Life Before The Constitution
By: Anne Joffe
Enslaved African American
Life is hard for me. My family and I live on a tobacco farm in Kentucky, where we work to make a little bit of money. Since we are African American, we are not treated like the Whites. We are not free, or have the same rights as them. Someday we will but until then, we are stuck working for them. We get whipped and hit if we are not doing something fast enough or if we are doing the wrong thing.
I live in Virginia. I am a tobacco planter. I have African American slaves to help me work on my farm. There is a total of 30 of them! So that means that there is a lot of hands working to help out on my farm. The more tobacco we sell, the more workers I can buy! That means more money for me and my family! This is kind of a bad time in society. We are having people work for us as slaves and then just sell them like fruit at a farmers market. I am lucky that I am white, so I don't have to go through all of that.
I am a farmer. I live in western Massachusetts. I only make a little bit of food. There is only enough to feed my family and a little to sell in town. Land is so expensive. I was only able to buy a little patch of land because of the price. Tax is also very high, so I am not bringing in that much money either. There is 5 people in my family including me. Everyone is practically starving because of such a small amount of food we have.