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Essay on Frederick Douglass's views about slavery in the city and slavery on plantations

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´╗┐BLST 33000 AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY Essay on Frederick Douglass's views about slavery in the city and slavery on plantations Slavery did not function as many people now think it did. It was not as large-scale as it is imagined to be and was very systematic. Our textbook tells a lot about how it worked, but it did not tell us of the brutality and harsh reality that went along with the system. Douglas, though, did reveal this to us. From his experience and the textbook, we learn of slavery s effects and of the difference between city slaves and plantation slaves. However, Douglas stories do differ from what the textbook teaches us. Slaves on the plantation had a much different life than slaves in the city. City slaves were far better off. ...read more.


For much of his life, he lived in Baltimore where he was better fed and clothed than anywhere he had ever been. Slaves in the cities were generally treated better than those on plantations. There were also community standards regarding how slaves should be treated and slaves are treated better, and which is an easier place from which to escape to freedom. In the country slaves are often whipped brutally, and they are rarely given enough food or clothing. Slave owners in the city would be ashamed for their neighbors to see their slaves going without enough food or clothing. Slaves in the city enjoy relatively greater freedom than plantation slaves. Urban slave owners are careful not to appear cruel or neglectful to slaves in the eyes of non-slaveholding whites. ...read more.


Large plantations operated like self-sustaining villages, and were often isolated from the outside world. Work on these plantations was never-ending for slaves. Adult male slaves were primarily relied on to tend the fields, pastures, and gardens. Overseers on horseback equipped with whips monitored slaves, always threatening to punish "stragglers" with a flogging. Plantation owners also exploited the work of skilled slaves, such as blacksmiths and carpenters, for their own ends. Lastly, female slaves and young children usually served as domestics, tending to the master's family as cooks, servants, and housemaids, and were often starved, whipped, and even raped. City slaves, either domestics or tradesmen, participated in the economies of the urban areas, and represented up to a fifth of the population in some large antebellum cities. Many of the city slaves were given training as artisans or tradesmen. ...read more.

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