The Quarters and the Fields: Slave Families in the Non-Cotton South

The Quarters and the Fields: Slave Families in the Non-Cotton South
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In , the interviews were remastered, reproduced on CDs and published in book form in conjunction with the Library of Congress , Smithsonian Productions and a National Public Radio project. As masters applied their stamp to the domestic life of the slave quarter, slaves struggled to maintain the integrity of their families. Slaveholders had no legal obligation to respect the sanctity of the slave's marriage bed, and slave women— married or single — had no formal protection against their owners' sexual advances.

Without legal protection and subject to the master's whim, the slave family was always at risk. The book includes a number of examples of enslaved families who were torn apart when family members were sold out of state, and accounts of sexual violation of enslaved women by men in power. The evidence of white men raping slave women was obvious in the many mixed-race children who were born into slavery and part of many households.

In some areas, such mixed-race families became the core of domestic and household servants, as at Thomas Jefferson 's Monticello.

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The Quarters and the Fields offers a unique approach to the examination of slavery. Rather than focusing on slave work and family life on cotton plantations, . Editorial Reviews. Book Description. "A fresh and inventive method of presenting some lesser-known aspects of slavery to both scholars and students."--Ronald.

Both his father-in-law and he took mixed-race enslaved women as concubines after being widowed; each man had six children by those enslaved women. By the 19th century, popular Southern literature characterized female slaves as lustful and promiscuous " Jezebels " who shamelessly tempted white owners into sexual relations. This stereotype of the promiscuous slave was partially motivated by the need to rationalize the obvious sexual relations that took place between female slaves and white males, as evidenced by the children.

During slave auctions, females were sometimes displayed nude or only partially clothed. Many female slaves known as "fancy maids" were sold at auction into concubinage or prostitution, which was called the "fancy trade".

During the early Louisiana colonial period, French men took wives and mistresses from the slaves; they often freed their children and, sometimes, their mistresses. A sizable class of free people of color developed in New Orleans , Mobile , and outlying areas. This was evident by the fact that the largest annual ball was the "Quadroon Ball.

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In some cases, young men took such mistresses before their marriages to white women; in others, they continued the relationship after marriage. They were known to pay for the education of their children, especially their sons, whom they sometimes sent to France for schooling and military service. These Quadroon mistresses were housed in cottages along Rampart Street the northern border of the Quarter. After the Civil War most were destitute and this area became the center of prostitution and later was chosen as the site to confine prostitution in the city and became known as Storyville.

There was a growing feeling among whites that miscegenation was damaging to racial purity. Some segments of society began to disapprove of any sexual relationships between blacks and whites, whether slave or free, but particularly between white women and black men. In Utah, sexual relationships with a slave resulted in the slave being freed.

The children of white fathers and slave mothers were mixed-race slaves, whose appearance was generally classified as mulatto. This term originally meant a person with white and black parents, but then encompassed any mixed-race person.

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In New Orleans where the Code Noir held sway under French and Spanish rule, people of mixed race were defined as mulatto: one half white, one half black; quadroon: three quarters white, one quarter black; octoroon: seven-eights white, one eighth black. The Code Noir proscribed marriage between those of mixed race and full-blooded, or "slave" blacks. In the Black community, lighter skinned black women are preferred by black men over darker skinned black women. By the turn of the 19th century many mixed-race families in Virginia dated to Colonial times; white women generally indentured servants had unions with slave and free African-descended men.

Because of the mother's status, those children were born free and often married other free people of color. Given the generations of interaction, an increasing number of slaves in the United States during the 19th century were of mixed race. In the United States, children of mulatto and black slaves were also generally classified as mulatto. With each generation, the number of mixed-race slaves increased.

The census identified , slaves as mulatto; by , there were , slaves classified as mulatto out of a total slave population of 3,, If free, depending on state law, some mulattoes were legally classified as white because they had more than one-half to seven-eighths white ancestry. Questions of social status were often settled in court, but a person's acceptance by neighbors, fulfillment of citizen obligations, and other aspects of social status were more important than lineage in determining "whiteness".

Notable examples of mostly-white children born into slavery were the "natural" children of Thomas Jefferson by his mixed-race slave Sally Hemings , who was three-quarters white by ancestry. Since historians have widely accepted Jefferson's paternity, the change in scholarship has been reflected in exhibits at Monticello and in recent books about Jefferson and his era. Some historians, however, continue to disagree with this conclusion. Speculation exists on the reasons George Washington freed his slaves in his will. One theory posits that the slaves included two half-sisters of his wife, Martha Custis.

Those mixed-race slaves were born to slave women owned by Martha's father, and were regarded within the family as having been sired by him. Washington became the owner of Martha Custis' slaves under Virginia law when he married her and faced the ethical conundrum of owning his wife's sisters. As in Thomas Jefferson's household, the use of lighter-skinned slaves as household servants was not simply a choice related to skin color.

Sometimes planters used mixed-race slaves as house servants or favored artisans because they were their children or other relatives.

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Voices against Conformity Facts on File. Sherman had begun their destructive march from Atlanta to Savannah , a military advance that effectively uprooted the foundations for plantation slavery in Georgia. Though slavery had such a wide variety of faces, the underlying concepts were always the same. On one Savannah River rice plantation, mortality annually averaged 10 percent of the slave population between and

Six of Jefferson's later household slaves were the grown children of his father-in-law John Wayles and his slave mistress Betty Hemings. At that time some of the Hemings-Wayles children were very young; Sally Hemings was an infant.

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They were trained as domestic and skilled servants and headed the slave hierarchy at Monticello. Since , historians have widely accepted that the widowed Jefferson had a nearly four-decade relationship with Sally Hemings , the youngest daughter of Wayles and Betty. Sally was nearly 25 years younger than his late wife; Jefferson had six children of record with her, four of whom survived. Jefferson had his three mixed-race sons by Hemings trained as carpenters - a skilled occupation - so they could earn a living after he freed them when they came of age.

Three of his four children by Hemings, including his daughter Harriet, the only slave woman he freed, " passed " into white society as adults because of their appearance. Planters with mixed-race children sometimes arranged for their education occasionally in northern schools or apprenticeship in skilled trades and crafts. Others settled property on them, or otherwise passed on social capital by freeing the children and their mothers. While fewer in number than in the Upper South, free blacks in the Deep South were often mixed-race children of wealthy planters and sometimes benefited from transfers of property and social capital.

Wilberforce University , founded by Methodist and African Methodist Episcopal AME representatives in Ohio in for the education of African-American youth, was during its early history largely supported by wealthy southern planters who paid for the education of their mixed-race children. When the American Civil War broke out, the majority of the school's students were of mixed race and from such wealthy Southern families.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. By country or region. Opposition and resistance. Abolitionism U. Main article: Slave codes. Main article: Slave breeding in the United States. See also: Anti-miscegenation laws in the United States. Main article: Children of the plantation. In Smith, Merril D. Encyclopedia of Rape. Poverty in America.

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Facts on File. The peculiar institution: slavery in the ante-bellum South. Hayes, Floyd W. Floyd Windom 3rd ed. Lanham, MD. Retrieved American Negro Slave Revolts 50th Anniversary ed. New York: International Publishers. Widespread fear of slave rebellion was characteristic of the South p. Brigham H. Young, Printers.

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Oxford Reference. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 24 February Book review.

Retrieved July 19, New York: Harper Collins Publications, Ar'n't I a Woman? The Broad Ax. March 25, Houghton Mifflin. Journal of the History of Sexuality. History as Women's History , , p American Slavery: Hill and Wang, Caribbean Quarterly. Miller, pp. Morgan and Joshua D. Rothman have written, this was one of numerous interracial relationships in the Wayles-Hemings-Jefferson families, Albemarle County and Virginia, often with multiple generations repeating the pattern. Philip D.