What Jobs Did Field Slaves Do?

What did field slaves do?

Field hands were slaves who labored in the plantation fields.

They commonly were used to plant, tend, and harvest cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco..

What skills did slaves have?

These skills, when added to other talents for cooking, quilting, weaving, medicine, music, song, dance, and storytelling, instilled in slaves the sense that, as a group, they were not only competent but gifted. Slaves used their talents to deflect some of the daily assaults of bondage.

How long did slaves live?

A broad and common measure of the health of a population is its life expectancy. The life expectancy in 1850 of a white person in the United States was forty; for a slave, thirty-six.

What tools did slaves use?

using only picks, shovels, axes, and other hand tools. Slaves had to plant, weed, and harvest in soggy, sickness-inducing fields.

What were slaves living conditions like?

They lived in crude quarters that left them vulnerable to bad weather and disease. Their clothing and bedding were minimal as well. Slaves who worked as domestics sometimes fared better, getting the castoff clothing of their masters or having easier access to food stores.

What was work like in the fields for enslaved Americans?

Large plantations had field hands and house servants. House servants performed tasks such as cooking, cleaning, and driving, while the field hands labored for up to 20 hours a day clearing land, planting seed, and harvesting crops.

What did slaves do in their free time?

When they could, slaves spent their limited free time visiting friends or family nearby, telling stories, and making music. Some of these activities combined African traditions with traditions of the Virginia colonists.

Did slaves work in the rain?

Although slaves on the Eustatia Plantation often had to work through showers, on many days in the account book, the overseer notes that slaves did not work because of rain.

What jobs did African slaves do?

The vast majority of enslaved Africans employed in plantation agriculture were field hands. Even on plantations, however, they worked in other capacities. Some were domestics and worked as butlers, waiters, maids, seamstresses, and launderers. Others were assigned as carriage drivers, hostlers, and stable boys.

What industries did slaves work in?

United States. In the antebellum southern United States, industrial slaves were often the property of a company instead of an individual. These companies spanned various industries including sawmills, cotton gins and mills, fishing, steamboats, sugar refineries, coal and gold mining, and railroads.

What age did slaves start working?

Boys and girls under ten assisted in the care of the very young enslaved children or worked in and around the main house. From the age of ten, they were assigned to tasks—in the fields, in the Nailery and Textile Workshop, or in the house.

What did slaves eat?

Maize, rice, peanuts, yams and dried beans were found as important staples of slaves on some plantations in West Africa before and after European contact. Keeping the traditional “stew” cooking could have been a form of subtle resistance to the owner’s control.

What did slaves wear?

The majority of slaves probably wore plain unblackened sturdy leather shoes without buckles. Female slaves also wore jackets or waistcoats that consisted of a short fitted bodice that closed in the front.

How did slaves buy freedom?

As in other parts of Latin America under the system of coartación, slaves could purchase their freedom by negotiating with their master for a purchase price and this was the most common way for slaves to be freed. Manumission also occurred during baptism, or as part of an owner’s last will and testament.

Who was the richest plantation owner?

Stephen DuncanStephen DuncanResting placeLaurel Hill Cemetery, PhiladelphiaEducationDickinson CollegeOccupationPlantation owner, bankerKnown forWealthiest cotton planter in the South prior to the American Civil War; second largest slave owner in the country5 more rows

Did Nottoway Plantation have slaves?

In 1860 Nottoway Plantation encompassed 6,200 acres and Randolph, the builder and owner of the property during that time, owned 155 African-Americans that worked his sugarcane plantation as slaves. … Nottoway contains an elegant, half-round portico as the side gallery follows the curve of the large ballroom bay window.

How many hours a day did slaves work?

On a typical plantation, slaves worked ten or more hours a day, “from day clean to first dark,” six days a week, with only the Sabbath off. At planting or harvesting time, planters required slaves to stay in the fields 15 or 16 hours a day.

What did slaves eat in the 1800s?

Weekly food rations — usually corn meal, lard, some meat, molasses, peas, greens, and flour — were distributed every Saturday. Vegetable patches or gardens, if permitted by the owner, supplied fresh produce to add to the rations. Morning meals were prepared and consumed at daybreak in the slaves’ cabins.

Did slaves get days off?

Enslaved people were granted time off to celebrate religious holidays as well, the longest being the three to four days off given for Christmas. Other religious holidays that provided days off were Easter and Whitsunday, also known as Pentecost.

Who are slaves today?

Experts have calculated that roughly 13 million people were captured and sold as slaves between the 15th and 19th centuries; today, an estimated 40.3 million people – more than three times the figure during the transatlantic slave trade – are living in some form of modern slavery, according to the latest figures …