight pounds of pork or ﬁsheach month for food.
HousingSlaves houses were usually wooden shacks with dirtﬂoors, but sometimes houses were made of boardsnailed up with cracks stuffed with rags. The bedswere collected pieces of straw or grass, and old rags,and only one blanket for a covering. A single roomcould have up to a dozen people-men, women, andchildren.
Venn Diagram Complete this Venn Diagram independently or with a partner.Venn Diagram Think about: Length of contract, where they came #om, how they got here, their race, family life, etc. When you are done raise your hand so that I may assign you your next task.