Slavery In The Southern States

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Ideas of race and slavery are building blocks of American society. Slavery, particularly in the Southern states, were a huge factor of the economy. Relations changed throughout American history though, as new concepts came about, as well as new economic breakthroughs and improvements. In this essay, I will be discussing changes in American society involving views of coloured people and slavery beginning in 1785 and ending in 1817. The earliest document, a letter from Thomas Jefferson to his friends in Europe in 1785, speaks mainly of the native people, and how they are inferior to whites, though eventually could become equal. He states that black people are not equal to the white man in body or in mind, but grudgingly admits that in a few…show more content…
He reportedly fed and housed his slaves well, but in the third document we see an advertisement for a runaway slave. He offers fifty dollars in reward, and talk about how the slave is well dressed and well spoken, and has procured papers that say he is a free man (8.8). This seems relatively fair, as he asks for the slave to be returned alive, but a note at the bottom promises an extra ten dollars to whomever gives the slave one hundred lashes before returned. So the idea of him being a just slave owner is combatted by his promise of extra money to whomever gives the slave one hundred lashes. This is the point where we see slaves beginning to become dehumanized as well. In 1812, Robert Sutcliff an English Quaker noted some interesting sights as he traveled across the states. He saw a field where several slaves had been executed after trying to rebel, and listened at a trial. The slave on trial told the court that he was trying to only to free his countrymen, and was a willing sacrifice. He knew that his execution was going to happen, and he asked the court . “I know that you have predetermined to shed my blood, why then all this mockery of a trial…” (8.9) His next comment was on watching an auction of female slaves, and how the auctioneers sold children with no care, as if they were only animals. White people were becoming more and more desensitized to slaves and saw them little more than cattle (8.9). Later on he remarked about a young boy, no more than twelve years old with a brutal metal collar. His owner, when prompted by Sutcliff explained that the boy had attempted to flee so many times that it was the only way to keep him from running (8.9). This is but another example of the cruelty and changing views of slaves and slavery. The treatment didn’t matter, as
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