Objective: To examine the slave codes that existed in the antebellum South.

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Objective: To examine the slave codes that existed in the antebellum South. African-Americans working in a cotton field near Atlanta, GA (c.1890). Returning From The Field. Slavery in America.
Objective: To examine the slave codes that existed in the antebellum South.African-Americans working in a cotton field near Atlanta, GA (c.1890)Returning From The FieldSlavery in AmericaThe photo captures the physical and mental fatigue of a woman as she returns from a day's work in the field picking cotton. Her dress is as worn as her face, and though she is weary she is determined. Notice the woman's fatigue, the character of her face, her strong hands, the sturdy but much used shoe, and the beaten path she trods.
  • Most slaves worked as field hands on cotton plantations.
  • Slaves were responsible for clearing land and planting and harvesting crops.Oklahoma Cotton Field. "Overseer and Negro Cotton Pickers”, ca. 1897--98. A group of African American cotton pickers rest, including several children. Although this photograph was taken after the end of slavery (1870’s) the plight of African Americans improved very little in the American South. Some slaves became skilled workers, such as carpenters or blacksmiths.The blacksmith was considered a skilled craftsman and therefore more valuable as a slave than field hands, which included women and young children.Former slave from coastal Georgia making a fishing net, early twentieth centuryWho's DatAlthough this photo was taken in rural Alabama in the 1890s, thirty years after slavery's end, the artist hopes to show how individuals lived through slavery and emerged into freedom with their honor and humanity fully intact. Notice the clean clothes worn by the woman and child, the healthy…Who's Dat…and clean-looking puppy, the sturdy and well-used broom. Notice the fence. The ruts in the road. The tip of a cabin roof in the background. As with all of his images, the photo contrasts the difficulties of life for blacks in the rural South with the strength of theircharacters.Slave Codes of the State of TennesseeFreedom of Movement 1741 - It was unlawful for enslaved blacks to leave the plantation of their master without written permission.Runaways1741 - After a runaway was brought before a justice of the peace, he was to be whipped up to 39 lashes.Murder1779 - Any person found guilty of willfully and maliciously murdering a free black was to receive the death penalty without benefit of clergy. Those convicted of murdering an enslaved black were responsible for paying the owner the value of such person. Exceptions were made in cases where blacks died while resisting arrest.Slave Codes of the State of TennesseeForged Pass1799 - Enslaved blacks producing a forged pass or certificate were to be whipped up to 39 lashes.TradeIt was unlawful for an enslaved black to sell any goods without written permission. Offenders were to be whipped between 5-30 lashes.Capital Crimes1819 - When committed by an enslaved black, murder, arson, burglary, rape, and robbery were deemed capital offenses and were to be punished by death.Slave Codes of the State of TennesseeMiscegenation1822 - Prohibited intermarriage between whites and blacks.Perjury1831 - Indians, blacks, or mulattos found guilty of perjury were to have one ear nailed to the pillory, and, after one hour, the ear would be cut off. The process was then repeated to the other ear followed by a whipping of 39 lashes.Emancipation1857 - Blacks emancipated from slavery were to be sent to the west coast of Africa.Re-enslavement1857 - Law facilitated the re-enslavement of free blacks. Slave Codes - laws meant to keep slaves from running away or rebellingSlave Code Examples:- Slaves could not leave their owner's land without a written pass.- Slaves could not own guns.- It was illegal for slaves to learn how to read or write.- Slaves could not testify in court.
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