Slavery and Freedom by Willie Lee Rose

By Willie Lee Rose

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But the result was the same. The Virginia legislature opted, in the first twenty years of the new century, for a course designed to make slavery a safe and profitable institution, and one that did the private conscience of slave owners as little violence as possible. Other southern states followed suit. 10 Domestication proceeded to feed on itself. New laws consolidating the regime, by reducing society's fears allowed masters to heed those other new laws requiring more humane treatment. The result was a more regular and systematic labor system, obtained more often by the threat of force than its employment.

During the extended strug- 33 Slavery gle with Sampson and Icy nothing disturbed King more than the charge Sampson circulated that he (King) and Sambo had divided between themselves the money raised from a part of the rice crop that was traditionally used to buy dried fish for the slaves themselves. Over this point, and Sampson's assertion of his responsibility for little Emanuel's death, and other alleged ill use of the plantation people, overseer King eventually offered his resignation as manager of Butler's estate.

This complexity was not just a characteristic of good or bad plantations, but a plantation characteristic. Still another characteristic of a domesticated regime was that plantations less harmful to the body could be more afflicting to the soul. Much can be learned about the patriarchy by examining 34 The Domestication of Domestic Slavery what was left once it was destroyed. During the Civil War a young teacher who was working with freedmen in South Carolina, an area of high concentration of slaves, observed that all slaves in the neighborhood knew who the good masters were, and who were the cruel ones, and that they all agreed.

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