Life in the Plantations: The Runaways and the Underground Railroad

Decent Essays

In 1860, approximately 4 million enslaved African Americans lived in the South states where slavery was legal. Approximately 2.8 million worked on farms and plantations, and, the great bulk of them, 1.8 million, were to be found on cotton plantations, while the rest were engaged in the cultivation of tobacco, rice and sugar cane . The majority of them were sold to the plantations’ owners at slaves’ auctions, where slave kids also could be found. The first time Django (Jamie Foxx) appears in the film, he comes from a slave’s auction in Greenville.
The plantations’ landlords were also called “planters”, a term used to designate those who held a significant number of slaves, mostly as agricultural labour. There were different categories of …show more content…

Stephen (Samuel L. Jackson) is the clear example of a slave driver.
Plantations were composed of different buildings. The owner and the owner’s family resided in the mansion, commonly called “The Big House,” which was an example of the antebellum architecture . On the other hand, the slaves lived in the slave quarters of the plantation they worked. The cluster of cabins could sometimes be scattered about randomly and other times ordered with geometric precision. Moreover, there were different types of quarters: firstly, there was the one room quarter; secondly, the “dog-trot” pattern, where two families were expected to occupy the house (each one occupied one room) ; thirdly, there were also combinations of “dog-trot” patterns . Least but not last, there also existed double room quarters, and finally, multi room barracks quarter were also common in large plantations. In addition, house slaves could occupy an attached separate quarters on the master’s house.
Testimonies from slaves emphasize their constant and careful efforts to improve their houses, to maintain them in good repair, and to make them as comfortable as possible. Millie Evans, a slave from North Carolina, describes her habitat as the following: “Down in the quarters every black family had a one or two-room log cabin. We didn't have no floors in them cabins. A nice dirt floor was the style then, and we used sage brooms. We kept our dirt

Get Access