Slave Life

           House Slaves    
    House slaves generally lived better lives then field slaves. They had better living conditions and worked inside the Slave Master's house, away from the scorching sun and heat. House slaves were treated like the children of the Slave Master, and though illegal, many of the women in the houselhold would educate their house slaves. House slaves were also promised their freedom after their master's death, but sadly, this usually never happened.


                    Food and Clothing
     Slaves on a plantation recieved a monthly "sllowance" of food. This usually included  Corn-Meal, and Salt Herring. slaves who worked hard, generally got more food. Frederick Douglas recieved one bushel of corn-meal, and 8 pounds of pork and fish each month. For clothing slaves got a small set of clothes to last them about 2-3 years. The set of clothes included 2 coarse, cotton shirts, one pair of trousers, or pants, one light jacket, one heavy jacket for the winter months, one pair of socks, and one pair of shoes. after the clothes were used for 2-3 years their supply of clothes would be replineshed.

                Field Slaves
Crops grown on plantations, such as,tobacco, rice, cotton and sugar, many of these crops were labor intensive, and needed a lot of work to harvest. Slave owners found that it was much easier to buy cheap slaves, and have them do the labor. Field slaves worked eighteen hour days from sunrise to sunset, women did the same, and even pregnant women were expected to work all day until their child was born.

Back to the Main Page