slave paper

Submitted By bakes1994
Words: 948
Pages: 4

Topic: 1
By the 1740 ’s, Slavery in New York City was a fully- developed system. Slavery was based on the chattel principle. Slaves were thought as property by their slave owner. Slavery started when poor Europeans sold their slaves to become indentured servants. The idea of indentured servants failed and so the colonists turned to importing African Americans to Jamestown. Slaves were put through strenuous work on plantations doing their owners work for them. This created a relationship between the slave and their slave holders that would be physically brutal at times and showed some rare relationships that were not so bad at times. Being a slave meant it was impossible to be a “free man” and live a typical life of a colonial man back then. The slaves would start creating relationships with slaves around them. The average daily life of an African American slave would vary. It would be very different from the daily life of a colonist. African American males would be bought strictly for labor intensive work. This would include working on the sugar crops because the white men were getting hurt due to how hard the work was on their bodies. The men would have to wake up early and start work. Besides just working on the sugar crops, the men would have to do whatever other “chores” the slave masters would want them to. These other “chores” would include doing skilled and unskilled work, hauling crates and barrels to and from markets, and fetching tea water. African American women or “seasoned” teens would be bought based on fertility (34). It was hard to born children of female slaves. Mortality rates rose when women reached around their thirties. It was hard to have children because of poor nutrition while pregnant, diseases, and complicated child birth. Since women could not have their own children most of the time, they would take care of their masters’ children. They mostly worked indoors doing domestic work or cooking (152). In 1740, the term slave codes were established. This is the law that basically made it physically impossible for slaves to become a “free man”. Slave owners were able to do whatever they would like to do to their slaves without getting in trouble. They were able to beat their slaves if they felt the need to do so and as brutal as they wanted. There was a code that even stated that there was no need for slave owners to be punished if they even killed their own slaves. In the book, they established slave codes in New York because they were afraid. They believed slaves were rebelling so they felt the need to put more control in their hands and make up slave codes. The masters were afraid of how many blacks there were. There were fires that kept on occurring at night and so they believed it was a conspiracy. The common council passed a law that no black, Mullatto, or Indian slave could be seen on the streets of the city after sun-set without a lantern. If they were caught they would be punished by being whipped (57). The council passed other laws as well that made it illegal for slaves to leave their masters house or plantation on Lords Day without a written pass from their master. There were laws that stated it was illegal for slaves to meet with more than three other slaves. It was illegal for whites to sell rum and other alcohol to blacks as well. The slaves were not allowed to gamble on the streets for money. Although, one Sunday night after Christmas dozens of slaves walked to the outskirts of the town and drank rum and punch that was served by whites. This violated every law there was. The