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killing slaves

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  • Rifleman1776
    I have gotten into a discussion with a friend about the treatment of slaves, runaways to be specific. He is more of a CW to WWII reenactor but has been the
    Message 1 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
      I have gotten into a 'discussion' with a friend about the treatment of slaves, runaways to be specific. He is more of a CW to WWII reenactor but has been the pre-1830 scene also.
      I have read that runaway slaves, if captured, were routinely killed and the bodies hung from trees to rot away in view of the other slaves as a lesson to not try running away.
      My friend claims this is not so because of the value of a slave, anywhere from the equivalent of a month's to a years income. They would be punished but not killed.
      Anyone here have definitive information on this unfortunate subject?
      Frank
    • Ed Kennedy
      In one of his books Neumann refers to a piece being puddle molded . Internet search comes up with reams of puddling reference but that is referring to an
      Message 2 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
        In one of his books Neumann refers to a piece being 'puddle molded'. Internet search comes up with reams of 'puddling' reference but that is referring to an iron smelting process. Nowhere can I find it as a casting technique.
        Any ideas?
        Thanks,
        ed

        Ed Kennedy
        1st Co'y, Herrick's Regt.






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      • Joseph Ruckman
        Your friend s argument makes some sense, so the first place I would start is with what you have read. What documentation is provided to support the assertion
        Message 3 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
          Your friend's argument makes some sense, so the first place I would start is with what you have read. What documentation is provided to support the assertion that they were killed and their bodies hanged in trees to discourage others?

          Regards,

          Joseph
        • Folo Watkins
          ... Punishments and mutilations--which if you read between the lines, sometimes led to death even if that was not the primary goal--were held before fellow
          Message 4 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
            >I have gotten into a 'discussion' with a friend about the treatment
            >of slaves, runaways to be specific. He is more of a CW to WWII
            >reenactor but has been the pre-1830 scene also.
            >I have read that runaway slaves, if captured, were routinely killed
            >and the bodies hung from trees to rot away in view of the other
            >slaves as a lesson to not try running away.
            >My friend claims this is not so because of the value of a slave,
            >anywhere from the equivalent of a month's to a years income. They
            >would be punished but not killed.
            >Anyone here have definitive information on this unfortunate subject?

            Punishments and mutilations--which if you read between the lines,
            sometimes led to death even if that was not the primary goal--were
            held before fellow slaves as a deterrent, and sometimes the slaves
            themselves even held the accused down during the punishment. Though
            the killing of a slave--"nothing more is thought of it than of a dog
            being killed" writes Francis Fredric in the 19C--but it seems to be
            dependent upon the slaveholder and, often, the opinions of his
            neighbors or even the slave community itself; Jefferson Davis allowed
            his slaves to punish themselves.

            Killing of slaves had not been murder in Virginia since the 17C, when
            a court noted that it was just the owner was just treating his own
            property and "no man would deliberately destroy his own property,"
            which indicates at least then that casual killing of slaves was not
            frequent and often more an error coming about because of misuse of
            other punishments.

            If you go to http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASpunishments.htm
            ("Slave Punishments" there are several first-hand accounts; most are
            from the 19C instead of the 18C, but I think you can assume that
            punishments did not differ much between the two centuries.

            Cheers, Folo
          • Jack Sherry
            Dear Liste, Just to add something to the discussion here, I recall reading in Athur Haley s book Roots (which might be suspect as a source since he plagarized
            Message 5 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
              Dear Liste,

              Just to add something to the discussion here, I recall reading in Athur Haley's book Roots (which might be suspect as a source since he plagarized some of his material) that Kunte Kinte (the African brought to America) was given a choice after being caught when he tried to run away. His choice was castration or having part of one foot chopped off. He chose to have his foot mutilated (if he had chosen the other, the book would never have been written). I agree that slaves were valuable property, they would most likely have been severely punished but not killed (unless it was for repeated running away attempts).

              Jack Sherry
              History teacher finally on vacation (YAY!)



              To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
              From: folo1@...
              Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 09:20:00 -0500
              Subject: Re: [Revlist] killing slaves







              >I have gotten into a 'discussion' with a friend about the treatment
              >of slaves, runaways to be specific. He is more of a CW to WWII
              >reenactor but has been the pre-1830 scene also.
              >I have read that runaway slaves, if captured, were routinely killed
              >and the bodies hung from trees to rot away in view of the other
              >slaves as a lesson to not try running away.
              >My friend claims this is not so because of the value of a slave,
              >anywhere from the equivalent of a month's to a years income. They
              >would be punished but not killed.
              >Anyone here have definitive information on this unfortunate subject?

              Punishments and mutilations--which if you read between the lines,
              sometimes led to death even if that was not the primary goal--were
              held before fellow slaves as a deterrent, and sometimes the slaves
              themselves even held the accused down during the punishment. Though
              the killing of a slave--"nothing more is thought of it than of a dog
              being killed" writes Francis Fredric in the 19C--but it seems to be
              dependent upon the slaveholder and, often, the opinions of his
              neighbors or even the slave community itself; Jefferson Davis allowed
              his slaves to punish themselves.

              Killing of slaves had not been murder in Virginia since the 17C, when
              a court noted that it was just the owner was just treating his own
              property and "no man would deliberately destroy his own property,"
              which indicates at least then that casual killing of slaves was not
              frequent and often more an error coming about because of misuse of
              other punishments.

              If you go to http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASpunishments.htm
              ("Slave Punishments" there are several first-hand accounts; most are
              from the 19C instead of the 18C, but I think you can assume that
              punishments did not differ much between the two centuries.

              Cheers, Folo





              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • gregsandor
              I recently read that the value of a slave in today s dollars might be around $400,000. That s an expensive warning, let alone the value of lost labor.
              Message 6 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
                I recently read that the value of a slave in today's dollars might be around $400,000. That's an expensive warning, let alone the value of lost labor.
              • John Ogden
                While I can t provide a direct citation, it was my understanding that killing a slave would be an extreme last resort after numerous attempts had been made (by
                Message 7 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
                  While I can't provide a direct citation, it was my understanding that
                  killing a slave would be an extreme last resort after numerous attempts had
                  been made (by the slave) to escape. It seems far more likely, on the basis
                  of cost analysis, to sell said slave further south ("down the river" - this
                  may be specific to the early / mid 19th century) or to a plantation in the
                  Caribbean. In either case, the owner is not completely out-of-pocket for
                  the slave's prior purchase and some plantations in Louisiana and the
                  Caribbean islands seem to have had such high wastage rates among the
                  slaves that even an unruly worker would still be useful and needed in the
                  short term. This conclusion is based entirely on reading secondary sources
                  and synthesizing the information therein: if I am wrong (ill-informed) here,
                  please let me know.

                  On Sat, Jun 26, 2010 at 12:52 PM, gregsandor <gregsandor@...> wrote:

                  >
                  >
                  > I recently read that the value of a slave in today's dollars might be
                  > around $400,000. That's an expensive warning, let alone the value of lost
                  > labor.
                  >
                  >
                  >



                  --
                  John J. Ogden


                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • rlsherman@sc.rr.com
                  Greetings, While there is plenty of evidence for all sorts of horrific punishments inflicted on slaves you need to refine your question a little. Were there
                  Message 8 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
                    Greetings,

                    While there is plenty of evidence for all sorts of horrific punishments inflicted on slaves you need to refine your question a little. Were there public punishments, hangings, etc after a slave uprising say, the Stono Rebellion of 1739, yes. Was it a common occurance, no. I can not recommend highly enough Phillip Morgan's "Slave Counterpoint". It compares and contrasts Virgina and South Carolina and is excrutiatingly detailed and documented. In short, slavery changes over time and in these two places in many different ways. Also, he is only looking at the 18th (and very early 19th) century. It is already a doorstop, to do all the antebellum stuff would be near impossible.

                    YMH&OS
                    Bob Sherman
                    Charleston, SC
                  • danieloconnell
                    this from a 2002 discussion citing Scientific American: From a disturbing article in Scientific American comparing modern debt bondage with slavery (bolding
                    Message 9 of 10 , Jun 26, 2010
                      this from a 2002 discussion citing Scientific American:

                      From a disturbing article in Scientific American comparing modern "debt bondage" with slavery (bolding mine):
                      Quote:
                      Although each of the manifestations of slavery has unique local characteristics, one of the aims of social scientists is to understand their universal features, so that therapies developed in one place can be applied elsewhere. Foremost among these commonalities is the basic economic equation. In 1850 an agricultural slave cost $1,500 in Alabama (around $30,000 in today's dollars). The equivalent laborer can be had for around $100 today. That payment might be made as part of a "loan" or as a "fee" to a trafficker. A young woman in Southeast Asia or eastern Europe might be sold several times, through a series of brokers and pimps, before she ends up in a brothel.

                      One should not read too much into these specific dollar amounts, because what the slaveholder purchases is somewhat different in each case. The basic point is that forced labor represents a much smaller percentage of business expenses than it used to. It took 20 years of labor for an antebellum American slave to repay his or her purchase price and maintenance costs; today it takes two years for a bonded laborer in South Asia to do the same. This fall in price has altered not only the profitability of slavery but also the relationship between slave and master. The expensive slave of the past was a protected investment; today's slave is a cheap and disposable input to low-level production. The slaveholder has little incentive to provide health care or to take care of slaves who are past their prime.

                      ........ I think the $400,000 figure from below is perhaps what us 'slave' parents spend on raising one child to adulhood and through college?....?...? (excepting car accidents?)

                      oconnel

                      --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "gregsandor" <gregsandor@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > I recently read that the value of a slave in today's dollars might be around $400,000. That's an expensive warning, let alone the value of lost labor.
                      >
                    • Jack Sherry
                      Dear liste et al, Just to reinforce Daniel s research...some online research turned up this information. Prime slave field hands sold for $400 to $600 in 1800;
                      Message 10 of 10 , Jun 28, 2010
                        Dear liste et al,

                        Just to reinforce Daniel's research...some online research turned up this information. Prime slave field hands sold for $400 to $600 in 1800; $1300 to $1600 in 1850; and up to $3000. in 1861. As a point of comparison, manual laborers on the Erie Canal earned about a dollar a day around 1850. So slaves were a considerable investment.

                        Jack



                        To: Revlist@yahoogroups.com
                        From: todanieloconnell@...
                        Date: Sat, 26 Jun 2010 23:52:45 +0000
                        Subject: [Revlist] Re: killing slaves






                        this from a 2002 discussion citing Scientific American:

                        From a disturbing article in Scientific American comparing modern "debt bondage" with slavery (bolding mine):
                        Quote:
                        Although each of the manifestations of slavery has unique local characteristics, one of the aims of social scientists is to understand their universal features, so that therapies developed in one place can be applied elsewhere. Foremost among these commonalities is the basic economic equation. In 1850 an agricultural slave cost $1,500 in Alabama (around $30,000 in today's dollars). The equivalent laborer can be had for around $100 today. That payment might be made as part of a "loan" or as a "fee" to a trafficker. A young woman in Southeast Asia or eastern Europe might be sold several times, through a series of brokers and pimps, before she ends up in a brothel.

                        One should not read too much into these specific dollar amounts, because what the slaveholder purchases is somewhat different in each case. The basic point is that forced labor represents a much smaller percentage of business expenses than it used to. It took 20 years of labor for an antebellum American slave to repay his or her purchase price and maintenance costs; today it takes two years for a bonded laborer in South Asia to do the same. This fall in price has altered not only the profitability of slavery but also the relationship between slave and master. The expensive slave of the past was a protected investment; today's slave is a cheap and disposable input to low-level production. The slaveholder has little incentive to provide health care or to take care of slaves who are past their prime.

                        ........ I think the $400,000 figure from below is perhaps what us 'slave' parents spend on raising one child to adulhood and through college?....?...? (excepting car accidents?)

                        oconnel

                        --- In Revlist@yahoogroups.com, "gregsandor" <gregsandor@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I recently read that the value of a slave in today's dollars might be around $400,000. That's an expensive warning, let alone the value of lost labor.
                        >





                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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