What Type Of Work Did Slaves Do?

by | Last updated on January 24, 2024

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Many slaves living in cities worked as


, but others worked as blacksmiths, carpenters, shoemakers, bakers, or other tradespeople. Often, slaves were hired out by their masters, for a day or up to several years. Sometimes slaves were allowed to hire themselves out.

What jobs do slaves do?

The vast majority of enslaved Africans employed in

plantation agriculture

were field hands. Even on plantations, however, they worked in other capacities. Some were domestics and worked as butlers, waiters, maids, seamstresses, and launderers. Others were assigned as carriage drivers, hostlers, and stable boys.

What types of work did slaves do on plantations?

What different types of work were done by slaves on plantations? Slaves worked as

butlers, cooks, nurses, blacksmiths, or carpenters


How many hours did slaves work?

On a typical plantation, slaves worked

ten or more hours a day

, “from day clean to first dark,” six days a week, with only the Sabbath off. At planting or harvesting time, planters required slaves to stay in the fields 15 or 16 hours a day.

What were the 2 types of slaves?

There have been two basic types of slavery throughout recorded history. The most common has been what is called

household, patriarchal, or domestic slavery


What skills did slaves have?

These skills, when added to other talents for

cooking, quilting, weaving, medicine, music, song, dance, and storytelling

, instilled in slaves the sense that, as a group, they were not only competent but gifted. Slaves used their talents to deflect some of the daily assaults of bondage.

What did slaves do for fun?

During their limited leisure hours, particularly on Sundays and holidays, slaves

engaged in singing and dancing

. Though slaves used a variety of musical instruments, they also engaged in the practice of “patting juba” or the clapping of hands in a highly complex and rhythmic fashion. A couple dancing.

Where did slaves sleep?

Slaves on small farms often slept in

the kitchen or an outbuilding

, and sometimes in small cabins near the farmer’s house. On larger plantations where there were many slaves, they usually lived in small cabins in a slave quarter, far from the master’s house but under the watchful eye of an overseer.

How much did slaves get paid?

Wages varied across time and place but self-hire slaves could command between

$100 a year

(for unskilled labour in the early 19th century) to as much as $500 (for skilled work in the Lower South in the late 1850s).

How much did slaves get paid a week?

Let us say that the slave, He/she, began working in 1811 at age 11 and worked until 1861, giving a total of 50 years labor. For that time, the slave earned $0.80 per day, 6 days per week. This equals

$4.80 per week

, times 52 weeks per year, which equals pay of $249.60 per year.

At what age did slaves start working?

Boys and girls

under ten

assisted in the care of the very young enslaved children or worked in and around the main house. From the age of ten, they were assigned to tasks—in the fields, in the Nailery and Textile Workshop, or in the house.

What are the 4 types of slavery?

  • Sex Trafficking. The manipulation, coercion, or control of an adult engaging in a commercial sex act. …
  • Child Sex Trafficking. …
  • Forced Labor. …
  • Forced Child Labor. …
  • Bonded Labor or Debt Bondage. …
  • Domestic Servitude. …
  • Unlawful Recruitment and Use of Child Soldiers.

What are the 3 categories of slaves?

  • 1.1 Chattel slavery.
  • 1.2 Bonded labour.
  • 1.3 Dependents.
  • 1.4 Forced labour. 1.4.1 Child soldiers and child labor.
  • 1.5 Forced marriage.
  • 1.6 Other uses of the term.

Is there still slavery today?

The Global Slavery Index (2018) estimated that

roughly 40.3 million individuals

are currently caught in modern slavery, with 71% of those being female, and 1 in 4 being children. … Its estimated a total of 40 million people are trapped within modern slavery, with 1 in 4 of them being children.

How long did slaves live?

A broad and common measure of the health of a population is its life expectancy. The life expectancy in 1850 of a white person in the United States was forty;

for a slave, thirty-six

. Mortality statistics for whites were calculated from census data; statistics for slaves were based on small sample-sizes.

What did slaves eat?

Maize, rice, peanuts, yams and dried beans

were found as important staples of slaves on some plantations in West Africa before and after European contact. Keeping the traditional “stew” cooking could have been a form of subtle resistance to the owner’s control.

Maria LaPaige
Maria LaPaige
Maria is a parenting expert and mother of three. She has written several books on parenting and child development, and has been featured in various parenting magazines. Maria's practical approach to family life has helped many parents navigate the ups and downs of raising children.