By 1860, eighty-eight percent
of slave owners in America owned at least twenty slaves. But if
a slave owner had a large amount of land then they would own more
than a hundred slaves. According to people who studied slavery,
over a four-year period of time, thirty percent of the slave population
died in the United States. The slaves in America would work from
sunrise to sunset, but around harvest time, when they had to gather
the crops, they would have to work an eighteen-hour shift. Women,
even if they were pregnant, had to work the same amount of hours.
The pregnant women had to work no matter what their condition,
until their baby was to be born. After they had their child they
were only allowed to stay on bed rest and recover for a month.
When they finally recovered and prepared to work again, they were
expected to carry their child on their backs as they worked out
in the field. When the child became at least five years old it
was time for them to begin working on the plantation.
Masters wanted their slaves to become Christians
because it made them easy to control. The masters would tell the
slaves something and say it was the word of god, and they’d
believe him because they could not read the bible. The masters
were scared that the slaves would use become too smart if they
knew how to read. That is why the masters did not want their slaves
to learn how to read, and there were laws against it. The slaves
were also not aloud to practice their African religious rituals.
The masters also thought that the drums would verify some type
of message as a signal for a slaves uprising.