Being A Civilized, Clean Home

856 WordsMay 3, 20164 Pages
Looking at the socially appropriate responsibilities played in the plantation home during the antebellum period, there was a specific etiquette and a role for the slave men and women, as mentioned before, to show guests suitable hospitality along with their masters. House servants, especially, had to dress and act in a particular way in order to be presentable to guests in the “great house.” Servants who took part of visits, dinner parties, and balls should be properly attired and prepared accordingly for the event, as to show that their master promotes a civilized, clean home. In the journals of Fanny Kemble, a notable British actress in the 19th century, during her visit in Georgia, she writes about a horrid experience at a dinner party: “two young lads of from fifteen to twenty, who wait upon us in the capacity of footmen. As, however, the latter are perfectly filthy in their persons and clothes--their faces, hands, and naked feet being literally encrusted with dirt--their attendance at our meals is not, as you may suppose, particularly agreeable to me, and I dispense with it as often as possible. Mary, too, is so intolerably offensive in her person that it is impossible to endure her proximity, and the consequence is that, amongst Mr. ---- 's slaves, I wait upon myself more than I have ever done in my life before.” As perceived, servants that are disheveled give evidence of not only disgrace to themselves with their bad hygiene, but the appalling hospitality of the host
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