Antebellum Slavery/Control.Housing



by Amanda Sell

"Our houses were but log huts—the tops partly open—where rain would come through. My aunt was quite an old woman, and had been sick several years; in rains I have seen her moving from one part of the house to the other, and rolling her bedclothes about to try to keep dry—everything would be dirty and muddy," says Henderson in Fifty Years in Chains, by Charles Ball.

At night, field slave families crammed into small one- or two-room cabins with as many as twelve people. There was no heating for the winter, and the summers were often so hot, slaves slept outside. Furniture consisted of wooden benches and chairs. Mattresses were made out of straw or moss, and slaves received one light cotton blanket approximately every three years. Most slaves had to carve wooden utensils and bowls and make jugs out of dried gourds.

Slave quarters in the South
Slave quarters

Slave quarters

Slave quarters

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