Essay on South Northern Slavery

Submitted By saraholsen
Words: 707
Pages: 3


Slavery in the North and South

January 21, 2014

Slavery in the North and South
Northern slavery in America grew out of the irony the new continent presented to it’s original homeland, Europe. Since America was newly develop, there was so much untouched land, and was able to be purchased at cheap prices that no one wanted to come to America to work as a laborer when they could be the owner of the land. This was the dream of Europeans, to come to the new world and obtain large masses of land. With the undeveloped land, came the need for someone to develop the land, clearing the land, building structures and working the land. The settlers originally hired labor for 280 guilders a year, plus food and lodging, African slaves could be bought for life for only 300 guilders (Bankston, 2006).
In the early 1700’s, the slaves status wasn’t as bad as one would imagine and not what we read about in our history books. Slaves’ status in the northern colonies resembled that of an indentured servant. Some slaves that were brought to America were regarded as servants, who, after a number of years would be eligible for freedom. Slavery was on the decline in England and most of Europe during this time. This may be why slavery was not as horrid in the early history of our nation as what it progressively turned to in the 1800’s (Bankston, 2006). The “Body of Liberties,” (Bankston, 2006) in 1641, was the first official recognition that slavery was legal. New Plymouth, Connecticut, and Rhode Island all legalized slavery throughout 1641-1652, meaning that these states had formally legalized slavery well before the South. In 1664, Maryland declared that all blacks held in the colony and those that came in the future would serve for life, and Virginia followed as well. New York, New Jersey and then Pennsylvania eventually passed similar laws (Bankston, 2006).

Slavery in the North can be divided into two regions, New England and the Mid-Atlantic. New England was the center of slave trade in the colonies. The Mid-Atlantic colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) had been under Dutch rule before the British took over. Both regions preferred to obtain slaves from other colonies rather than directly from Africa. “These slaves were familiar with Western customs and habits of work, qualities highly prized in a region where masters and slaves worked and lived in close proximity” (Strickland, 2001). Because these slaves were already in the new world, they were already adjusted to winter, which killed many slaves that came directly from Africa. In the average household in New England and the Mid-Atlantic there were only about 2 slaves, more than 10 slaves were rare. Because of their geographical location, the long winters made owning slaves a burden as they could not work on the