Women of 1800

Secret and surprising feats

Harsh Treatment of African American Women Slaves goes Too Far

African American slaves have dealt with many heart breaking and painful experiences. The first and most important fact about slavery is that slaves have no control of their lives. Their master is the one who decides to make them pick cotton or work in the house, not he slave. It is common to see the loved ones of a slave being sold away to a cotton farm or somewhere else by their owner. When the master dies the slaves either become the heir's or they are sold with all the land because they are considered property.


Their are laws made for the slaves protection so the owner cannot harm them. These laws are of course not fair and meaningless because an enslaved person cannot testify their treatment in court. So if they want to whip the slave they whip them, if the master wants to brand them, they can brand them. The slaves cannot do anything in their defense because they are property, like pigs or chickens. Slaves have no meaningful legal rights.


Most slaves live in small domains so the women slaves do not only do house work but they work in the fields too. The enslaved African American men are usually blacksmiths carpenters, or at least something similar. So the African American women are forced to work in the heat of the cotton fields. Since they work in the heat they wear light dresses or unwanted clothes from the master. Life in the house isn't easy either . The owners send the slave's children away because they don't want the children spending any time with a slave.


African slave trade became illegal so new slaves would would have had to been bred on the plantation. Many women were breeders. One woman slave was sold four times but never got to see her children. " I think I'm on the edge of going to the north. My life's ambition has been to be a free slave since the day I was born into it." says unknown slave.


The enslaved race does not get to vote, have their own property, education, travel, marry, or spend time with their children. African American women slaves have no rights.

Working Women

Not all women that worked were African American and enslaved. There were New England mill workers. They made textiles. They also had very bad working conditions. Many of them got tuberculosis from exposure. Many of the people working were either very young or single. Most didn't have a husband and a family because they didn't get enough money to support a family. One mill worker that worked in a cotton mill tried to get the other girls to strike with her. She was trying to strike because their wages were being cut. Her name is Harriet Hanson Robinson. She stood up on a big pipe and told them all "This is ridiculous that what we are getting such a low payment for so much work." "Then we all walked out, scruffy, plain dresses and all," Harriet says that they should get a raise in payment because some of the workers have families to feed.
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Secret and Surprising Feats, New York