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Life on a Plantation

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Life on a Plantation

The life on a plantation was different for different types of slaves. There were the Filed Slaves and House or Domestic slaves. Both slave types were treated very poorly and unfair. Their were severely beaten and punished, often for no reason. Female slaves were also often raped by their masters or by local village boys. They could not defend themselves because the punishment for that would be even more devastating. The slaves didn't have comfortable cabins. They had to make their own furniture, tables and utensils. Some cabins didn't have a bed or blankets. They had to sleep on the floor if they didn't have a mattress. Some of the cabins weren't like any cabin that you might see on little house on the prairie. The cabins would be one room with a dirt floor or a wooden floor with cold air seeping through the cracks. Cabins usually had three to eight people living in one room.

Some people say that the Domestic Slaves had a better life than the Field Slaves, this is not true. They might have a more convenient working environment but the consequences of a "wrong doing" were even more dramatic. These consequences were not always short term. If a slave for example, eats a cookie from the master without his permission, he might be beaten regularly for months. The punishment for a Field Slave might have not been as severe. He might be beaten for a day, or he would not get fed that night. It was also more difficult to tell if a Filed Slave did something wrong because they were not that closely watched.

The job of the Domestic slave was to help around the house. They cleaned dishes, and repaired broken things around the house. They also helped raising children but their main job was to prepare the food and to serve it. Domestic Slaves were mostly elderly slaves that used to work on the field. Because of their age, they were not able to work on the plantations anymore so they served in the house.

On the other hand, the job of the Field Slaves was different. They were not allowed to enter the house or the private space of the owners property. Their job was to harvest the plantations. They mostly consisted of tobacco or cotton. These were known as cash crops, grown for the sole purpose to sell. Some slaves might need to get up before sunrise to feed the masters livestock.

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