Slavery Overview
Phil Morgan

        Dr. Phil Morgan  of  Johns Hopkins University opened with a discussion of the rich diversity of research available in the study of slavery.   African Americans are aggressively involved in reclaiming their history.  More  information is surfacing all the time because of the interest in the topic.  There is a growing popular interest in the topic which fuels the academic study.    There are reproductions of slave vessels, museums, plaques, films, heritage tourism, literature, art, music, etc. which all add to our understanding of slavery.

     With this as a prelude, he moved into a comparison between two slave societies - the Upper South and Lower South.

Day to Day Living Conditions
Upper South vs Lower South
18th Century

                                                                                 What Does the Population Look Like?

Upper South 
Lower South 
500,000 slaves by 1800. 350,000 slaves by 1800.
Blacks are in minority to whites. Whites are in minority to blacks in some areas - some places very lopsided.
100,000 Africans came into Virginia  from 1670 - 1775. 200,000 Africans  came into South Carolina  from  1690- 1807. 
1730's was peak for slave trade- slave trade begins to decline.  1804-1807 was peak  for slave trade - 40,000 in this period.
Most Africans came from Bight of Biafra - (Nigeria)  Varies over time - West Central Africa (Angola) sent many to Lower South
Owners buy a single African Owners buy four or five at a time

What Type of  Work Is Done?

Upper South
Lower South
Tobacco Plantations are small - 10 slaves at most - small monitored units Rice Plantations are larger - labor intensive - 30 slaves at least.
Slave gangs to some degree - small units worked continuously No gang system - individual tasks that could be completed
Tobacco cycle fairly uniform Peaks and troughs in production
Fewer skilled workers - but a greater variety - millers, tailors, etc. Rice demanded more skilled workers 

           What is the Diet?

Upper South
Lower South
Maize - Corn most prevalent Maize - rice, chickpeas, yams, more varied - less protein - more hunting, foraging, fishing
Small plots for extra food Larger plots or fields
Taller in Chesapeake because of protein in diet  - taller than average European