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77 Caird, English Agriculture, p. 73; Anonymous, A Country Rector's Address to His Parishioners (London: Hatchard & Son; and C.J.G. & F. Rivington; and J. Swinnerton, Macclesfield, 1830), p. 19; A Plain Statement of the Case of the Labourer; for the Consideration of the Yeomen and Gentlemen of the Southern Districts of England (London: Whittaker, Treacher, and Arnot, 1830; and Winchester: Robbins and Wheeler, 1830), p. 24; reprint ed., Kenneth E. Carpenter, ed., The Rising of the Agricultural Labourers: Nine Pamphlets and Six Broadsides 1830-1831, British Labour Struggles: Contemporary Pamphlets 1727-1850 (New York: Arno Press, New York Times Co., 1972). The latter's sample budgets, with their modicum of comfort, are found on pp. 4, 21-23. When compared to the testimony of Thomas Stuart, a Bedfordshire farm laborer, they appear realistic. This man spent fifteen shillings a year "for a pair of strong shoes to go to work in," and the sample budget said men's shoes cost thirteen shillings. He spent less on shoes for the rest of his family than the sample budget did, however, saying his whole family in one year "stands me in 2 £ for shoe bills." See the excerpt of the Select Committee on Labourers' Wages, BPP, 1824, vol. VI, in Agar, Bedfordshire Farm Worker, p. 67.

78 cf. Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 1:236.

79 Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, pp. 112, 147.

80 Jenny Proctor of Alabama remembered that some cracks were chinked up and some were not. Marion Johnson, once a slave in Louisiana, could count the stars through the cracks in his mother's cabin. Millie Evans of North Carolina recalled that "nice dirt floors was the style then." Showing the master was not especially neglectful for one quarters of twelve cabins, ex-slave Rose Williams regarded it as good in quality, yet still noted: "There am no floor, just the ground." Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, pp. 62, 89, 139, 161. Solomon Northrup described his cabin as being built of logs, without window or floor, with large crevices letting in the necessary light and unnecessary rain! Northrup, Twelve Years a Slave, p. 128.

81 Drew, Refugee, p. 155. Kemble found similar conditions at St. Annie's, in which the bondsmen's homes failed to keep out the rain. Journal, p. 239; Booker T. Washington, Up From Slavery (1901; New York: Airmount Publishing Company, 1967), pp. 15-16; Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 1:207.


Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 1:38, 340, 373; Kemble, Journal, p. 242; Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, p. 75.

83 Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 1:52, 237-38; 2:166, 193, 195; Armstrong, Old Massa's People, p. 57; Marion Johnson's testimony in Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, p. 139.

84 Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 1:360, 373-74; 2:44-45 (generally), 2:4-5 (Texas), 2:105-106 (Mississippi), 2:112 (Alabama); Kemble, Journal, p. 116, 248; see also Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, pp. 532-34.

85 Fogel and Engerman, Time on the Cross, 1:116; Sutch in David, Reckoning, p. 294; Kemble, Journal, p. 30. The housing comparisons with the sea-island cotton estate and other local places are on pp. 178-79, 187, 234, 236, 242; Bassett, Plantation Overseer, p. 262; Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, p. 525; Blassingame, Slave Community, p. 254; Stampp, Peculiar Institution, pp. 294-95. Genovese's portrayal of the poor whites' housing conditions is similar to the above. Roll, Jordan, Roll, pp. 533-34.

86 Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, p. 526; Richard Sutch in David, et al, Reckoning, pp. 292-98.

87 Frederick Law Olmsted, A Journey in the Seaboard Slave States in the Years 1853-1854 with Remarks on Their Economy (New York, 1856; reprint ed., New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1904), 2:317. Genovese's reference to pp. 659-60 is to the 1856 edition. Also see Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 1:320; Kemble, Journal, pp. 24, 134-315, 234; cf. pp. 66-67.

88 Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 2:218; Bonnie Thornton Dill, "Our Mothers' Grief: Racial Ethnic Women and the Maintenance of Families," Journal of Family History, 13 (1988):420; Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, pp. 462-63.

89 Kemble, Journal, p. 23, 24, 30-31, 213. Interestingly, Kemble's work features not only an almost complete lack of racism, but a nearly continual rebuttal against it, which was surely rare for whites living in America. Perhaps it was in part due to her being an Englishwoman, for Jacobs experienced no racism in England, unlike in the North: "During all that time [ten months in England], I never saw the slightest symptom of prejudice against color." Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, p. 190; compare pp. 180-82.

90 Crader, "Slave Diet," pp. 694, 713; Davis, Plantation Life, pp. 153, 190. See also Stampp, Peculiar Institution, p. 311; Note Harriett Payne's comments, Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, p. 147.

91 As Fogel and Engerman, Time on the Cross, 1:121 note: "Few matters were more frequently emphasized in the instructions to overseers than the need to insure not only the personal cleanliness of slaves but also the cleanliness of their clothes, their bedding, and their cabins." Since such instructions were likely those written by the owners of the largest and best-established plantations, naturally any paternalistic impulses on hygiene would show up disproportionately in whatever records Fogel and Engerman examined. Nevertheless, as Kemble's husband's two plantations demonstrate, even large, long-established plantations could be very ill-kept places populated with ill-washed slaves.

92 Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, p. 528.

93 David Hoseason Morgan, Harvesters and Harvesting 1840-1900: A Study of the Rural Proletariat (London: Croom Helm, 1982), pp. 184-85.

94 Caird, English Agriculture, p. 95.

95 Ibid., pp. 75-76. See also Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, first report, p. xxv.

96 Under the settlement law of 1662, a newly arrived worker to one parish could be forcibly removed to his parish of origin/settlement if he or she was likely to become chargeable (i.e., take relief) within 40 days of arrival, at the expense of the parish of settlement. But starting in 1795, the law prohibited evicting the poor until they became actually chargeable to the parish, and it switched the expense of removal to the parish ordering the eviction. See Deane, First Industrial Revolution, p. 153.

97 Cf. Caird, English Agriculture, pp. 75-76.

98 Rule, Labouring Classes, p. 76; Arch, Joseph Arch, pp. 44, 127. He cited the 1867-68 Parliamentary Commission on conditions in agriculture to bolster his case. Admittedly, as a union leader, he had an incentive to exaggerate how common bad conditions were; Somerville, Whistler, pp. 172, 380; See the testimony of Emma Thompson and Mark Crabtree in Agar, Bedfordshire Farm Worker, pp. 90-91, 127; Parliamentary History, Feb. 12, 1797, as cited in the Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, first report, p. iv.

99 Rule, Labouring Classes, pp. 78-81; The Vicar of Terrington as quoted in John Patrick, "Agricultural Gangs," History Today, March 1986, p. 24. Similar concerns also appear in Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, first report, pp. 24-25. Caird incidently noted this problem. English Agriculture, p. 516.

100 Somerville, Whistler, p. 271; Olmsted, Walks and Talks, p. 239. Similarly, Somerville denied a certain Mr. Bennet's statement that England was "highly civilized" if he included the laborers, especially since they no longer ate and lived in the farmers' own homes. Whistler, p. 147.

101 Rule, Labouring Classes, p. 81; Olmsted, Walks and Talks, p. 239, mentions a minister who declared society intentionally and permanently should always have one part dependent on the charity of another part.

102 Rule, Labouring Classes, p. 78; Arch, Joseph Arch, p. 44; Olmsted, Walks and Talks, pp. 76, 208-10.

103 Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, first report, p. xxv; Somerville, Whistler, p. 380; Caird, English Agriculture, p. 389.

104 According to Edward Butt, before the French Revolution cottages went for 40-50s./year. Two guineas for a cottage with a garden was common. Committee on the New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, second report, p. 8; Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, first report, p. xxv; For the cottage-owner's comments, see Committee on the New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, first report, p. 14; Somerville, Whistler, p. 416.

105 Caird, English Agriculture, pp. 161, 197, 516; Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, first report, pp. xvi, xxv, xliv.

106 Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, pp. xi, xv (improving cottage quality), lv (profitability problem); Committee on New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, first report, p. 14; Caird, English Agriculture, p. 125;

107 Caird, English Agriculture, pp. 76, 98 (Duke of Wellington), 182 (Duke of Bedford), 197, 516. Somerville made similar observations about Wellington's cottages, adding that these were "the best cottages and gardens given to the poor at their rent (£3 10s. a-year) that I have seen in any part of the kingdom." Whistler, p. 131; Agar, Bedfordshire Farm Worker, pp. 21 (Culley's observation), 69 (Duke of Bedfordshire), 301 (Lord Beverly), 389-90 (Northumberland/Waterford), 401-2 (Duke of Devonshire); Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, first report, p. xvi; Somerville, Whistler, pp. 371, 375-76.

108 Committee on New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, first report, 1837, p. 14. In the second report, p. 7, for the parish of Petworth, Lord Egremont charged nearly one-third less rent for comparable housing (tenements for the poor) than the tradesmen who owned houses there; Somerville, Whistler, p. 172; Rule, Labouring Classes, p. 78.

109 Rule, Labouring Classes, p. 87; Jeffries, Hodge, 1:167; Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, eds. and trans. W.O. Henderson and W.H. Chaloner (New York: Macmillan Co., 1958), p. 110.

110 Arch, Joseph Arch, p. 352. But during this same general time period, Jeffries noted the increasing pressures for improving sanitary conditions in villages, which the landowners normally had to shoulder the burden of paying for. Even if they delayed making improvements, "it is impossible to avoid them altogether." Hodge, 2:113; Caird, English Agriculture, p. 390.

111 Jeffries, Hodge, 2:70.

112 Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, p. 121, 62 (Evans), 315 (Johnson); Douglass, Narrative, p. 43; Northrup, Twelve Years a Slave, p. 128; Kemble, Journal, pp. 67, 315; Drew, Refugee, 1969, p. 109; At one fairly typical poor white's cabin, Olmsted took off his stockings initially when going to bed, but almost immediately put them back on, pulling them over his pantaloons. "The advantage of this arrangement was that, although my face, eyes, ears, neck, and hands, were immediately attacked, the vermin did not reach my legs for two or three hours." Cotton Kingdom, 2:107.

113 Kemble, Journal, pp. 66-67, 314-15; Charles E. Orser, Jr., "The Archaeological Analysis of Plantation Society: Replacing Status and Caste with Economics and Power," American Antiquity, 53 (1988) 737-38, 746-47; Northrup, Twelve Years a Slave, pp. 148-49. His testimony conflicts with Stampp's view that a majority of slaveowners provided frying pans and iron pots to their bondsmen. Ironically he makes this assessment just after citing Northrup in The Peculiar Institution, p. 287. Compare his treatment (pp. 287-88) with Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, pp. 530-532; Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, pp. 121 (Reynolds), 161 (Williams); Blassingame, The Slave Community, p. 255.

114 Minutes of Evidence Before Select Committee on the Poor Law Amendment Act, BPP, 1838, vol. XVIII, part II, as reprinted in Agar, The Bedfordshire Farm Worker, pp. 90-91; Somerville, Whistler, p. 46.

115 Somerville, Whistler, pp. 257, 413. He described (p. 406) that in Heyshot parish, Sussex, laborers had to sell their gardens, small orchards, and houses in order to get relief. They only needed it to begin with because the local farmers resented their independence, so they refused to hire them except at harvest or some other time of high demand.

116 Kemble, Journal, pp. 47-48; Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 1:87 (charcoal), 103 (my emphasis, Virginia), 104-5, 215 (like fires), 2:180 (collect firewood).

117 The South was "where fuel has no value." Olmsted, Cotton Kingdom, 2:250. Genovese describes the sexual division of labor for fires and fuel: The men collected the firewood, while the women lit or kept the fires burning. In Africa, the sex roles are reversed; the women collect the family's firewood even to this day. Roll, Jordan, Roll, p. 525.


Olmsted, Walks and Talks, p. 73; Deane, First Industrial Revolution, pp. 104, 110.

119 Young, General Report, pp. 158-61. Only blacksmiths used coal near where Isaac Bawcombe lived in Wiltshire in the 1840s, where peat was the main fuel. Hudson, A Shepherd's Life, pp. 75-76. Somerville said the thinness of the turf in Heyshot parish made it a very poor fuel. Where it was a thick mold, "the turf is excellent fuel," but it seems he is judging this by relative English standards. Whistler, p. 405. Note also Cobbett, Rural Rides, p. 234.


Young, General Report, pp. 83, 86; Committee on the New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, second report, p. 8; Cobbett, Rural Rides, p. 196; note also pp. 206, 252-53; Somerville, Whistler, pp. 62-63. This example also showed how annual service could be exploitive as labor paid by the day. This boy was paid just three shillings a week.

121 Rule, Labouring Classes, p. 47; Hammond and Hammond, Village Labourer, pp. 126-28.

122 Commission on Employment in Agriculture, BPP, 1867-68, p. xiv.

123 Hudson, Shepherd's Life, pp. 210-11; R.W. Bushaway, "'Grovely, Grovely, Grovely, and All Grovely': Custom, Crime and Conflict in the English Woodland," History Today, May 1981, p. 43; Hudson, Shepherd's Life, pp. 212-13; Hammond and Hammond, Village Labourer, pp. 128 (charity's limits), 197 (breaking bough). Arch remembered the rector's wife handed out soup and coals in his parish when he was a child. But her charity served as a control device to help humble the poor before their "betters" and to keep them attending the Established Church. At least eventually, his mother refused to take any. Arch, Joseph Arch, pp. 15, 17-18, 21-22.

124 Most Southern slaveholders could not be mistaken for homo economicus, as Kemble knew. They were not calculating businessmen like "Manchester manufacturers or Massachusetts merchants" who would rarely sacrifice financial interests "at the instigation of rage, revenge, and hatred." In a portrait familiar to readers of Olmsted's travels, she said: "The planters of the interior of the Southern and Southwestern states, with their furious feuds and slaughterous combats, their stabbings and pistolings, their gross sensuality, brutal ignorance, and despotic cruelty, resemble the chivalry of France before the horrors of the Jacquerie . . . With such men as these, human life, even when it can be bought or sold in the market for so many dollars, is but little protected by considerations of interest from the effects of any violent passion." Kemble, Journal, pp. 301, 303. The roughneck, non-calculating culture of Southern slaveowners seriously weakens the standard apologetic for slavery, since the owner's self-interest could not be counted on to restrain how he treated his property.

125 Eugene Genovese, "The Medical and Insurance Costs of Slaveholding in the Cotton Belt," Journal of Negro History 45 (July 1960):152; Davis, Plantation Life, p. 48.

126 Davis, Plantation Life, p. 278. Fogel and Engerman note that doctors' bills listing both the slaves and owning family's members treated on the same visit do exist. Time on the Cross, 1:120.

127 For example, he condemned the repairman of his gin for talking to his blacks as if they were equals. He ran off his property the proud, well-dressed mulatto son of a nearby planter who dared to pass through his plantation's quarters. Davis, Plantation Life, pp. 186-87, 206-7.

128 Davis, Plantation Life, pp. 198, 280. Barrow had vaccinated himself and his children against some (unnamed) disease earlier (p. 87). Bassett, Plantation Overseer, p. 29 (Plowden), p. 115.

129 Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, pp. 71, 92-93.

130 Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, p. 122 (Reynolds), 71-72 (Kendricks); Stampp, Peculiar Institution, p. 315; Fogel and Engerman, Time on the Cross, 1:120; Bassett, Plantation Overseer, p. 29. Weston also provided a hospital for his slaves, p. 28; Kemble, Journal, pp. 32-33, 214; Stampp (p. 313) notes an ideal hospital built on James Hamilton Couper's Georgia rice plantation. Its ideal conditions, including steam heat and floors swept daily and scrubbed once a week, should not be seen as common. Kemble said that her husband's slaves were better off than many owned by other masters in their neighborhood.

131 On the independent source of authority the conjurors had, see Genovese, Roll, Jordan, Roll, p. 221; Kemble, Journal, p. 63; Armstrong, Old Massa's People, pp. 64-66.

132 On the value of slave midwives, see Mary Beth Norton, Liberty's Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1750-1800 (Glenview, IL: Scott, Foresman & Co., 1980), p. 31; Kemble, Journal, pp. 28-29, 317; Armstrong, Old Massa's People, p. 176; Bassett, Plantation Overseer, p. 141.

133 In northeast England after about 1720 parishes routinely hired doctors to care for the parish poor. Earlier cases, such as Newcastle paying a surgeon in the 1560s, also appear. P. Rushton, "The Poor Law, the Parish, and the Community in North-East England," Northern History 25 (1989):146.

134 Committee on the New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, first report, pp. 22, 50, 67.

135 One doctor told Edward Butt, the relieving officer for Petworth parish under Gilbert's act, and briefly relieving officer for Petworth and Kirdford parishes under the New Poor Law, that he would not wait to get the relief orders from him before aiding the poor: "I shall never stop for your orders, because you may away at a distance; before I can get the order from you, a person may be dead." Ibid., second report, p. 2.

136 Ibid., first report, pp. 51-52, 67.

137 Ibid., pp. 18-19.

138 Thompson, Making, pp. 241 (Mayhew), 419 ("Most were artisans,") 421. Thompson sees benefit clubs as one of the main sources of the development and expression of class consciousness and the working class's sense of organization in resisting the elite in English society; Frank E. Huggett, A Day in the Life of a Victorian Farm Worker (London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1972), p. 60; Committee on the New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, first report, p. 18; Arch, Joseph Arch, p. 34; Hudson, A Shepherd's Life, pp. 299-304.

139 Arch, Joseph Arch, pp. 54-56; On the value of inoculations early on, see John Rule, The Vital Century: England's Developing Economy, 1714-1815 (New York: Longman Group, 1992), pp. 11-12.

140 Committee on the New Poor Law, BPP, 1837, second report, pp. 8-9.

141 Jeffries, Hodge, 2:145. See also p. 144.

142 This crude approximation of the relative proportion of northern English farmworkers is supported by the figures for total population by county found in Phyllis Deane and W.A. Cole, British Economic Growth 1688-1959 Trends and Structure, 2d ed. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1967), p. 103.

143 Although accepting the elite's legal categories, Young does see the problems in ignoring the poor's customary rights: General Report, pp. 12-14, 32-33, 155, 158; cf. p. 99.

144 Brent, Incidents, pp. 188-89.

145 Kemble, Journal, pp. 44, 140-41.

146 The conditions of work and the resulting relationships that existed between the superior and subordinate class's individuals on the job are an important aspect of the quality of life. But since the struggles between these two groups and the methods of resistance and control are so closely tied to the quality of life aspects of work, this subject is covered in sections four and five.

147 Freedwoman Rose Williams of Texas, Botkin, Lay My Burden Down, p. 161; Douglass, Narrative, p. 92; 1178a5-8; The Basic Works of Aristotle, ed. Richard McKeon (New York: Random House, 1941), p. 1105; Kemble, Journal, p. 115. In this context she mentions a mentally retarded woman who is as capable at field work as other slaves without this handicap. By contrast, she noted London, a literate slave and preacher on the same plantation, must have felt deep frustration since he had a more informed outlook on life and the world.

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