Life on the fields meant working sunup to sundown six days a week and having food sometimes not suitable for an animal to eat. Plantation slaves lived in small shacks with a dirt floor and little or no furniture. Life on large plantations with a cruel overseer was oftentimes the worst.
What was life like for the slaves?
Slaves on small farms often slept in the kitchen or an outbuilding, and sometimes in small cabins near the farmer’s house. On larger plantations where there were many slaves, they usually lived in small cabins in a slave quarter, far from the master’s house but under the watchful eye of an overseer.
How was life like for the slaves in their houses?
Whereas many field workers were not given sufficient clothing to cover their bodies, house slaves tended to be dressed with more modesty, sometimes in the hand-me-downs of masters and mistresses. Most slaves lived in similar dwellings, simple cabins furnished sparely. A few were given rooms in the main house.
How much did slaves get paid?
Wages varied across time and place but self-hire slaves could command between $100 a year (for unskilled labour in the early 19th century) to as much as $500 (for skilled work in the Lower South in the late 1850s).
What did the 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.
How long did slaves work each day?
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.
How much did slaves get paid a week?
For that time, the slave earned $0.80 per day, 6 days per week. This equals $4.80 per week, times 52 weeks per year, which equals pay of $249.60 per year.
What did house slaves do?
A house slave was a slave who worked, and often lived, in the house of the slave-owner, performing domestic labor. House slaves had many duties such as cooking, cleaning, being used as a sexual slave, serving meals, and caring for children.
At what age did slaves start working?
Generally, in the U.S. South, children entered field work between the ages of eight and 12. Slave children received harsh punishments, not dissimilar from those meted out to adults. They might be whipped or even required to swallow worms they failed to pick off of cotton or tobacco plants.
How long did slaves usually live?
As a result of this high infant and childhood death rate, the average life expectancy of a slave at birth was just 21 or 22 years, compared to 40 to 43 years for antebellum whites. Compared to whites, relatively few slaves lived into old age.
Did slaves work 7 days a week?
Slaves worked from dawn to well after dark from Monday through Saturday. Sundays were the only day they had to rest during the week. The only holidays that were usually free of work were Christmas and the Fourth of July. … House slaves worked seven days a week.