I Was A Slave To Tobacco
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In January, , with my older brothers I was hired to Judge Applegate, who conducted a tobacco factory at Keytesville, Missouri. I was then about ten years old. At Judge Applegate's I was kept busy every minute from sunrise to sunset, without being allowed to speak a word to anyone. I was punished by the overseer, a Mr. Blankenship, every time he caught me napping, which was quite often during the first few months.
US Slave: Tobacco Slavery
My master had about slaves, engaged chiefly in the cultivation of tobacco, this and wheat being the staple produce of Virginia at that time. The slaves had to work very hard in digging the ground with what is termed a grub hoe. The slaves leave their huts quite early in the morning, and work until late at night, especially in the spring and fall. I have known them very often, when my master has been away drinking, work all night long, husking Indian corn to put into cribs.
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The English settlement of the colonies in the Chesapeake saw slaves introduced from the earliest days, but, as in Barbados, slaves did not become vital until much later. Tobacco transformed everything. In South Carolina, the introduction of rice cultivation like sugar, hard, unpleasant work in difficult conditions saw a similar drift to African slave labour. By the mid-century, there were about , slaves in the Chesapeake and 40, working in the rice fields.
Shortly after Independence, there were , slaves scattered throughout North America. Though concentrated mainly in the old South, slavery had slipped into all corners of North American life. It differed greatly between colonies, between town and country, and especially between crops.
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Table of Contents. Cover Download Save. Title Page, Copyright Download Save. Acknowledgments pp. Contents pp.
Tobacco in the American colonies
Illustrations pp. Tables pp. Introduction: The Making of a Slave Society pp. From Outpost to Slave Society, — pp. Land and Labor in the Household Economy, — pp. Before abolition, some slave owners developed consciences and voluntarily freed their slaves.
Some tobacco industry executives and researchers have turned away from the tobacco business, even turning their knowledge against it. As late as , when asked, "What would you do with your manufacturing plant if scientists proved that cigarettes were a cause of cancer? Simply because an act is not illegal does not make it morally justifiable - slavery did not change its basic nature from moral to immoral the day after the 13th Amendment was passed in the United States, nor did it somehow remain ethical in the U.
There is little doubt that someday tobacco will be a relic of history.
Tobacco and Slaves: The Development of Southern Cultures in the Chesapeake, 1680-1800
That does not make profiting from death and disease defensible today. Tap here to turn on desktop notifications to get the news sent straight to you. Hands tied with rope on a black background. Help us tell more of the stories that matter from voices that too often remain unheard. Join HuffPost Plus. Real Life.
Meet the slaves of tobacco
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