African American Slavery Essay

1554 Words Sep 26th, 2012 7 Pages
This paper intends to discuss the daily life of African American slaves in the nineteenth century. The first Africans landed in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia. By this time numerous accounts of slave life were published. The origins of slavery in the United States can be traced to colonial America where there was an abundance of agricultural land but not enough labor. In responding to that, this paper will also discuss, first, the importance slavery played on the economic and political development of the United States; second it will explain the daily life of African American slaves; and lastly defending that slavery is not “a positive good”. In conclusion I will explain what led me to this topic, why this subject is important to world …show more content…
Woman slaves who were pregnant were treated with no greater compassion and with no less severity than her man. Slave owners had a reserved punishment for woman that were pregnant; “She is compelled to lie down over a hole made to receive her corpulency, and is flogged with the whip, or beat with a paddle, which has hoes in it; at every stroke comes a blister”. In order for a black woman to function as a slave, they needed to annul themselves from being a woman and equal themselves to men. Slaves were treated with barbarous inhumanity. They often had to wear iron collars around their necks, drag heavy chains and weights at their feet while working in the fields to prevent runaways. Sometimes slave owners put them in stocks all day with gags in their mouths, causing their teeth to break off. Each day they were severely punished with whips. Slaves were tortured for the entertainment of their masters, they would get pepper rubbed into their cuts, burnt and beaten naked. The life African American slaves lived was cruel, although in time many were able to create a tolerable life and community for themselves. Virtually no one today defends slavery as a “positive good”. Slavery is evil. Today many historians have a controversy determining just what life was like under slavery. It is true that slavery brought riches to the port cities of Boston, New York, Charleston,

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