Slavery In US

The Slaves’ And The Slaveowners’ Views Of Slavery "That face of
his, the hungry cannibals Would not have touched, would not have stained with
blood;-- But you are more inhuman, more inexorable, Oh! ten times more than
tigers of Hyrcania." Shakespeare I chose the topic about slavery for my
research paper because I thought it would be an interesting experience doing
research about slavery. It is American history and the more we know about it,
the better we can understand what is going on today in our country. I think that
because slavery was abolished very recently in terms of historical periods of
time, it still has an impact on today’s economic and political life. Searching
for the writings by slave owners was a more difficult task then searching for
the writings by slaves. However, I found a lot of useful material in various
sources. The slavery in the United States is no doubt a shameful history of our
country. White people transferred the slaves living in Africa to the New Land
and treated them as their property, not as human beings. The living and working
conditions of slaves and their food were extremely poor. Those were inhuman
conditions in which the slaves had to survive. Endless executions of the slaves
made the situation even worse. Slavery was a period of time when one race
treated the other race as animals, things, property, but not as people.

Unfortunately, not everyone saw the situation as it was in reality at that time.

As we can see from many different sources available today, the points of view of
slaves and slave owners on slavery were the opposite to each other. That can be
seen in various slaves’ and slave owners’ descriptions of slavery. Slaves
described their dwellings, food, clothes, labor, and the terrible treatment of
slaves by their masters. On the other hand, slave owners described the
relationships between slaves and their masters in a very positive way. They
argued that slavery is very beneficial for the slaves and the slaves are very
happy to live with their masters. Let us now consider both these points of views
in details. First of all, let us look at the slaves’ description of the cloth
they wore. The clothes supply was as minimum as possible and the quality of the
clothes was very bad. Here is how one of the slaves describes it. "Our dress
was of tow cloth; for the children nothing but a shirt; for the older ones a
pair of pantaloons or a gown in addition, according to the sex. ... In winter, a
round jacket or overcoat, a wool hat once in two or three years, for the males,
and a pair of coarse shoes once a year"(Lester 65). This scanty list of items
was the only things available to the slaves. Certainly, it was not enough for
the people who worked very hard for more than ten hours a day. The clothes were
very dirty and with holes all over the place pretty soon. Imagine if you have to
wear the same shirt day after day for the long time. The masters did not care
about slaves’ children; they did not distribute much clothes for them either.

According to the slaves, it was their problem what to put on their children when
it was cold outside (Feldstein 45). However, some slaves say there were some
masters who gave some extra material for the children, but it was not sufficient
any way. Others gave any additional clothes only for extra work (Feldstein 45).

As for the slave owners’ seeing the slaves’ situation, one of the
slaveholders reveals that he used to distribute new clothes once a year (Feldstein

45). This testimony by the slave owner actually testifies the slaves’
descriptions of the slavery that makes us believe to the slaves even more.

However, there were a lot of slave owners who saw the situation quite
differently. One anonymous slave owner in his letter to Lord Brougham argues
that " a slave, he [a black person] would have at least the protection of
one master interested in his welfare; as a freeman, almost beyond the pale of
government protection, with no one to take care of him, of a despised and
inferior race, a stranger in a land of strangers, how miserable would be his
fate!"(Williams 41) That is what this person really believes, and he was not
alone. The slave owners really believed that slavery was very beneficial for the
slaves, and they clothed their slaves well. According to the slaves, their