Most of the migrants from Virginia and the Carolinas to the Old Southwest were men.
Many resisted moving to a place they had heard was dominated by men.
Life on the southern frontier was feared to produce a "dissipation" of morals.
They had heard stories of lawlessness, drunkenness, and whoring.
A woman newly arrived in frontier Alabama wrote that the farmers around her live in a miserable manner.
There are 1,000 bales of cotton.
Blacks who were slaves had many of the same reservations.
African Americans in Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas were forced to migrate to the Old Southwest during the first half of the 19th century.
They lived in "perpetual dread" of the Gulf states' harsh working conditions and were forced to walk hundreds of miles handcuffed in pairs and manacled in iron col ars and chains.
The South, Slavery, and King Cotton were twenty times larger than the number of Native Americans forcibly relocated on the "Trail of Tears" during the 1830s.
Slaves sent "downriver" were sad about being separated from their families.
The frontier environment in the Old Southwest was rough.
Men drank, gambled, and fought.
Whiskey was made on most Old Southwest plantations.
Many frontier families were ravaged by alcoholism.
Both black and white women were abused.
The white men who fathered slave children and then sold them like livestock were denounced by an Alabama woman.
It stretched from eastern North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia through the fertile Alabama- Mississippi "black belt", through Louisiana, on to Texas, and up the Mississippi Valley as far as southern Illinois.
Sailing ships took cotton from the Mississippi River to New Orleans, where it was shipped to New York, New England, Great Britain, and France.
King Cotton made up more than half of all U.S. exports.
Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana were the top three cot ton states by 1860.
The expansion of the cotton belt made the South more dependent on black workers.
In the South, more than half of the slaves worked in cotton production.
Slavery was a stain on the nation's commitment to liberty and equality, as John Quincy Adams wrote in his diary.
This photograph shows the scale of cotton production.
There are a lot of cotton bales on this steamboat on the Mississippi River in Louisiana.
Young white men judged wealth and status by the number of slaves they owned.
American banks, railroads, and factories were combined.
More millionaires per capita lived in Natchez, Mississippi, than anywhere else in the world.
A false sense of security was created by the soaring profitability of cotton.
The South was "safely entrenched behind her cotton bags" 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 800-381-0266 In 1858, South Carolina's former governor, James Henry Hammond, who owned a huge cotton plantation worked by more than 100 slaves, warned against making war on cotton.
There is no power on earth that can make war on it.
The southern economy had become dangerously dependent on European demand for raw cotton.
By 1860, Great Britain imported more than 80 percent of its cotton from the American South.
The expansion of the British textile industry peaked in 1860 and the price paid for southern cotton began to decline.
The Lower South was committed to large- scale cotton production.
The South's social structure was shaped by the culture of cotton and slavery.
The southern society was dominated by an elite group of planters and merchants.
There were only a few giant plantations in the southern states.
The old slaveholding families had a great deal of control.
The richest planters and merchants were determined to control southern society because they thought they were the region's natural leaders.
James Henry Hammond claimed that the planters were essential to the nobility in other countries.
They are at the head of society and politics.
The planters rarely do manual labor.
The marketing and sale of cotton, tobacco, rice, or sugar was handled by the overseers.
A large number of slaves supervised by drivers and overseers distinguishes a plantation from a farm.
Among the wealthiest people in the nation, 11 planters owned 500 slaves each and one planter owned 1,000.
More than half of the slaves were held by the 10,000 most powerful planters.
Out of a total white population of 8 million, 383,637 were slaveholders.
The planters and their wives were used to being waited on by their slaves.
A British visitor was told by a Virginia planter that a slave girl slept in the master bedroom with him and his wife.
The planter elite could neither afford nor control their tastes and habits.
Living the storied life of a planter was the focus of their energy and honor.
The majority of planters began their careers as land traders, investors, and farmers.
They made enough money to purchase a plantation.
The cotton broker became a planter with 444 slaves working 15,000 acres of cotton.
Careful monitoring of the markets for cotton, land, and slaves as well as careful management of the workers and production are required for success.
The social code of most southern white men was centered on a prickly sense of personal respectability, which they defended with words, fists, knives, or guns.
The ultimate expression of manly pride was duels to the death.
The observation that Southerners were too polite until they grew angry enough to kill you came from dueling being more common in the South than in the rest of the nation.
Dueling was illegal in many states, but many prominent southern leaders engaged in it.
President Andrew Jackson of Tennessee and Senator Henry Clay of Kentucky were on the roster.
The men of all classes were ready to fight.
The slave system made the South a male dominated society.
Christopher Memminger said that slavery increased the need for a family structure.
As slaves, white wives and chil dren needed to be subservient and compliant.
She oversaw the supply and preparation of food and linens, as well as the housecleaning and care of the sick, the birthing of babies, and the operations of the dairy.
Every time a baby was born, the mistress of the plantation slave was with the women.
The son of a Tennessee slave holder remembered that his mother and grandmother were the busiest women he had ever seen, because they themselves had babies every year or so.
A wife was expected to serve her husband.
George Fitzhugh spoke for most southern men when he said that a man loves his children because they are weak, helpless, and dependent.
The edu about life in the Confederacy cated wives was not of interest to the planters.
The Pulitzer Prize was won in 1981 when people tried to raise during the Civil War.
White southern women were expected to be examples of Christian moral ity and sexual purity, even as their husbands, brothers, and sons often engaged in gambling, drinking, carousing, and sexual assault.
She didn't blame enslaved women for playing that role, they were always forced to do so.
Many planters justified their behavior by showing the additional money they were creating by having enslaved women.
"Ours is a monstrous system, but God forgives us," he said.
Our men live all in one house with their wives and their concubines, and the mulattoes look a lot like the white people.
Any lady is willing to tell you who is the father of all the mulatto children in the household.
The prominent South Carolina planter confessed that he was a man of passion who nurtured a system of roguery among his female slaves.
He had an affair with a young man who bore his children.
He fathered more children with one of his daughters, twelve- year- old Louisa, after he began another affair with her.
The rape of slave women was a common practice for many white planters.
Mary Chesnut used sexual metaphors to express the limitations of most of the Carolina planters, writing that they are slow to move, impulsive but hard to keep moving.
Few plantation mis tresses spoke out about their private complaints.
George Howe, a South Carolina religion professor, assigned them a limited domestic role.
He praised southern women for their understanding of their subordi nate place.
He said that the southern woman had no desire for power outside the home and was born to lean upon others.
The few women who were demanding equality were "unsexing" themselves and were "despised and detested" by their families and communities.
Most plantation mistresses agreed with Howe.
They were usually white farmers or skilled workers, the sons of planters, or simply poor whites who wanted to rise in stature.
Some of them were slaveholders.
Overseers were looking for better wages and cheaper land.
He "enraged" the plantation owner with the South, Slavery, and King Cotton.
The overseer did not tolerate excuses or explanations.
To be accused was to be convicted and punished.
Slaves were known to kill drivers for being too cruel.
They were forced to scratch out their lives because they were uneducated.
The typical yeomen lived with their families in two- room cabins on fifty acres or less.
They raised pigs and chickens, grew enough corn and cotton to live on, and traded with neighbors more than they bought from stores.
During harvest time, women on small farms work in the fields but spend most of their days doing household chores.
Farm children grew up fast.
They could collect eggs from the henhouse if they carried a water bucket from the well to the house.
Young boys could grow crops and feed livestock.
The average slaveholder was a small farmer.
The farmers used to live in a log cabin rather than a mansion.
Small farmers dominated the social structure in the South where slaves and plantations were rare.
The Democratic party of Andrew Jackson was associated with the fiercely independent and suspicious farmers of the South.
Most of the white farmers supported the slave system.
They were worried that freed slaves would compete with them for land and jobs and that they would enjoy the privileges of race-based slavery.
The rich planters reminded their white neighbors that blacks were beneath them in the social order because they owned no slaves.
Throughout the 19th century, the Lower South and much of the nation had racist feelings.
Visitors to the Old South had trouble telling the difference between smal farmers and the desperately poor people who lived on the fringes of society.
Forty percent of white Southerners worked as tenants or farm laborers.
Southern society was black and white.
Whites used to treat enslaved blacks as property rather than people.
One planter believes that the negro is an inferior race.
Slaves should be taught that they were supposed to be treated like animals.
The ultimate purpose of self-serving paternalism was profits.
James Steer thought that enslaved blacks would be the best investment for Southerners.
The fastest way to wealth and social status in the South was to own, work, and sell slaves.
The United States had less than one million enslaved African Americans in 1790.
By 1830, it had more than 2 million, and by 1860, there were 4 million, all of them in the South and border states.
The majority of whites in the south viewed slaves as property.
Babies became slaves at birth and could be moved, sold, whipped, or raped as their master saw fit.
Slaves couldn't leave their owner's land without permission or stay out after dark without an identification pass.
Slaves were made to learn to read and write for fear that they would pass notes to plan a revolt.
Slaves in most states can't testify in court, can't own firearms, can't hit a white man, and can't marry.
The enslaved created their own communities and cultures, forging bonds of care, solidarity, recreation, and religion.
African Americans who were not slaves were called free persons of color.
They had an uncertain and vulnerable social status.
They lived in constant fear of being kidnapped.
Blacks had more rights than slaves.
They could enter into contracts, marry, own property, and pass on their property to their children.
They were not seen as equal to whites.
They were not allowed to vote, attend white church, or testify against whites in court in most states.
Free people of color in South Carolina were not allowed to leave the state if they paid an annual tax.
They were required to have an identity card after 1823.
Mamout purchased their freedom and others were freed by their owners.
Peale painted this portrait in 1819 when Mamout was over 100 years old and Charles Willson lived in the slave states.
Many of them were skilled workers.
Tailors, shoemakers, carpen ters, painters, bricklayers, butchers, blacksmiths, or barbers were some of the people who worked there.
Others worked on steamships.
Black women usually work as house servants or as seamstresses.
In cities such as Charleston and New Orleans, "colored" society had a different status than that of blacks and whites.
Some mulattoes built fortunes and became slaveholders, even though most free people of color were poor.
Ellison was the wealthiest person in the South.
He supported the Confederacy because he wanted to be accepted as an equal in white society.
A mulatto paid $250,000 for an estate that had ninety- one slaves.
William Johnson, son of a white father and a mulatto mother, ran three barbershops and owned 1,500 acres of land in Mississippi.
There were few black or mulatto slaveholders.
In the total free black population in 1860, there were 3,775 free blacks who were 2 percent of the badges.
The rise of the slave population in the early 19th century was the result of slave births and the ban on the chase of slaves from Africa in 1808.
More than 80 percent of slaves were born in America by the year 1820.
South erners bred and sold slaves.
It became a big business to breed and sell slaves.
The state's most profitable industry was slave breed ing.
Over the course of twenty years, a Virginia plantation owned by John Tayloe III recorded over 250 slave births and 142 slave deaths, which gave him extra slaves to use on the plantation, given to his sons, or sold to traders.
George Washington was told by Thomas Jefferson that black children were increasing Virginia's wealth by 4% per year.
Every southern city had markets and auction houses to manage the slave trade.
There were twenty slave trading businesses in New Orleans.
They were made into products.
They were "fattened up" with bacon, milk, and butter, like cattle, and assigned categories such as Prime, No.
2, and Second Rate; and "packaged" (dressed) for sale in blue suits or dresses.
They were taken into the sale room on the day of the auction.
The tallest, strongest, and "black est" young men had the highest prices.
The buyers inspected the slaves as if they were horses or cattle.
The advertisement opened their mouths to look at their teeth and gums.
The guarantees were forced to strip and inspect the accommodations for negroes left with them for their naked bodies, in its newly acquired jail, opposite the state bank.
Slave markets in New Orleans sold women as forced sexual partners.
One reporter spied on one of the most beautiful women he had ever seen.
A noble looking woman and her son were offered for sale as a pair.
The auctioneer offered them separately when no one bid on them.
The mother went to a Texan while the man from Mississippi bought the boy.
The lives of slaves depended on their owner's personality, as well as whether they cultivated rice, sugar, tobacco, or cotton, and whether they were on farms or in cit ies.
Many slaves were artisans or craftsmen, such ascarpenters, blacksmiths, furniture makers, butchers, boatmen, house servants, cooks, nurses, maids, weavers, and basket makers.
Some slaves were hired to work for merchants or businesses.
Some people worked on Sundays or holidays to make their own money.
Plantation slaves were usually housed in one- or two- room wooden shacks.
Slave cabins were built out of brick.
Even though the boards were covered with straw, the beds were a luxury.
Most slaves slept on a damp floor with only a cheap blanket for warmth.
They received a set of inexpensive linen or cotton clothes twice a year, but only shoes in the winter.
Half of slave babies died in their first year, more than twice the rate of white babies.
Corn meal and pork were often served in bowls placed on the ground, as if the slaves were livestock, at the weekly or monthly food allotment.
The personality and practices of the planters varied.
Others were not.
One ex- slave said that Massa was good.
A slave who was born in 1850 had a life expectancy of thirty six years, while whites had a life expectancy of forty years.
200 slaves are represented by each dot.
Irish immigrants were often hired to work in the South for dangerous work rather than risk the lives of the more valuable slaves.
Solomon Northup, a freeborn African American from New York with a wife and three children, was kidnapped in 1845 by slave traders, taken to Washington, D.C., and then to New Orleans, and eventually sold to a "repul sive and coarse" Louisiana cotton planter Northup regained his freedom more than a decade later.
His bed was twelve inches wide and ten feet long.
My pillow was made of wood.
There were no windows or a dirt floor in the log cabin where he and others slept.
An hour before daylight, the horn is blown.
The slaves prepare their breakfast.
They were flogged if they were found in their quarters after daybreak.
It was not uncommon to have one or more whippings.
At times they identified only as Jack, on the plantation they worked at night ginning the cot of B. F. Taylor.
Slaves could enjoy their own recreations and entertainment on Sundays.
Slaves used the Sabbath to hunt, fish, dance, and tell stories.
The focus was on picking cotton for several months.
Each slave was assigned a daily quota of cotton to be picked, an amount that increased over the years.
Gangs of slaves, men and women, would sweep across a field, pull the bol s from the thorned pods, and stuff them in large sacks or baskets which they dragged behind them.
An overseer would force them to keep up the pace.
The number of pounds recorded on a slate board by each picker's name would be weighed each evening.
The people who fell short of their quota were reprimanded and whipped.
Slavery on the whole was a system that was based on brutality.
Bennett Barrow, a Louisiana planter, had slaves whipped every four days as a way of showing his absolute control.
Allen Sidney, a slave, recalled an incident on a Mississippi plantation that showed the ruthlessness of cotton production.
The white overseer shot and killed the resisting slave when he saw the fracas.
"None of the other slaves said a word or turned their heads," Sidney said.
At times, whites turned the punishment of slaves into gruesome entertainment to frighten people.
A visitor reported that in Louisiana, whip ping often followed a gruesome procedure in which three stakes are driven into the ground in a triangular manner.
The slave is told to lie down.
The arms are extended out, side ways, and each hand is tied to a stake.
The overseer would step back seven, eight or ten feet and use a rawhide whip.
Slaves in cities such as Memphis, Atlanta, New Orleans, and Charleston had a different experience than those on isolated farms and plantations.
A Maryland slave claimed that a city slave is almost free.
Slaves in urban households had more privileges.
The extended interracial community that they interacted with included shopkeepers, police, neighbors and strangers.
Some were hired out and allowed to keep a portion of their wages.
Slaves did not experience the same slav ery as enslaved men and women did.
Slaveholders encouraged women to have as many children as possible once they realized how profitable a fertile female slave could be by giving birth to babies that could later be sold.
A woman would be locked in a cabin with a male slave who was supposed to help her have a baby.
Slaves were given more food and less work.
Some plantation owners gave new mothers dresses and money.
The invention of the cotton gin made the South's dependence on slavery worse.
If enslaved women were given more stature and ben efits, it was exhausting.
After giving birth, mothers were put back to work.
They were sent back to the fields a few weeks later and breast- feeding mothers were often forced to take their babies with them.
Women were expected to do "man's work" such as cutting trees, haul logs, spreadfertilizer, plow fields, dig ditches, slaughter animals, hoe corn, and pick cotton.
Women's workload increased after they passed their childbearing years.
Middle- aged women are put to work in the fields or perform other outdoor labor.
Slave women worked as cooks and seamstresses.
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