Job of the Overseer

Kaitlynn Miller 7th period

Slave overseers directed the daily work of the slaves. Overseers were usually white men, but occaisionally a slave would be promoted to this position by his master. Often, with a slave owner who was usually absent, both a black and a white overseer would be present. Usually, the master would not beat the slaves, but he would have the overseer deliver the punishment instead.
Slave overseers would deliver many cruel punishments. These punishments included whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding, and imprisonment. Sometimes, the slaves would be so severely beaten that they would die.
Slave overseers would often use torture devices on the slaves. These devices included, neck collars, wooden collars, face masks, and thumbscrews. When using a thumbscrew, a slave would put his or her thumbs between two metal bars, which had either pointed spikes or rounded ridges. There were screws on the device that would cause the device to close up when turned. The slaves thumbs would be crushed, and the ridges would stab into the slaves thumbs. This would cause severe pain without much effort.