HIST 100 Columbia University Significant Social & Economic Transformations in 1800 1860 Discussion 1. Assess the significant social and economic transforma

HIST 100 Columbia University Significant Social & Economic Transformations in 1800 1860 Discussion 1. Assess the significant social and economic transformations taking place in the North in the period 1800-1860. Use evidence to analyze how different classes and communities acted on and reacted to these changes.2. Assess the significant social and economic transformations taking place the South in the period 1800-1860. Use evidence to analyze how different classes and communities acted on and reacted to these changes. Major Problems
in theHistory
ofAmericanWorkers
tr
a
DOCUMENTS AND ESSAYS
SECONDEDITION
EDITEDBY
EILEEN BORIS
UNIVERSITYOF CALIFORNIA,SANTABARBARA
NELSON LICHTENSTEIN
UNIVERSITYOF CALIFORNIA,SANTABARBARA
wADSWoRTH
,.f
rr
LearningC EN G A G E
E
a
l . S l a v eP r o d u c t i o na t P l e a s a n tH i l l P l a n t a t i o n ,1 8 5 0
Daily Records of Cotton Picked on Plear-d’,Iri,
Sandy
Scon
Solonxrn
BiIl
Jcrry
Isiiac
JI II]
I)olsoo
H
l
o-
1{)DAY
I
Cinning
Clearing
Clerring
Clearing
Clearing
Clcaring
Sick
Gonc alter shoes
2
3
,l
5
,7
8
()versecr
Pl:rntation During the Weck Commencing on 21sl Day of Ocrt, 11150,
“/orl?s
I T]ESI)AY
PressinS
PrcssinS
H a u l i n Sr r i l s
Do
Clcaring
Clcaring
Sick
Clcaring
NED)IiSDAY
Ganning
Clearing
Clearing
Clc:lring
Clcaring
Clearing
Sick
Clearing
THTIRSDAY
Cinning
Clearing
C o n el o C l i n t o n
CIearinS
Clcaring
Clcaring
Sick
Clearing
IJRIDAY
Cinning
H a u l i n gc o m
Hauling
Hauling
Do Do
Do Do
Sick
Ho corn
SATIIRD Y
Wr,EK’s
‘:
q
PtcKIN(i
BRoucttr
FoRwARt)
I
a
*
Cinninu
a
30
90
‘to
Sick
60
The Planter’s Annual Report of his Negroeslpon PleasantHill Plantation, During the lear 1850,E. J. Capet Oyerseer
FEMALES
VALUEAT
COMMENCEMENT
OF THE YEAR
John
Tom
Sandy
Edmund
JerrJ’
Solomon
William
Charles
Tom
Monroe
le’Ty
70
49
38
40
38
24
l0
5
4
3
1
$50.00
1000.00
600.00
1000.00
700.00
700.00
1000.00
500.00
250-00
200.00
175.00
75.00
YALUE AT
COMMENCEMENT
OF THE YEAR
VALUE AT END
OF THE YEAR
75.00
1200.00
800.00
1300.00
950.00
950.00
1100.00
650.00
275.
225.
200
100
Hannah
Mary
Fanny
RachelSen.
Lucy
Azaline
Sarah
Harrie!
Melissa
Carolioa
Laura
60
34
28
l3
9
8
3
3
I
$100.00
800.00
800.00
675.00
600.00
600.00
350.00
300.00
100.00
150.00
100.00
VALUE AT END
OF THE YEAR
125.00
900.00
900.00
750.00
750.00
700.00
450.00
400.00
125.00
150.00
125.00
ir
5
o
i4ajor Problemsin the HiJtoryof Ame can Workers
2. Slave Solomon Northup’s View of Cotton
Planting and Harvesting, t854
The ground is prepared by throwing up beds or ridges, with the plough-backfurrowing,it is called.Oxen and mules,the laner almostexclusively,are used in
ploughing. The women as frequently as the men perform this labor, feeding, currying, and taking care of their teams,and in all respectsdoing the field and stable
work, precisely as do the ploughboys of the North.
The beds, or ridges, are six feet wide, that is, fiom water furrow to water furrow. A plough drawn by one mule is then run along the top of the ridge or center of
the bed,makingthe drill, into which a girl usuallydropsthe seed,which shecarries
in a bag hung round her neck. Behind her comesa mule and harrow,covering up the
seed,so that two mules, three slaves,a plough and harroq are employed in planting
a row of cotton.This is done in the monthsof March and April. Corn is plantedin
February.When there are no cold rains, the cotton usually makesits appearancein a
week. In the cou$e of eight or ten days afterwardsthe first hoeing is commenced.
This is performed in part, also, by the aid of rhe plough and mule. The plough passes
as near as possible to the cotton on both sides,throwing the furrow from it. Slaves
follow with their hoes,cuttingup the grassand cotton,leavinghills two f’eerand a
halfapart. This is called scrapingcotton. ln two weeks more commencesthe second
hoeing.This time the furrow is thrown towardsthe cotton. Only one stalk, the
largest,is now left standingin eachhill. In anorherfortnightit is hoedthe third time,
throwing the furrow towardsthe cotion in the samemanneras belbre, and killing all
the grass betweenthe rows. About the first of July, when it is a lirot high or thereabouts,it is hoed the fourth and lasr time. Now the whole spacebetweenthe rows is
ploughed, Ieaving a deep water furrow in the center. During all these hoeings the
overseeror driver follows the slaveson horsebackwith a whip. . . The l’astesthoer
takesthe lead row. He is usually about a rod in advanccof his companions.If one of
them passeshim, he is whipped.If one talls behind or is a momenr idle, he is
whipped.In fact,rhe lash is flying from morningunril night, the whole day long.
The hoeingseasonthus continuesfrom April until July, a field having no sooner
beenfinishedonce,thanit is commencedagain.
In the latterpart of Augustbeginsthe cottonpicking season.Ar rhis timc each
slaveis presentedwith a sack.A strapis fastenedto it, which goesover the neck,
holding the mouth of the sackbreasthigh, while the botromreachesnearly to the
ground. Each one is also presentedwith a large basketthat will hold about two
barrels.This is to put the cotton in when the sack is filled. The basketsare carried
to the field and placcd at the beginning of the rows.
When a new hand,one unaccustomed
to the business,is sentfbr the tjrst time
into the fleld, he is whippedup smarrly,and madetbr thatday tr) pick as fasras he
can possibly.At night ir is weighed,so that his capability in cotton picking is
known. He must bring in the sameweight eachnight fbllowing. If it falls short,it
Ftom Twelvc years u Sluv: Nartutire ol Sokrno No ttut Aubwn. N.y : Derby and Mi er, t 853),
163-t75.208-2t2.

is considered eviden
lashesis the penalty
An ordinary day
picking, is punished
difference among th(
natural knack, or quir
both hands,while ot
come up to the ordit
employed in other bu
the most remarkable
with suchsurprising
Eachone is task
to come short of twl
would have satisfle
other hand, Patseyw
much. . . .
The handsarere
ing, and,with theex
swallow their allow
until it is too dark to
middle of the night
the quarters,howeve
The day’s work
carried to the gin-ho
weary hc may be-r
approachesthe gin-t
weight-if he hasnc
sutfer. And if hc ha
masterwill measur
too much, his appr
frequently they hav
tield. Afler weighin
cotton house, and tt
tramp it down. lf the
is laid upon platiirrn
boardsor plank, witl
This done,theI
then attend to his r
another cuts the woc
Finally, at a lateho
day’stoil. Thena fin
mill, and supper,and
them is corn and ba
Sundaymorning.Ea
of bacon, and corn e
and with the except
Sldvery
dhdtheTrafititiorlto FreeLabor
y of Cotton
.854
, wiah the plough-backlt exclusively,are used in
this labor,feeding, cunyloing the field and stable
l,ater fumow to water furrp ofthe ridge or center of
he seed,which shecarries
ld harow, coveringup the
, areemployedin planting
I April. Corn is planted in
makesits appearancein a
rst hoeingis commenced.
! mule.The plough passes
the furow from it. Slaves
aving hills two feet and a
[e commencesthe second
tton. Only one stalk, the
ht it is hoedthe third time,
r asbefore,and killing all
ii is a foor high or thereipacebetweenthe rows is
‘ing all these
hoeings the
whip. . . The f’astesthoer
hiscompanions.
Ifone of
is a momentidle, he is
ght,the whole day long.
t field having no sooner
eason.At this time each
tich goesover the neck,
m reachesnearly to the
ut will hold about two
The basketsare carried
s sentfor the first time
layto pick as fast as he
y ln cotton picking is
/ing.lf it falls short,ir
: DerbyaodMiller,t853),
95
is consideredevidence that he has been laggard, and a greater ot less number of
lashesis the penalty.
An ordinary day’s work is two hundredpounds.A slave who is accustomedto
picking, is punished,if he or she brings in a lessquantity than that. There is a great
differenceamong them as regardsthis kind of labor Some of them seem to have a
naturalknack,or quickness,which enablesthem to pick with great celerity, and with
both hands, while others, with whateverpractice or industry, are utterly unable to
come up to the ordinary standard.Such hands are taken from the cotton field and
employedin other business.Patsey,of whom I shall have more to say,was known as
the most remarkablecotton picker on Bayou Bceuf.She picked with both handsand
with suchsurprisingrapidity, that five hundredpoundsa day was not unusualfor her.
Each one is tasked,therefore,accordingto his picking abilities, none, however,
to come short of two hundred weight. I, being unskillful always in that business,
would have satisfied my master by bringing in the latter quantity, while on the
other hand, Patseywould surely have been beatenif she failed to produce twice as
much.. . .
The handsare requiredto be in the cotton field as soon as it is light in the morning, and, with the exceptionof ten or tifteen minutes,which is given them at noon to
swallow their allowance of cold bacon, they are not permitted to be a moment idle
until it is too dark to see,and when the moon is full, they often times labor till the
middle of the night. They do not dare to stop even at dinner time, nor return to
the quarters,howeverlate it be, until the order to halt is given by the driver.
The day’s work over in the tield, the basketsare “toted,” or in other words,
carried to the gin-house,where the cotton is weighed. No matter how fatigued and
weary he may be-no matter how much he longs for sleep and rest-a slave never
approachesthe gin-housewith his basketof cotton but with fear. If it falls shon in
weight-if he has not performed the full task appointedhim, he knows that he must
suffer And if he has exceededit by ten or twenty pounds, in all probability his
masterwill measurethe next day’s task accordingly.So, whether he has too little or
too much, his approach to the gin-house is always with fear and trembling. Most
trequently they have too little, and therefore it is they are not anxious to leave the
field. Afrer weighing, follow the whippings; and then the basketsare caried to the
cotton house, and their contents stored away like hay, all hands being sent in to
tramp it down. Ifthe cotton is noadry insteadof taking it to the gin-houseat once, it
is laid upon platforms, two feet high, and some three times as wide, covered with
boardsor plank, with nanow walks running betweenthem.
This done, the labor of the day is not yet ended,by any means.Each one must
then attend to his respective chores. One feeds the mules, another the swineanothercuts the wood, and so forth; besides,the packing is all done by candle light.
Finally, at a late hour, they reach the quarters,sleepy and overcome with the long
day’s toil. Then a fire must be kindled in the cabin, the corn ground in the small handmill, and supper,and dinner for the next day in the field, prepared.All that is allowed
them is corn and bacon, which is given out at the corncrib and smoke-houseevery
Sundaymorning.Each one receives,as his weekly allowance,threeand a halfpounds
of bacon,and corn enoughto make a peck of meal.That,is all-no tea,coffee, sugar,
and with the exceptionof a very scantysprinkling now and then, no salt.
96
M,tjor ]ablen! i
thc Historyof Atlcricnn ltorkerl
ibr his ho
District.with lbod
own a cen
the house
yours, an
thing to e
things’iB:
get thcm r
that your (
and all th
anythingt
you wish
ask tor Sa
no more I
of ths day
do not th
early at s
causcyou
under ord
gencral,
wnerc.an
the place
give him
talk abou
and hoe,I
it bc(tertl
to mlnd I
Whateve
3. A Planter on Child Rearing, 1836
all my littlc negroes,and a nurscrybuilt for
I havoa nurseappoinlcdto superintend
them.lf thcy are leli to be pretcctcdby theirparents,theywill mostassurcdlybe ncglectcd.I havc known parentstakeout an allowanccfirr their childrenand actually
stealit from thcm, to purchasearticlesat someshop.Besides,when thcy would bc
honestto their offspring,Iiom thcir other occupations,thcy havc not the time to
a(end to them propcrly.The childrcn get their lood ineSularly,and when they
do gct it, it is only hall done.Thcy arc sufltlcd, by not havinSone to attcndto them.
and hcncemanyof thc dcathswhich occuron our plantations.
to exposethemsclvcs;
I havc.juststatedthatI havea nurscryfbr my littlc negrocs,with an old woman
or nurseto supcrintendandcook for them,and b secthat their clothesand bedding
are wcll attendcdto. She makcsthe little ones,generallyspeaking,both girls and
boys,mend and washtheir own clothes,and do many other little matters,such as
collcctingIitter lbr manure,&c. In this they takegreatpleasure,and il hasthe tl]ndencyto bring them up to industrioushabits.Thc nurssalsn cookslirr them threc
timcsa day; and shealwayshassomelittle meatto drcssfor them,or thc clabberor
sour milk liom the diary k) mix their tbod. [n sickressshe seesthat they arc well
attendedtoi and from havingmany of them togcther,one is taughtto wait upon the
othcr.My little negroesaroconsequentlyvcry healthy:and fiom pursuingtho plan
I havelaid down, I am contldentthat I raisemore of them, than where a differcnt
systemis lbllowed.
4. A NorthernUnionistLecturesEx-Slaves
on the Work Ethic, 1865
of Orangeburg
District.
TotheFreedPeople
You have heardmany storiesaboutyour conditionas frecmen.You do not know
what to bclieve:you are talking too muchi waiting tur much: askingIor too much.
If you can find out thc truth aboutthis maltcr,you will settlcdown quietly to your
just how you arc siluatcd.
work. Listen.then,rnd try to understand
you can ltcl yet,
You arc not free.but you must knew that thc only dit’fbrenco
betweenslaveryand lieedom,is that neithcryou nor your childrencan be bought
or sold.You may havea hardertime this ycar thanyou haveevcr had bcforc;it will
bc the pricc you pay for your Iieedom.Ytru will havc to work hard, and gct very
littlc to cat. and very few clothesto wear. II you get throughthis ycar alive and
well, you shouldbc thankl’ul.Do not expectk) savcup anything,or to havc much
corn or provisionsaheadat thc end ol thc ycar.You must not ask lbr more pay than
free peoplegct at thc North. Thcre,a field handis paid in money,but hasto spcnd
all his pay everyweck, in buyingfbod and clothcsfbr his lirmily and in payingrent
To the P
Carolina
of the Fr
govcrnm
Fronr”NolionsonlheManagenrcntolNcgrocs.’F:utmer’slle(is!?r4lDEcemberl836):495.
HenryBr3
,
Prcsidenr
l5), Wash
Nation.ll!
Frorr CaprainC harlcs Soule to Ccneral Olivcr Otis Howard. Freednran s Bureau.June | 2. | 865. in S I 7.
1865. Lencrs Rcccived (Scries l5). Washington Hcadqui(crs, Records of thc Burcau of Refugccs.
Frecdnren& AbandonedLands. Recoftl CrouD I05. NationalArchives.
.-
slaveryand the Transitionto FreeLabor
lE36
i, anda nurserybuilt for
ll mostassuredly
bene)irchildrenandactually
es,whentheywouldbe
ey havenot the time to
gularly,and when they
rgoneto attendto them,
)ccuronourplantations.
‘oes,withanold woman
rcirclothesandbedding
rpeaking,
bothgirls and
erlittle matters,suchas
Nure,andit hasthetensocooksfor themthree
r them,or theclabberor
e seesthat they are well
i taughtto waituponthe
I frompursuingtheplan
r, tbanwherea different
ix-Slaves
ttrict.
rmen.Youdo not know
:h;askingfor too much.
lledownquietlyto your
;ituated.
you canfeel yet,
erence
childrencanbe bought
: everhadbefore;it will
vorkhard,andget very
ughthisyearalive and
rthing,or to havemuch
rtaskfor morepay than
noney,but hasto spend
mily andin payingrent
Ember1836):495.
rE{u,hne I2, 1E65,in S-l?,
of the Bureauof Refugees,
for his house.You cannotbe paid in money-for thereis no good moneyin the
paper.Then,whatcanyou be paid with?Why,
District,-nothing but Confederate
with food, with clothes,with the freeuseof your little housesandlots.Youdo not
own a cent’sworthexceptyourselves.
The plantationyou live on is not yours,nor
the houses,nor the cattle,mulesand horses;the seedyou plantedwith was not
yours,andthe ploughsand hoesdo not belongto you. Now you mustget something to eat andsomethingto wear,andhousesto live in. How canyou get these
things?By hardwork-and nothingelse,andit will be a goodthingfor you if you
get themuntil nextyear,for yourselves
andfor your families.You mustremember
tbatyour children,your old people,andthecripples,belongto you to supportnow,
andall that is givento them is so muchpay to you for your work. If you askfor
anythingmore;if you askfor a half of thecrop,or evena third,you asktoo much;
you wish to get morethanyou couldget ifyou hadbeenfreeall your lives.Do not
askfor Saturdayeither:freepeopleeverywhere
elsework Saturday,andyou have
no moreright to thedaythantheyhave.Ifyour employeris willing to giveyou part
ofthe day,or to seta taskthatyou canfinishearly,be thankfulfor thekindness,but
do not think it is somethingyou musthave.When you work, work hard.Begin
early at sunrise,anddo not takemorethan two hoursat noon.Do not think, becauseyou arefree you canchooseyour own kind of work. Everyman mustwork
underorders.Thesoldiers,who arefree,work underofficers,theofficersunderthe
general,and the generalunderthe president.Theremust be a headman everywhere,andon a plantationthe headman,who givesall the orders,is the ownerof
the place.Whateverhe tells you to do you mustdo at once,andcheerfully.Never
give him a crossword or an impudentanswer.If the work is hard,do not stopto
talk aboutit, but do it first andrestafterwards.If you are told to go into the field
andhoe,seewhocango first andleadtherow.Ifyou aretold to build a fence,build
it betterthananyfenceyou knowof. Ifyou aretold to drivethecaniageSunday,or
to mind the cattle,do it, for necessary
work must be doneevenon the Sabbath.
Whatevertheorderis, try andobeyit withouta word.
CaptainCharlesSoule
5. “We Demand Land”: Petition by
SouthernFreedmen,1865
EdistoIslandS. C. Oct 28th, 1865.
To the hesident of theseUnitedStates.we the freedmenof EdistoIslandSouth
CarolinahavelearnedFromyou throughMajor GeneralO O Howardcommissioner
of theFreedman’s
Bureau.with deepsorow andPainfulheartsof thepossibilityof
government
restodngTheselandsto the formerowners.We arewell awareOf the
FromFreedman
of Blisto Islandto CeneralHowardand to PresidentJohnson,October28, 1865,in
HenryBramet al. to Major Ge0eralO. O. Howard[Octob€r28,_1865],and HenryBramet al. to the
Presidenr
ofthe united Srates,
Octob€r28, 1E65,B-53, 1865andts-27,| 865,truen Received(s€ries
l5), washingtonHeadquaners,
Recordsof the Burcauof Refugees,
Freedmen& AbandooedLands,
NationalArchives.
98
Mnjot Prrhlolr in th,! Hit.’a,ol Anrci’:dn workers
many pcrplcxingand trying qucstionsthat burdcnYour mind. and do therelirrcpray
to god (the prcscrverol all. and who has throughour Late and belovcdPresident
[Lincoln] proclamationand the war madeUs A fiee people)that he may guide you
in makingYour decisions.and give you that wisdont that Cometh from above lcr
scttlethcscgrcatand lnrportantQueslionsfor thc bestintcrcstsof thl.)counlry and
lhe Colorcd race:Hcrc is whclc sccessionwas born and NurturedHere is wcrc we
havetoilcd nearlyall Our livcs as slavesand werc lreatcdlike dunrbDrivcn cattlc.
This is our horns,we havcmadcThcselandswhat thuy arc. wc wer(]thc only true
and Loyal people that werc lbund in posscssionol these Lands. we havc been
alwaysreadyk) slrikelirr Libcrty and humanityyca to tight if necdsbe To prcserve
this gloriousunion. Shall not wc who Arc liel.:drnan
and lravcbeenalwaystluc tcr
this Union have the samerights as are enjoycd by Othersi Have we broken any
Law ol lheseUnitcd Stalcsl have wc lbrlcited our rights ot’ propertyin Land?If not thcn! are not our rights as A licc peopleand good citizensoi thcsc Unitcd
StatesTo bc consideredbctirrethe rights of thosc who werc Found in rebellion
againstthis good andjust Government(and now being conquered)come (as thcy
Seem)with penitenthcartsand bcg tbrgivencssFor past oft’encesand also ask il’
thcir landsCannol bc rcstoredto lhem are thcsercbclliousSpiritsto bs reinstaled
in their posszssiorsAnd wc who have bcen abusedand opprcssedFor many long
ycarsnol to be allowedthe Priviligeo1’purchasing
land But bc subjcctTo the will
ol theselarge Land owners?Cod firrbid. Land monopoly is in.iuriousto thc advancementof the courseol ticedom.and il CovernmentDoesnol make sonreprovision by which we as Frecdmcncan obtainA Homestead.we havc Not bettered
our condition.
We have bcen cncouragcdby Governmentto take Up thcse lands in small
tracts,rcceivingCcrtilicrtcs ol thc samc-wc have thus lar Taken Sixteenthousand( 16000)acrss0f Land hereon This lsland.Wc are readyto pay lbr this land
When Governnrent
calls tbr it. and now ati…
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