Colonial Slavery Portfolio



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Colonial Slavery Portfolio


  1. Key Terms Chapter 3

  2. Roots 2 Webchart/Reaction Paper

  3. Profile Anthony Johnson

  4. John Punch Newspaper Article

5. *PLANTATION SLAVERY-- Life on the Plantation (WEBCHART) Assess plantation slavery (regional differences, slave life and duties) Design a web chart that outlines the characteristics of chattel slavery.

6. Graphic Organizer (Institution of Slavery) p.25

7. Graphic Organizer (Blacks in Colonial America) p.48

CRITICAL THINKING QUESTIONS (ONE Paragraph Each)

8. Consider the possible rationale for selecting Africans over other groups.

9. Summarize and analyze the origins of African American culture



  1. Analyze black slave resistance and rebellion

  2. Explore and evaluate the exceptions and unusual situations during slavery

  3. Speculate: Why are Maroon societies virtually non-existent in Colonial America?

  4. Evaluate Discuss the advantages/disadvantages of the task system?

  5. Speculate/Analyze: Why were the slave codes so effective in conditioning/shaping the slave mentality?

15. QUIZ

Slavery in the United States

Jenny B. Wahl, Carleton College


Slavery is fundamentally an economic phenomenon. Throughout history, slavery has existed where it has been economically worthwhile to those in power. The principal example in modern times is the U.S. South. Nearly 4 million slaves with a market value of close to $4 billion lived in the U.S. just before the Civil War. Masters enjoyed rates of return on slaves comparable to those on other assets; cotton consumers, insurance companies, and industrial enterprises benefited from slavery as well. Such valuable property required rules to protect it, and the institutional practices surrounding slavery display a sophistication that rivals modern-day law and business.

THE SPREAD OF SLAVERY IN THE U.S.


Not long after Columbus set sail for the New World, the French and Spanish brought slaves with them on various expeditions. Slaves accompanied Ponce de Leon to Florida in 1513, for instance. But a far greater proportion of slaves arrived in chains in crowded, sweltering cargo holds. The first dark-skinned slaves in what was to become British North America arrived in Virginia -- perhaps stopping first in Spanish lands -- in 1619 aboard a Dutch vessel. From 1500 to 1900, approximately 12 million Africans were forced from their homes to go westward, with about 10 million of them completing the journey. Yet very few ended up in the British colonies and young American republic. By 1808, when the trans-Atlantic slave trade to the U.S. officially ended, only about 6 percent of African slaves landing in the New World had come to North America.

Slavery in the North


Colonial slavery had a slow start, particularly in the North. The proportion there never got much above 5 percent of the total population. Scholars have speculated as to why, without coming to a definite conclusion. Some surmise that indentured servants were fundamentally better suited to the Northern climate, crops, and tasks at hand; some claim that anti-slavery sentiment provided the explanation. At the time of the American Revolution, fewer than 10 percent of the half million slaves in the thirteen colonies resided in the North, working primarily in agriculture. New York had the greatest number, with just over 20,000. New Jersey had close to 12,000 slaves. Vermont was the first Northern region to abolish slavery when it became an independent republic in 1777. Most of the original Northern colonies implemented a process of gradual emancipation in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, requiring the children of slave mothers to remain in servitude for a set period, typically 28 years. Other regions above the Mason-Dixon line ended slavery upon statehood early in the nineteenth century -- Ohio in 1803 and Indiana in 1816, for instance.

TABLE 1
Population of the Original Thirteen Colonies, selected years by type



1750

1750




1790

1790




1790

1810




1810

1810

1860




1860

1860

State


White

Black




White

Free




Slave

White




Free

Slave

White




Free

Slave
















Nonwhite













Nonwhite










Nonwhite







108,270

3,010




232,236

2,771




2,648

255,179




6,453

310

451,504




8,643

-

Connecticut

27,208

1,496




46,310

3,899




8,887

55,361




13,136

4,177

90,589




19,829

1,798

Delaware

4,200

1,000




52,886

398




29,264

145,414




1,801

105,218

591,550




3,538

462,198

Georgia

97,623

43,450




208,649

8,043




103,036

235,117




33,927

111,502

515,918




83,942

87,189

Maryland

183,925

4,075




373,187

5,369




-

465,303




6,737

-

1,221,432




9,634

-

Massachusetts

26,955

550




141,112

630




157

182,690




970

-

325,579




494

-

New Hampshire

66,039

5,354




169,954

2,762




11,423

226,868




7,843

10,851

646,699




25,318

-

New Jersey

65,682

11,014




314,366

4,682




21,193

918,699




25,333

15,017

3,831,590




49,145

-

New York

53,184

19,800




289,181

5,041




100,783

376,410




10,266

168,824

629,942




31,621

331,059

North Carolina

116,794

2,872




317,479

6,531




3,707

786,804




22,492

795

2,849,259




56,956

-

Pennsylvania

29,879

3,347




64,670

3,484




958

73,214




3,609

108

170,649




3,971

-

Rhode Island

25,000

39,000




140,178

1,801




107,094

214,196




4,554

196,365

291,300




10,002

402,406

South Carolina

129,581

101,452




442,117

12,866




292,627

551,534




30,570

392,518

1,047,299




58,154

490,865

Virginia

















































934,340

236,420




2,792,325

58,277




681,777

4,486,789




167,691

1,005,685

12,663,310




361,247

1,775,515

United States

















































Source: Historical Statistics of the U.S. (1970), Franklin (1988).

Slavery in the South


Throughout colonial and antebellum history, U.S. slaves lived primarily in the South. Slaves comprised less than a tenth of the total Southern population in 1680 but grew to a third by 1790. At that date, 293,000 slaves lived in Virginia alone, making up 42 percent of all slaves in the U.S. at the time. South Carolina, North Carolina, and Maryland each had over 100,000 slaves. After the American Revolution, the Southern slave population exploded, reaching about 1.1 million in 1810 and over 3.9 million in 1860.

TABLE 2
Population of the South 1790-1860 by type



Year

White

Free Nonwhite

Slave













1790

1,240,454

32,523

654,121

1800

1,691,892

61,575

851,532

1810

2,118,144

97,284

1,103,700

1820

2,867,454

130,487

1,509,904

1830

3,614,600

175,074

1,983,860

1840

4,601,873

207,214

2,481,390

1850

6,184,477

235,821

3,200,364

1860

8,036,700

253,082

3,950,511

Source: Historical Statistics of the U.S. (1970).

Slave Ownership Patterns


Despite their numbers, slaves typically comprised a minority of the local population. Only in antebellum South Carolina and Mississippi did slaves outnumber free persons. Most Southerners owned no slaves and most slaves lived in small groups rather than on large plantations. Less than one-quarter of white Southerners held slaves, with half of these holding fewer than five and fewer than 1 percent owning more than one hundred. In 1860, the average number of slaves residing together was about ten.

TABLE 3
Slaves as a Percent of the Total Population


selected years, by Southern state




1750

1790

1810

1860

State

Black/total

Slave/total

Slave/total

Slave/total




population

population

population

population
















Alabama










45.12

Arkansas










25.52

Delaware

5.21

15.04

5.75

1.60

Florida










43.97

Georgia

19.23

35.45

41.68

43.72

Kentucky




16.87

19.82

19.51

Louisiana










46.85

Maryland

30.80

32.23

29.30

12.69

Mississippi










55.18

Missouri










9.72

North Carolina

27.13

25.51

30.39

33.35

South Carolina

60.94

43.00

47.30

57.18

Tennessee







17.02

24.84

Texas










30.22

Virginia

43.91

39.14

40.27

30.75
















Overall

37.97

33.95

33.25

32.27

Sources: Historical Statistics of the United States (1970), Franklin (1988).

TABLE 4
Holdings of Southern Slaveowners


by states, 1860

State

Total

Held 1

Held 2

Held 3

Held 4

Held 5

Held 1-5

Held 100-

Held 500+




slaveholders

slave

slaves

Slaves

slaves

slaves

slaves

499 slaves

slaves































AL

33,730

5,607

3,663

2,805

2,329

1,986

16,390

344

-

AR

11,481

2,339

1,503

1,070

894

730

6,536

65

1

DE

587

237

114

74

51

34

510

-

-

FL

5,152

863

568

437

365

285

2,518

47

-

GA

41,084

6,713

4,335

3,482

2,984

2,543

20,057

211

8

KY

38,645

9,306

5,430

4,009

3,281

2,694

24,720

7

-

LA

22,033

4,092

2,573

2,034

1,536

1,310

11,545

543

4

MD

13,783

4,119

1,952

1,279

1,023

815

9,188

16

-

MS

30,943

4,856

3,201

2,503

2,129

1,809

14,498

315

1

MO

24,320

6,893

3,754

2,773

2,243

1,686

17,349

4

-

NC

34,658

6,440

4,017

3,068

2,546

2,245

18,316

133

-

SC

26,701

3,763

2,533

1,990

1,731

1,541

11,558

441

8

TN

36,844

7,820

4,738

3,609

3,012

2,536

21,715

47

-

TX

21,878

4,593

2,874

2,093

1,782

1,439

12,781

54

-

VA

52,128

11,085

5,989

4,474

3,807

3,233

28,588

114

-































TOTAL

393,967

78,726

47,244

35,700

29,713

24,886

216,269

2,341

22

Source: Historical Statistics of the United States (1970).

Rapid Natural Increase in U.S. Slave Population


How did the U.S. slave population increase nearly fourfold between 1810 and 1860, given the demise of the trans-Atlantic trade? They enjoyed an exceptional rate of natural increase. Unlike elsewhere in the New World, the South did not require constant infusions of immigrant slaves to keep its slave population intact. In fact, by 1825, 36 percent of the slaves in the Western hemisphere lived in the U.S. This was partly due to higher birth rates, which were in turn due to a more equal ratio of female to male slaves in the U.S. relative to other parts of the Americas. Lower mortality rates also figured prominently. Climate was one cause; crops were another. U.S. slaves planted and harvested first tobacco and then, after Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin in 1793, cotton. This work was relatively less grueling than the tasks on the sugar plantations of the West Indies and in the mines and fields of South America. Southern slaves worked in industry, did domestic work, and grew a variety of other food crops as well, mostly under less abusive conditions than their counterparts elsewhere. For example, the South grew half to three-quarters of the corn crop harvested between 1840 and 1860.
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