Slavery Stereotypes

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One of the main stereotypes promoted by these documents is the idea of a happy slave. They were portrayed as overgrown children who had to to be guided by their masters. George Fitzhugh believed that without enslavement Blacks would, “freeze or starve”. Furthermore, he and Hammond believed that “the negro race is inferior to the white race”. Unsurprisingly, these stereotypes even included some sort of biological basis to explain the condition of slaves. Dr. Cartwright believed that drapetomania was a disease unique to the slaves that caused them to run away. According to Cartwright unless the slaves were “frightened or panic-struck”, they would become “sulky and dissatisfied” before they ran away. The cure was to whip “the devil out of them.” …show more content…
He believed that their inability to take care of themselves required the White plantation owners to help the Blacks through the institution of slavery. Their inferiority also ensured that they would not be able to survive in the competitive free world. Therefore, in order to prevent them from dying of starvation and severe weather, they needed to be slaves. According to Cartwright, this position of White superiority was god given. The slave had to be taught his position of "the submissive knee-bender" both by kindness as well as by punishment when required. Hammond believed that the sole purpose of the Black people was to be slaves. He justified that in every society some section has to “do the menial duties, to perform the drudgery of life.” The prerequisites for this class along with their inferior intellect were “vigor, docility, fidelity.” Such a class was essential for the progress of mankind. His belief was that the slaves were a role given to the Blacks by "consent of mankind”. He even used the words of the Roman philosopher Cicero, "lex naturae est." to argue that the best proof was Nature’s law. Edmund Ruffin echoed much the same sentiment stating that no progress has ever been made without slaves. Thus, slavery can “readily deduced from the early conditions of society.” In his mind, history …show more content…
The Underground Railroad system ran primarily as a form of charity and through donations. However, they soon found that while they were technically free in the North, they were not granted the rights of a citizen. The Northerners financed a large part of the cotton industry; therefore, they wanted to keep the slaves in the South. Their chief fear was a flood of migration resulting in the loss of jobs. Thus, even in the North, the slaves faced a bias, albeit more subtle. Thus, whether people wanted to admit it or not, a large section of the population, both North and South, were against liberating the

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