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27 August 2001


Part One - The Colonial South


Why study sectional history?


Colonial -

      New England -           emphasized education

      Middle Atlantic   -     emphasized different crops than the south

      South -                 slave based agriculture


19th Century -

      New England and the South compete for support from the west.


Nationalism and sectionalism arose during the middle period (between Revolution and Civil War) it was a product of the doctrines of democracy and manifest destiny.


New England, with manufacturing and free labor became economically superior.  They wanted legislative power commensurate with their economic power.


The Civil War wasn't the only time secession was threatened, and the South wasn't the only group to do it.


  1. New England threatened secession in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase.
  2. New England again threatened secession in 1814 at the Hartford Convention because of the War of 1812.
  3. South Carolina threatened secession in 1832 over the tariff.
  4. The North and South alternately threatened secession over the admittance of Texas in the 1840's.
  5. Compromise of 1850.


Sectionalism is very important in United States history.  There are more similarities than differences between the sections.  The only thing that made the war inevitable was slavery.


What made the South different?

1.    The South is the most unified of the three sections.

2.    Homogeneous population:  overwhelmingly white, Anglo-Saxon and protestant. 

2.1.                         Most people that didn't emigrate from England went north to avoid competition with slave labor.

3.    Climate and Geography:  The south has a largely sub-tropical climate, with a growing season of 6-9 months.

4.    Agrarian Economy:  automatically suggested by the extended growing season.

4.1.                         Colonial south - Tobacco (Tidewater, Virginia); Rice (Savannah, Charleston); Indigo (South Carolina)

4.2.                         Post revolutionary south - Cotton, Sugar, Hemp, Grain (Virginia, Tennessee)

4.3.                         Directly related to the staple crop growth in the south was a need for huge labor forces.  Everyone aspired to move into the planter class and have a plot of land and lots of slaves.  To own a plantation meant you had socio-economic and political influence.

5.    Effect of the Industrial Revolution:  The invention of the spinning jenny and the loom created a demand for raw cotton. 

5.1.                         Eli Whitney made short-staple cotton profitable in 1793 with his invention of the cotton gin. 

5.2.                         Short staple cotton grew almost anywhere - Carolinas, Virginia, East Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida, etc.

6.    Slavery:  After the revolution, many northerners started to abolish slavery. 

6.1.                         Slavery is profitable.  Most whites aspire to become slaveholders.

6.2.                         Slavery is racially based.  All slaves were black, but not all blacks were slaves.  This brought about white supremacy ideals.  U.B. Phillips says the central theme of southern culture was the presence of large numbers of blacks, which led to a constant struggle to keep the whites on top.

6.3.                         Abolition movement - began in 1830's.  The south was attacked because they maintained slavery. Before the 1830's, the south was apologetic.  After the 1830's they had a positive defense of slavery.

7.    Governmental System:  County vs. Township - South has a county system controlled by the county court, led by the gentry, and utilized mostly against the lower classes.

8.    Sense of Family: widespread family unity.

9.    Status of Women:  Women were placed on a pedestal.  They place more emphasis on physical attractiveness than intelligence in the south.

10.Propensity toward physical violence:  Antebellum custom - slaves are usually punished privately.  Vigilante justice popular.

11.Orthodox Protestantism:  This may be a city/rural difference rather than a north/south difference.  In the south, if you're new in town, they just start recruiting.

12.Agrarian philosophy:  People engaged in farming were socially viewed as being closer to God.


What are historian's views of southern differences? 


Grady McWhinney and Forest McDonald say that roots of the Celts that settled in the south (not English) were reflected in Southern society.  This idea assumes that ethnic roots are reflected in certain hereditary characteristics regardless of location.


Genovese and other Marxist historians say that because of paternalistic attitudes, the South had a different set of values - pre-capitalist, anti-bourgeoisie.  "There's a fundamental difference because of slavery."  They say these paternalistic attitudes caused a hierarchical class structure, gentility, and the acquisition of wealth for pleasure, not power.


Scarborough says the south places a greater emphasis on honor and gentility, but the basic values aren't much different.


In general, New York seems to provoke southern reflection on differences between the regions.  Maybe this is because NYC seems to be more materialistic, and less genteel.


Is there a break between the old south and the new south?


C. Vann Woodward says that the Civil War is a watershed.  Carl Degler (Place Over Time) and Scarborough say the roots of southern distinctiveness lie in the plantation life-way, but with the CW there remain important fundamental differences.  The Southern defeat in the CW only serves to reinforce these differences.




Geographical Setting - Before the CW, 15 states gave legal sanction to slavery.  11 eventually become the CSA, and 4 are border states during the war - MD, DE, MO, and KY.  The Mason-Dixon runs between MD and PA.


Within the South, there are four geographic regions:


1.    Coastal Plain:  MD and VA "Tidewater" - This is the largest region. 

1.1.                         Encompasses the nation's coast from the Rio Grande to Delaware.

1.2.                         All of the Florida peninsula

1.3.                         Swampy land in LA

1.4.                         Sandy loam in MS

1.5.                         Bad place to live because of malaria, hookworms

1.6.                         Very fertile

1.6.1.                      "Lowlands" SC coast - Rice, Indigo, Sea Island Cotton, Sugar

1.6.2.                      "Black Belt" from Montgomery, AL to Columbus, MS -short staple cotton

1.6.3.                      "Delta" encompasses Northwest MS, Northeast LA, and Southeast AK - short staple cotton

1.7.                         Coastal plain had the economic power until the 1750's, and then it shifted to the Piedmont.

2.    Piedmont:  Richmond, VA; Raleigh, NC; Columbia, SC; Augusta, GA, Montgomery, AL - usually center of economic growth in the south.

2.1.                         Separated from Coastal Plain by the fall line.

2.1.1.                      Fall Line:  Ancient shore of ocean.  Creates waterfalls along the fall line.

2.2.                         Piedmont goes west to the Appalachian Mountains.

2.3.                         Lots of big cities on the Piedmont.  Why?

2.3.1.                      Waterfalls are natural energy producers

2.3.2.                      Waterfalls are the head of navigable waters to the sea.

2.4.                         Climate is cooler

2.5.                         Red Clay soil good for tobacco

2.6.                         Trees tend to be hardwood

3.    Mountain Highlands:  Blue Ridge Mountains - from PA to GA. 

3.1.                         Mount Mitchell (6,000 ft) and Clingman's Dome are the highest points. 

3.2.                         Shenandoah valley in VA is the largest river valley in the region.

3.3.                         Extremely good for agriculture.

3.4.                         Limestone quarries a big deal in Lexington, VA; and TN.

3.5.                         Mountain Highlands slope back to Coastal Plains in Arkansas.

4.    Great Plains:  Everything east of 98th meridian to the continental divide.  Has black, waxy soil suitable for short staple cotton.


A prevailing geographic feature for the whole region is the 7,000-mile coastline from Baltimore to Galveston. 


From east to west, the major ports are -


  1. Baltimore, MD
  2. Norfolk, VA
  3. Charleston, SC
  4. Savannah, GA
  5. Mobile, AL
  6. Biloxi/Gulfport, MS
  7. New Orleans, LA
  8. Galveston, TX


Such a huge coastline made blockade running easy during the war.


31 August 2001


Growing Seasons



Length of Season

Rainfall (in inches)

Upper South

6 Months

40-50 inches/year

Middle South

8 Months

40-50 inches/year

Deep South

9 Months

50-60 inches/year


A negative side to all of the rainfall in the south is massive soil erosion.


Southern climate makes it very poor for health.  Very high infant mortality rate - it also affects speech - people talk more slowly.


Colonial South - MD, VA, SC, NC, GA




Basic stock was English, later Scotch-Irish and German.


Predominantly middle and lower class English.


VA&SC - Upper Class Immigrants

NC&GA - Lower Class Immigrants


Virginia - First colony established.  1/3 is English gentry (upper middle class) the rest were freed indentured servants.  The established church was the Church of England (Upper Class - Anglican)


Maryland - Calvert Family (Establishing family) was Roman Catholic, but most of the settlers were protestant.


North Carolina - English, some are secondary colonists from VA.  Mostly lower class.  Later, Scotch-Irish, Scots, and Germans.


South Carolina - English from West Indies (From Jamaica and Barbados) brought slavery with them.  South Carolina had a black majority as yearly as 1708.  Established in 1660's, in 1775, 60% were black, 1/2 in 1860.  At the end of the 17th century, South Carolina got a lot of French Huguenots.


Georgia - English, Scotch, considerable number of Jews.  Usually lower class, but not debtors. 


Total white population of the colonies was 775,000 to 300,000 blacks -

66% English

20% Scotch-Irish

 5% German

 5% Celtic Irish

 4% Huguenots

 4% Jews


There was no immigration during the Napoleonic or Revolutionary wars.  The only time the US was a real "melting pot" was before the revolution.




French Huguenots - French Protestants given protection under the Edict of Nantes, revoked in 1675.  In 1680, people came mostly to South Carolina.  They were middle class, skilled workers, small tradesmen.  Most went to Charleston and became Merchant/Planters and intermarried with the English, eventually became Anglican.  Some very important

Huguenots were - Moultrie, Lecare, Marion, Ravenel, LeConte in GA, Matthew Fontaine Maury (oceanographer in GA), Monet in MS, and John Sevier (TN pioneer).  Huguenots are disproportionably represented in science.


Germans - Motivated by political instability, religious conflict, and economic problems.  Most went to North Pennsylvania in 1710-15.  Later they began to come down through the Shenandoah Valley and ended up in the backcountry.  Western MD and VA, Western Carolinas, Hagerstown, Salisbury, Winchester are all German enclaves.  They built superior log cabins, invented the Kentucky long rifle, Conestoga wagon, Tinsmiths, cabinetmakers, coopers.  They were good farmers - used careful, far-sighted agricultural practices.  Used Subsistence rather than Staple farms.  Are frequently Lutherans, Moravians (NC).  Established communal villages like Winston-Salem, NC.  Religion emphasized brotherly love and peace.


Scotch-Irish - Celts: Presbyterian.  Lowland Scots were resettled in Northern Ireland (Ulster) in 1600's by James I so he could solidify his support.  Followed the same path as the Germans - Came into N. PA and emigrated south through the Shenandoah Valley.  Admirably suited for life on the frontier - known for their "tenacious will".  Notable Scotch-Irish:  Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Woodrow Wilson, John C. Calhoun, and Andrew Jackson.


Highland Scots - Arrived 1735 in GA.  Fayetteville, NC is known for its Highland Scot population.  (Highland Scots made up the 82d Airborne at Ft. Bragg.) Scots noted for their Gaelic speech, Protestant Religion, and their Loyalty to oaths.


Welsh - Thomas Jefferson, George H. Thomas (USA Major General at Chickamauga)


All Presbyterian (anybody from Scotland) emphasized a trained clergy.  They all had to go to college.  With trained ministers, trained laity is necessary.  Presbyterians established Hampton-Sydney University(NC), Washington-Lee University(VA), Princeton (NJ){although Princeton is in NJ, it is very southern}, Davidson (NC).


Predominantly Non-English Colonies


Louisiana - 1763-1800, LA was under English Control.  The rest of the time it was a French Colony.  Early settlers from Santo Domingo brought in slavery, and the sugar culture.  Louisiana was under French-Spanish-Creole leadership.  Predominantly Roman Catholic, Code Noir est'd 1754 was the mildest slave code in the colonies.


Florida - Spanish until 1763.  Very thinly populated, didn't enter union until 1845.  In 1860, there were 2 slaves in Dade County.  Earliest efforts to cultivate sea coast cotton and sugar.  Third colony to secede.


Texas - Spanish/Mexican influence, very thinly populated.  Spanish missions, cattle, cotton and sugar were the main crops in 1820's with Steve Austin in 1830's, 30,000 population.


Three societies comprised the colonial South.  A society is defined as a community sharing common values. 


  1. Chesapeake:  VA and MD.  Piedmont, Tidewater.  Rural, based on tobacco.  English mostly and tried to reestablish that society.  No cultural, artistic or education to note.  Even in colonial culture, they showed genius in Agriculture and Politics.  First to use Slavery and the Plantation system.
  2. Carolina Low Country: Center of the region is Charleston - largest colonial city in the south - established in 1680 on peninsula of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.  Low country whites led the US in per capita and income.  Rice was primary source of income - introduced by slaves.  Carolina Low Country didn't have much Middle Class.  They had to have lots of land and money to cultivate rice.  In 1750, Henry Middleton owned 50,000 acres and 800 slaves.  The low country led the south in cultural interests.  Charleston had a subscription library that was established in 1748, two newspapers, the SC Gazette and SC Weekly Gazette, and an arboretum established by botanist Alexander Garden.
  3. Back Country:  Settled by Scots and Germans in the 1740's.  Usually subsistence farms, there weren't many to start with.  Low mortality rate, high violence and drinking.  They were more democratic and supportive of education.






Staple crop plantation developed late in the colonial period because of demand for production of Tobacco, Rice, and Cotton.


Large units of land and a huge labor force were needed to grow all three.

Accumulation of estates occurred mostly through headright system, primogeniture, and entail.


Headright System: Virginia Colony in 1618 said that each individual who introduced a laborer got a 50 acre grant.


Primogeniture:  All property passes to oldest son.  (Primogeniture was phased out after the revolution, and was only used for men with families who died intestate.)


Entail:  Property must not be sold outside of the family.


Robert King Carter:  VA Planter.  Died 1732 and left 333,000 acres and 700 slaves




Tobacco, Rice, Indigo, and Naval Stores


Tobacco:  First profitable export.  John Rolfe discovered in 1612 that curing VA tobacco removed the bitter taste that the English complained about.  Rolfe married Pocahontas because women didn't come to the colonies until 1719.  By the revolution, 110 million pounds were exported in one year to Europe.  Tobacco was perfect for exportation because it was small in bulk and brought a huge price.  Eventually, overproduction became a problem.


In 1660, Parliament passed the navigation acts.  Required all tobacco first to England before they were shipped to other countries in Europe.  The English imposed a huge tax - from 200 to 600%.  In the 1700's, GBR became lenient.


Factorage System (This procedure was the same for all staple crops.)  Products were marketed by London factors (commission merchants).  Merchant will sell at best time and credits planter with the net proceeds.  The planter ended up with 35% of his money.  The rest went to the factor.  2.5% commission, freight, insurance, storage, and transport took the other 65%.  Merchant buys luxury items for the planter and sends them over, then charges them against the planter's account.  Over time, the planters go in debt to the Merchants.  These planters supported the revolution.


Rice:  Only planted in the South Carolina Low Country, and Coastal Georgia - counties between Georgetown, SC and Savannah, GA.  Thomas Smith introduced rice in 1684.  Smith got the seed from Madagascar, cultivated it in swamps.  Rice has to be flooded at least three times a year.  In 1758, Georgetown planter McKewn Johnstone introduced the tidal flow system.  Rice plantations were set up on rivers flowing into the Atlantic.  When the tide came in, it would force fresh water into the fields.  Rice plantations were plentiful on the Peedee, Waccamaw, Santee, Savannah, and Actamaha Rivers.


7 September 2001


Carolina Gold Seed Rice was developed and was in great demand.  Had the same trade problems with the English as Tobacco.  In 1730, sales were permitted to the Mediterranean.  Rice cultivation encouraged the Task System.  Slaves were assigned tasks.  When they finished, the slaves could have free time.  In September, rice reached maturity.  It was cut by sickle, threshed by flail or oxen, and taken to mills.  Rice cultivation is very unhealthy work.  The mortality rate of slaves and whites was very high.  Planters ended up leaving in mid April and returning in September.


Indigo:  Chief dry-land crop in SC and GA.  Introduced in 1742 by Eliza Lucas.  She later married a Pinckney, and was mother to CC and Thomas.  Lucas got the seed from her father, who was the colonial Governor of Antigua.  Six years after Lucas introduced indigo, GBR subsidized the growth by 6p per pound.


Indigo is a fernlike plant that looks like asparagus, and grows to about six feet tall.  To harvest:  cut indigo is put in water and fermented.  Addition of limewater precipitates indigo solids; solids are pressed into squares and dried.


Caterpillars ate the whole indigo crop.   After the revolution, Indigo was no longer grown.  Also, after the revolution, there wasn't a bounty.


Naval Stores:  Longleaf pine products - turpentine, tar, pitch.  Leading producer of naval stores before and after the revolution was NC. (Tarheels)


Turpentine:  from slashing pine trees and collecting the sap in boxes

Tar:  collecting the residue from burned pine logs


In 1705, A Swedish company got the monopoly on naval stores, and the price went up.  GBR began to use colonial products.


GBR subsidized 4 pounds/ton of pitch, 3 pounds/ton of turpentine - about 34,000 pounds/year.  NC was leading producer until the civil war, then GA.




Colonial south was characterized by an abundance of land and labor. 


In 17th century, white indentured servants were the primary labor source.  There were lots of poor people in Europe who wanted to go to US - 6 pounds was usually the passage fee.  People would sell themselves into servitude.  They'd work for four to five years and then get out.  In late 1700's slavery started.  1/2-2/3 of whites in 1600's were servants.  Servants weren't only a source of labor, they also provided lots of European settlers.


1.    There are four classes of Indentured Servants:


1.1.                         Regular Servants:  Signed articles of indenture where they agreed to serve a particular person for four or five years.  Master agrees to bring them to the US, maintain them while they're there, and pay them freedom dues.

1.2.                         Redemptioners:  Had some money and traveled in families.  Family would enter an agreement with the captain and got two weeks to raise the remainder of their passage after they got to the US.  If they couldn't raise the money, they'd be sold into slavery for a time sufficient to pay off their debt.  Lots of Germans were redemptioners.  They made the best citizens after they got here.

1.3.                         Criminals:  GBR had a very strict penal system - 300 capital crimes.  Brits issued pardons in 1700's to felons who left the country.  They usually left as indentured servants.  They were exiled for 7-14 years, and usually went to VA or MD.  Both states tried to pass laws to keep them out, but the Privy Council overturned the laws.  1/5 became okay citizens, the rest weren't.

1.4.                         Kidnapped:  from the cities, they were usually young people, drunks, or homeless who were kidnapped and thrown on the ship.

2.    Treatment

2.1.                         In general they're treated as property.

2.1.1.                      Did field work 5.5-6 days a week

2.1.2.                      Could be bought and sold

2.1.3.                      Couldn't vote

2.1.4.                      Couldn't marry without master's consent

2.1.5.                      Punishment for running away was extension of service

2.2.                         They did have some good qualities, though.

2.2.1.                      They could sue in court

2.2.2.                      Own property

2.2.3.                      Serve in militia

2.2.4.                      Came voluntarily

2.2.5.                      Served a brief period of time


Slavery supercedes servitude because there is:


10 September 2001




Indentured servitude was unsatisfactory because it wasn't controllable or long-term, and freed servants were a threat.


Late 1600's - slavery began replacing servitude.  A Dutch vessel delivered the first African slaves to Jamestown in 1617.


1672 - England's Royal African Company got the monopoly.  They were supplied by "factories" in West Africa.  They closed in 1752.


Late colonial slave traders were northerners.  Ex:  150 Rhode Island ships and 125 GBR ships at one point.


Slavery was started in Africa.  POWS from tribal wars were the first ones traded.  Europeans or Yankees brought slaves south.  Slaves were run in a triangular fashion - the "middle passage" from Western Africa to the Indies was the worst.  They got out once a day for cleaning and exercise.  Slaves were held in a 3ft space, manacled.  There was a very high mortality rate - an average of 15-20% died during the middle passage.

Western Africa: Rum traded for slaves.  Slaves are sent to the West Indies to be broken in before they're sent to the colonies.

















West Indies: Slaves are traded for molasses.  Slaves exported from W. Indies to N&S America.







The last known slave cargo came to the US in 1859.  Less than 4% of 14,000,000 came to the US.  Because the male/female ratio is equal, US slave population reproduced itself.  It started at 500,000, buy Civil War, there were 4,000,000.


Slavery was prohibited until 1759 in Georgia.  There weren't many large slaveholders before the revolution.


SC - Average - 33 Per Master in 1776

      George Mason - 300

      George Washington (VA) - 200

      Charles Carroll (MD) - 600


1700  36,000 total

1760  300,000 total

1776  450,000 total


1808 - Foreign slave trade prohibited by law.  Smuggling still occurred, though - ca.55,000 brought in illegally.


1820 - by federal law, smuggling results in death, but there were no convictions.


1619 - first Africans were freed - they were indentured servants.  Very soon after, a policy developed of not freeing the indentured servants.

1656 - VA had the first act recognizing slavery

1662 - VA positive legal recognition - status of child follows status of mother.

1680- VA passed slave code - had the harshest code of all colonies/states.

1712 - SC adopted slave code identical to Barbados


The SC (Barbadian code) was adopted by most of the south.


1734 - Louisiana Code Noir

      Devised by Louis XIII(?) - mildest code of all until LA became a state, then it became very harsh.


1851 - AL enacted law that mothers couldn't be separated from their children, it was on the books until the war.


The Three Evils of Slavery:

1.    Denial of individual freedoms

2.    Middle Passage

3.    Domestic Trade and breakup of families


Trade, Commerce, and Industry


Commerce:  Southern colonies were tied closer to England than the Northern or Mid-Atlantic colonies.


Mercantile System:  Colonies furnished raw materials and sent them to England, then purchase finished goods from England. The value of exports from the south was four times as much as others, and two times as much as their imports.  Many merchants were Scots - they came over, intermarried with the planters, and prospered in the port cities.  After the revolution, NYC and the NE marketed southern products.  Manufacturing was discouraged; England passed laws to discourage it in the colonies.


Forest products were shipped and made into ships, shingles and barrels.

Iron industry was allowed in a few states - VA, MD, and PA.

Flour milled in VA and MD.

Slave laborers and skilled artisans were coopers, bricklayers, tailors, smiths and cobblers.


12 September 2001




Social class divisions:


  1. Planters: Leaders
  2. Middle Yeoman: Small independent farmers
  3. Lower Class Whites:  Squatters, Indentured Servants
  4. Free Blacks:  Very few in the south
  5. Slaves


Religion:  Anglican was the official church in the South (Episcopalian)- mainly the planter class.  Other churches started breaking apart from the Anglicans.


The Great Awakening:  1740 - but actually started in 1734 with Jonathan Edwards.  An evangelical/revival - We're all sinners, and in order to be saved, we must have an emotional experience.  George Whitefield - Boston to GA.  Samuel Davies- spread Presbyterianism in Western VA.


What did the Great Awakening do?


1.    Promoted growth of other denominations -

1.1.                         Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist

2.    Promoted better treatment of slaves -

2.1.                         Religion wasn't segregated until after the War.

2.2.                         Blacks made the division between the races soon after the war.

3.    Promoted education

3.1.                         Presbyterians pushed for education of the laity because the clergy is highly educated.

4.    Southern colonies were very orthodox

4.1.                         Probably a result of their defense of slavery.




South had no concept of public education - it was only for the elite.


Boys and girls were instructed by their mothers for the first few years, and then tutors were hired.  Many were northerners who just graduated from college.


      Phillip Fithian: tutored Robert Carter III's kids at Nomini Hall.  Fithian had just graduated from Princeton - he taught them Greek, Latin, Math, History.  He was paid 40 pounds for one year.


Girls were instructed in music and dancing.


Carter in 1791 began emancipation of his 500 slaves, it continued for 9 years.


Boys were sent to secondary schools (academies) or England for boarding school.


Only colonial college in the south was William and Mary (1693) in Williamsburg, VA.  Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and John Tyler went there.  George Wythe was the first law professor in the USA - he taught at W and M.  He was also the VA delegate to the constitutional convention.  William Small was an instructor there, and he greatly influenced Jefferson.  Phi Beta Kappa was established in 1776 at William and Mary.


Southern Libraries:  Not many because of the lack of urban centers in the south.

Thomas Bray:  commissary (agent of the bishop of London).  He founded The Society For Propagation Of The Gospel In Foreign Parts (SPG).  Missionary wing of the Anglican Church established in 1701 in MD.  Public libraries opened at each parish in MD.  First free library was in Annapolis, MD "Bray Library".


William Byrd II: of Westover Plantation on the James River had 4000 volumes, by comparison, George Washington had 900, and Thomas Jefferson had 9-10,000 volumes in 1790.  Jefferson's library was purchased by the US government in 1815, and became the nucleus for the Library of Congress.  Jefferson had books on Agriculture, Religion, Politics, and Greek and Roman classics.


Local Government


All southern colonies but MD are royal, meaning their major officers are appointed by the king.


3 branches:



      Assembly - elected

(In MD, the proprietor - a member of the Calvert family - appoints the governor.)


Basic unit in the south is the county, based on the shire in England.  County court has Legislative, executive and judicial powers.  Eight or more Justices of the Peace served without pay. (read: were always rich because they didn't have to have the money from the state job.)


JP's rode a circuit and tried minor petty cases individually - one day a month they gathered at the county seat and tried more important cases as a panel.


Also apportioned local taxes, supervised road condition, and granted certificates for land grants.


The executive officer in charge is the sheriff.  The south used the same system until the 1970's, where the sheriff is in charge of the jail, tax collection and enforcing the peace (making arrests).


During colonial period, the foundation is laid for a conscious south.  The main tenets of this consciousness are:

§         Dominance of a Staple Agriculture

§         Establishment of Slavery

§         Development of the Plantation Economy

§         Reliance on a Local and State Government

§         Identification with the mother country

§         English attitudes and way of life


18 September 2001


Part Two:  Emergence of a Conscious South, 1775-1820


The Revolution necessitated change.  The bounties for indigo and naval stores were removed, and indigo production didn't last throughout the revolution itself.


1830 - Andrew Jackson reopened trade with GBR.


New commercial crops are developed! Grain and Hemp are introduced in the upper south; Sugar Cane and Cotton are introduced in the lower south.


Tobacco - affected by lost of the British monopoly - production stable from 1790-1830.  VA, MD, NC couldn't control production - it was a problem in trying to plan how much to plant because of the 18 month period before tobacco could be sent to market.





1.    Change from plantation to small farms.  - More economical because tobacco is very labor intensive - 5.5 acres required 2 hands.  At first, seeds are planted in beds, and then transplanted, next they're topped to avoid blooms, and then the older leaves are stripped and cured.  Tobacco is also very hard on soil.

2.    Many planters changed crops because it is way too hard on the soil.  They grew corn, wheat, and raised livestock.

3.    New Tobacco Belt in TN, KY, and MO - Adds extra stress in old tobacco belt - by 1843, the West beats the south in production.  KY was the biggest producer that year.



1.    Remained stationary in production due to its narrow geography.

2.    Rice planters were the wealthiest of the staple crops. 

2.1.                         Nathaniel Heyward of South Carolina made $120,000 in 1805 selling rice to Napoleon.  He reinvested that money in land and slaves.  Had 17 plantations, 2500 slaves, and 9 residences in Charleston.  Total estate value on his death was greater than 2 million dollars.

2.2.                         William Aiken - owned Jehossee Island, entered politics, was governor in 1844-46.  Served 3 terms in the US House in the 1850's, people said he was a paternal master.

2.3.                         Joshua John Ward - Scottish, 1100 slaves (d. 1853) leaving 6 or 8 plantations.

3.    In general, 200+ slaves held by one individual in 1850 constitutes the elite.  1/3 of these are South Carolina Rice planters.



1.    Cotton comes in two varieties

1.1.                         Long staple (a.k.a. Sea Island)

1.2.                         Short staple (a.k.a. Tennessee Greenseed, Georgia Upcountry)

2.    Long Staple:  higher quality, used in fabric

2.1.                         Advantages:  easy to separate seeds, better, higher quality, gets a better price

2.2.                         Disadvantages:  geographically confined to the islands off of Georgia and South Carolina, low yield, requires delicate handling

2.3.                         SC was the leading producer of long staple cotton, they produced 11,000,000lbs in one year in the 1820's.

3.    Short Staple:  versatile

3.1.                         Advantages:  versatility - grows anywhere east of (somewhere in TX?)

3.2.                         Disadvantages:  hard to separate seed from the lint

3.3.                         1793, Eli Whitney developed the cotton gin to remove the seed from short staple cotton.  This made SS cotton profitable, and slavery possible.  Whitney was traveling from the north to the south after finishing his college degree.  He was going to become a tutor.  Onboard the ship, he met Catherine Greene.  Whitney went to her plantation in GA, came up with the idea of the cotton gin, and by the end of 1793, it had been copied in MS.  He went into business with Phineas Miller, both men competed for Greene's hand in marriage.  Miller won, and Whitney went back to Connecticut.

3.4.                         1790 - Samuel Slater established the first cotton textile mill in Pawtucket, RI; it flourished during the war of 1812




The two main reasons slavery continued in the south and not in the north were:

      Sheer numbers of blacks

      Profitability of cotton


Until 1830-40, the south had an apologetic attitude towards slavery.  They didn't start the positive defense until later.



1.    Introduced by Jesuit priests in Santo Domingo.  Slave uprising led by Toussiant L'Ouverture in 1790 renamed the island Haiti, and forced the fathers to run.  Priests began growing sugar in 1780's.  The 1794-5 crop really took off when a French Soldier - Etienne DeBore produced the first very successful crop - made $12,000 profit.

2.    By 1780, there were 75 plantations in S. LA.  Some were actually from France.

3.    Like rice, sugar is expensive.  Large land holdings and lots of labor are necessary.  Also, they have to have a sugar mill, railroads or log roads to move cane to the mill, and experts (sugarmaker and engineer).  It took approximately $10,000 to equip a plantation.

4.    People tried to cultivate sugar in FL, GA, SC, NC, and TX.  TX was the only other place it worked, on the Brazos River Valley.  There were 40 plantations.

5.    It was hard to compete with the West Indies because Louisiana gets a freeze - the cane they were growing doesn't do well with a freeze.

6.    1817 - Ribbon Cane imported from Philippine Islands - Matures in 11 months, not 12.  Sugar cane comes back every year - In the W. Indies, the same crop produces for 12 years - In LA, only for 3 years.

7.    Since LA could only produce about 1/3 the yield of the Indies, they needed the protection of the tariff, and tried to keep it.  Most in S. LA were Whigs.  There were lots of problems with levees in LA and also with disease because of the climate. 



1.    Growers needed protective tariff for protection from Russia.

2.    Hemp was introduced into KY in the 1790's, later MO grown by slave labor.  Competes for number one with tobacco.

3.    Chief market - rope and bagging for cotton bales

4.    Grows to 10 ft, is cut with a hemp knife, fibers are extracted after the stalks rot.

4.1.                         Dew-Rot: stalks left to rot in fields, (used in KY and MO) yields lower quality, can't be used by navy.

4.2.                         Water-Rot:  stalks rot in vats of water - stalks rot in vats of water.


Why did slavery become a sectional institution?  The American Revolution


North emancipated almost all of their slaves immediately - South emancipated a few of theirs (ie:  Robert Carter III).  Two documents mentioned slavery.


1.    1787 Northwest Ordinance - Territorial document, applied to Great Lakes States.  Eventually applied three stages to all new territory.  Slavery was specifically outlawed.   South contends.  Said the government had no right to force legislation on a territory.

1.1.                         ID & IL tried to legalize slavery

1.2.                         ID in 1806, and IL in 1830 petitioned congress to legalize.

2.    Constitution of 1787 - No direct mention of word slave, but slavery is recognized three times.

2.1.                         Article 1, section 2:  apportionment of house representatives and direct taxes - population + 3/5 of slaves (population to include indentured servants and exclude Indians)

2.2.                         Article 1, section 9:  No interference with foreign slave trade for 20 years.  Tax/Duty levied.

2.3.                         Article 4, section 2:  Fugitive slave code - slaves escaping to north are bound to master and returned to master.


Federal government has ambivalent view toward slavery, most southerners were philosophically opposed.


Attitudes on Slavery


North:  10% of population in northeast is slave, with several thousand in NY and PA.  PA led the emancipation effort - possibly because of their Quaker background.


1776 - Society of Friends membership ordered to free their slaves.


There are three ways to end slavery -



Northern states frequently sold south before their legislation took effect.


South:  Slavery was general and widespread in the south. 

In 1782, VA made manumission very easy - state law said that freed slaves could remain in the state.  In 1805, the law was repealed. 


One owner that took advantage of VA's leniency was Robert Carter III at Nomini hall in VA.  In 1791, guided by the influence of the Baptist Church, Carter started freeing 30 slaves a year.  The youngest were freed 21; slaves over 45 were freed immediately.  In 1812, the last slaves were freed.  Carter's was the largest single act of manumission.


Slave owners between 1780 and 1810 in MD and VA freed 30,000.


The American Colonization Society - 1817 - supported in MD and VA, and by Abraham Lincoln, Henry Clay, James Monroe, James Madison, and Francis Scott Key, as well as the legislatures in MD and VA - they gave money to the cause.  Wanted to send slaves to a colony of Liberia - capital Monrovia - but the federal government didn't like the idea.


Liberia and Ethiopia were the only free countries during the 18th century colonization rush from European countries. (esp.  FR and GBR)


Isaac Ross in MS sent lots back to Africa in the 40's.  Many slave owners gave money to the state offices of the ACS.  In 1817, there were only 773 free blacks in MS, and 84,000 in MD.


In MD, David Hunt kept his slaves, but donated $50,000.


In the 1960's the ACS had a brief revival.


MD came close to abolition in 1830's, VA missed abolition by only a few votes in 1830.


Lower South:  No general movement to abolish - very few attempts to do so.  Why?  Because cotton was profitable.


Foreign Slave Trade:  1776-1800 - every state passed laws against trade from the West Indies and Africa.  Reasoning was economic - An increased supply would drive down the price.


1803 - SC reopened the foreign trade because they knew that it would end in 1808.  In the interim, 40,000 slaves came in.  January 1, 1808 - federal law went into effect.  At first, only heavy fines for trafficking.  Later, slave smuggling (usually on NY and RI ships) brought in approximately 55,000 slaves.


1820 - Congress defined smuggling as piracy and the penalty was death.  No southern court convicted.


21 September 2001


The New Southwest:  Areas being settled by people from the Eastern seaboard states.  KY (1792) and TN (1796) are first to be settled and made states.  In Eastern TN, Franklin, TN wanted to be a breakaway state (Sevier founded it) before statehood was declared for the whole present-day state of TN.


1814 - Andrew Jackson's defeat of the Creeks opened expansion west of GA.  Defeat of Indian groups in SW leads to the Great Migration to the Southwest.  Slaves moved down diagonally.


Land Speculation:  AL and MS were very prosperous in 1830's, and there was lots of cheap land.


1803 - LA purchase opened lots of land for settlement.  LA would become a state in 1812, MO in 1821, AK in 1836.


The Florida Panhandle was settled before the Civil War.


Texas:  1820's Steve Austin led families in to the TX territory in 1823.


Slave migration is greater than white migration.  Planters moved with their slaves.


1.    Thomas Dabney - VA - Tobacco planter.  In 1835, he migrated to Hinds County, MS and brought a large family (16 children) and 200 slaves.  He gave them the choice of moving or staying in VA.  Most came.  He bought 4000 acres of land.  Named his plantation Burleigh.  He was a Whig.

2.    Allen Glover - SC, 1818 - Planter moved to Demopolis, AL with his entire family and 200-300 slaves.


Some of the wealthiest planters in SC and VA had land and plantations in the southwest but governed by absentee.


ROOTS OF SOUTHERN NATIONALISM: Four political reasons -


1.    In mid 1880's, Treaty with Spain - John Jay was in charge of foreign affairs.  Jay was willing to concede southern boundary to 32'30° and to give up free navigation on the MS river in order to get a favorable commercial treaty.  The south was opposed to it.  All 5 southern states opposed it, and the vote was 7-5.  Under the Articles of Confederation, 9 states must approve.  Southerners remember this at the Constitutional Convention.

2.    Constitutional Convention - Sectional conflict between north and south over 3/5 compromise and slavery issue.

3.    Rise of political parties in 1790's - Federalists and Jeffersonian Republicans.  Federalists get most of their support from the Northeast; Republicans get theirs from the South and the West.

4.    1798 - John Adams (Federalist) passes Alien and Sedition acts.  Designed to reduce the power of the republicans.  It curbed freedom of press and speech.  VA and KY pass resolutions in 1798.  These Southern states unveil doctrine of nullification, or the idea that individual states can nullify a federal law if they believe it to be unconstitutional.  They asserted that right in SC in 32 and 38 with nullification of tariffs.


24 September 2001


Increasing conflict between New Nationalism (after the war of 1812) and Sectionalism. 


New Nationalism:


1.    National literature emerges - James Fennimore Cooper and Washington Irving.

2.    Nationalist legislation - 2d national bank, 1st protective tariff in 1816.

3.    Nationalist Supreme Court - Under Chief Justice John Marshall, lots of Nationalistic laws were passed.

4.    Foreign Affairs - Monroe Doctrine



1.    VA - Thomas Jefferson, Roane (Chief Justice of VA Supreme Court) and John Taylor of Caroline (meaning he's from Caroline County, Virginia) met to discuss Nationalist strengths.  In the first quarter of the 1800's, John Taylor of Caroline is pro state's rights.  He's in the minority now.  In 1798, John Taylor of Caroline urged Thomas Jefferson to form a southern confederacy.  He was against a national debt, bank, and tariff, and for agriculture and the south.  He was worried Northern strength would put the South down.

2.    First incident showing Southern Sectionalism -

2.1.                         MO Compromise of 1820 - Missouri was admitted as a slave state, Maine was admitted as a free state to balance the slave/free power in congress.

2.2.                         36°30' established as the line between slave and free states.

3.    In the late 1820's and early 30's, Indian removal in GA was a big deal - Tribes were moved out of GA to OK over John Marshall's objections.  When GA defied Marshall's order, Andrew Jackson defended the states right, and said, "Let Judge Marshall stop them."

4.    South Carolina made the protective tariff the scapegoat of all its economic ills.  They nullified the tariff in 1832, and John Jay barely kept the state out of a military confrontation.  They never really got back in with the federal government.

5.    1840's and 50's - The south was reduced to a minority; they had an equal vote in the Senate until 1850, sustained losses in the Electoral College and representatives to congress.

6.    1835 on - Growth of the abolition movement - it ceased to be about stopping the spread of slavery, and became an issue of stopping slavery where it already existed.  Even in the 1850's they were in the minority.  In response, the south changed its attitude from APOLOGY to one of POSITIVE DEFENSE - they said it was sanctioned by God, good for master, good for slave, good for everybody.

7.    1846-1848 - Mexican War - Brings in more territory, continues conflict over expansion - Compromise by 1850 - but it only lasts for 10 years.


Plantation System:  Evolved to meet the world demand for products, notably cotton.


How do we find out what happened on plantations?

1.    Plantation Records:  Kept records, just like businesses of today

1.1.                         birth/death certificates

1.2.                         cotton picked per individual

1.3.                         diaries

1.4.                         personal and business correspondence

1.5.                         There are several depositories of plantation records

1.5.1.                      UNC Chapel Hill - biggest and best

1.5.2.                      LSU - LA and lower MS Valley

1.5.3.                      UTX - in 1980's bought a collection of records that a private individual stole from Natchez.

1.5.4.                      State Archives - MDAH in Jackson is one of the best in the south

1.5.5.                      Charleston Historical Society - Rice, Hemp plantations, Low Country

2.    Agricultural Journals: Edmund Ruffin edited one in VA

2.1.                         Normally circulated in the literate farmer circles.

2.2.                         Planting

2.3.                         Overseers

2.4.                         Slave Management

2.5.                         Broad sense of agriculture

3.    Travel Accounts

3.1.                         Mostly northerners and Europeans

3.1.1.                      Best American is Frederick Law Olmstead of New York City - Later became the architect of Central Park.

4.    Slave Narratives - In the 1930's, the WPA sent people to take down slave's stories.

4.1.                         Give an overly benign version of the truth because:

4.2.                         They were little kids when all of this happened and now they're in their 80's having to rely on their memories.

4.3.                         They are being interviewed by white people during segregation

4.4.                         Things in the 1860's probably didn't look so bad in comparison to the Great Depression.

5.    Slave Autobiography - by runaway slaves

5.1.                         Published mostly in 1850's

5.2.                         Give an overly harsh view of slavery because they're usually written in dictation by northerners and used as propaganda.

6.    Census - 1850-1860 - 3 Schedules of concern       

6.1.                         Schedule 1:  Free Inhabitants

6.1.1.                      Head of Household

6.1.2.                      Birthplace and occupation of all household members

6.1.3.                      Members ages, names, and genders

6.1.4.                      How many in school

6.1.5.                      How many literate

6.1.6.                      Value of real property (In all states by LA and KY, real property is land, and personal property is slaves.  In LA and KY, real property is land and slaves.

6.1.7.                      Value of personal property

6.2.                         Schedule 2: Slave Schedule

6.2.1.                      Age

6.2.2.                      Gender

6.2.3.                      Color (Black or Mulatto - indicated by a B or M - not in degrees)

6.2.4.                      Number of houses for slaves

6.2.5.                      In the 1860 census, there are names for slaves over 100 years old.  In SC, one of the Hamptons had 12 slaves over 100 years old.

6.3.                         Schedule 3: Economic - no real interest

6.4.                         Schedule 4: Agricultural

6.4.1.                      Name of Owner

6.4.2.                      Number of acres of land both improved and unimproved

6.4.3.                      Value of farm as a whole

6.4.4.                      Value of farm implements

6.4.5.                      Value of crops (amount from previous year)

6.4.6.                      Value of Livestock


Plantation v. Farm


Plantation:  A fairly large agricultural unit whose purpose is to provide a staple crop for sale and labor force is slave.  Plantations must have 20 or more slaves, with 200 or more acres of improved land.  The management division is clear.


Farm:  Farms have fewer than 20 slaves and 200 acres of improved land.  Farms do not engage in staple farming - subsistence farming only, and there is no clear distinction between labor and management.


55% of slaves in ante-bellum south were on plantations. 



There are four divisions of management on a plantation -

1.    Planter and his family

1.1.                         Formulated plantation rules

1.1.1.                      for overseers

1.1.2.                      plantation routine

1.2.                         crop type and allotment

1.3.                         seed and livestock ordering

1.4.                         patron and regulator of slave life - paternalistic

1.4.1.                      provides allowance

1.4.2.                      clothing

1.4.3.                      holidays

1.4.4.                      religious instruction

1.5.                         planter as businessman is concerned

1.5.1.                      welfare of slaves

1.5.2.                      livestock and agricultural implements

1.5.3.                      production of staple crop

1.5.4.                      production of subsistence crops (hog meat and corn)

1.5.5.                      care of land

1.6.                         Plantation mistress

1.6.1.                      over household - large numbers of house slaves

1.6.2.                      supervising care of the sick

1.6.3.                      educating young children in the family - plantation mistresses were very educated.

1.7.                         Children

1.7.1.                      Boys expected to inherit the plantation    oldest is always the next planter    next are usually in the army, or professionals

1.7.2.                      Girls were trained to be planter's wives    Marriage prospects were very slim

2.    Steward (only in cases of an absentee planter) - Very small group - only ca. 100, with 1000 overseers

2.1.                         Only used in cases of 2 or more absentee plantations

2.2.                         Held same functions as the planter when he wasn't there.

2.3.                         George Washington had a Steward for Mount Vernon during his presidency.

2.4.                         Richard D. Powell managed the Coke family holdings in Lowndes County, MS and Greene County, AL

3.    Overseer - very important to plantation management - hated by the slaves

3.1.                         employed at plantations with 25+ working field hands

3.2.                         usually yeoman farmers, intelligent, but literacy is questionable

3.3.                         constantly criticized by the planter

3.3.1.                      because he's socially beneath the planter's class

3.4.                         many shortcomings attributed by the master to the overseer are caused by the master's actions

3.5.                         responsible for slave discipline, made him very unpopular

3.6.                         served as master's scapegoat

3.7.                         responsible for master's orders, like

3.7.1.                      slave welfare

3.7.2.                      discipline

3.7.3.                      executed planter's policies

3.7.4.                      care of livestock and implements

3.7.5.                      supervises work of slaves in fields

3.7.6.                      assigned slave gangs to work in the gang system

3.7.7.                      assigned tasks in the task system

3.7.8.                      inspected cabins

3.7.9.                      distributed clothing

3.8.                         Sometimes on absentee and rice plantations that didn't employ a steward, he was the only white man on the plantation.

3.9.                         Few men wanted to be overseers as a career.  Most ambitious overseers aspired to get land and slaves and become planters themselves. 

3.10.                     Overseers were well paid - in cotton district - low of $100/year to the high in rice district of $2000/year.  In MS, they got $600-$800/year and were furnished with a house, furniture, and a servant if unmarried.

3.11.                     Overseers had to be stern with the slaves; they couldn't afford to be paternalistic.

3.12.                     The first year for a new overseer is a period of testing for the overseer.  Slaves would do anything to turn the overseer against the planter and vice-versa.

4.    Driver - all male/slaves

4.1.                         Chosen for his leadership abilities

4.2.                         Physical strength

4.3.                         Assisted overseer in routine duties

4.3.1.                      bringing out slaves in the morning

4.3.2.                      setting the pace in the fields

4.3.3.                      frequently had to wield the whip in punishment

4.4.                         occasionally there was a driver for each gang - one for the hoe gang, one for the plow gang, etc.

4.5.                         brought $2,000-3,000 on the block

4.6.                         driver is really the man in the middle

4.7.                         a few planters dismissed overseers and let their drivers run everything

4.7.1.                      Jefferson Davis

4.7.2.                      Edmund P. Ruffin left his driver Jem Sykes completely in charge on an absentee plantation.




1.    House Servants

1.1.                         Positive - had close personal relationship with the whites and better living conditions

1.2.                         Negative - constantly on call and constantly under surveillance

2.    Slave Artisans

2.1.                         Skilled craftsmen

2.1.1.                      smiths, coopers, brickmen, carpenters

2.1.2.                      valuable, brought $2,000-$3,000 on the block

3.    Field Hands - majority of slaves

4.    Supplementary workers - employed under 3 conditions - were usually poor whites, but could be free blacks, too

4.1.                         more labor needed than is available

4.2.                         very dangerous work - ditch diggers were usually Irish

4.3.                         work "too hard" for blacks - sugar maker and engineer on sugar plantation were hired for 4 months of the year


Gang:  Worked sunup to sundown - depended on ability for grouping slaves - regular and uniform work


Piece work or Task System:  rice plantations exclusively - Fields were divided, hands assigned to some task, and they were allowed to go home when they finished.  Gave the incentive for rapidity and quality of work.


Special slaves were - herdsmen (tended livestock) and trunk minders (rice fields).


Children didn't work until they were about 10 years old.


Attitude of Planter toward the slave:

1.    Planter concerned about

1.1.                         monetary worth of slaves

1.2.                         humanitarian treatment (often they're Christians)

1.3.                         have to make a profit, but they want to keep slaves content

1.4.                         any punishment short of death is legal


Five consequences of plantation/slave regime -

1.    Export trade in southern staples stimulated growth of commerce and trade in the western world - stimulated the industrial revolution.

2.    Brought people from Africa to America and settled them on the best agricultural land in the country.

3.    Developed machinery for control of labor that has seldom been equaled.

4.    Plantation regime called a "school" in a "higher civilization".  There was no formal education for slaves; it was actually illegal.

5.    Basis for southern society and civilization, which influenced politics.

5.1.                         Southern Whites were 19% of the total population, but 50% of politicians.

5.1.1.                      9/14 presidents

5.1.2.                      80/150 cabinet members

5.1.3.                      80/134 ambassadors


The "Peculiar Institution" of Slavery


Before the civil war, there were three slave societies in the Americas - Cuba, Brazil, and the US.  In the US, slavery wasn't static; it spread with western expansion.  The US has the only slave society to reproduce itself. 


Slave       White       Black population isn't increasing

1820        1.5 M       3.0 M       faster than the white population -

1860        4.0 M       8.0 M       it's 1/3 on average of total pop.


Domestic Trade:  One of the three undeniable evils of slavery - mostly came from small farms in VA and sold south.  The practice developed from the beginning of slavery.  Usually came from small private and estate sales.  After the close of foreign slave trade and the northern emancipation started, many slave holders in the north sold to plantations in the south.



VA          9,000/year

SC          6,000/year

KY          3,000/year


Alexandria, Richmond, Charleston, and Memphis were main exporting cities.


270,000 imported in MS between 1830 and 1860.  MS was 36% slave in 1810, 52% slave in 1840, and 55.2% slave in 1860.


How'd they get here?

1.    Migrating Masters

2.    Delivery by professional slave traders.

2.1.                         most came this way - Michael Tadmann says 60%

2.2.                         usually prime field hands

2.3.                         transported by coastal ships, river boats, or slave coffles

2.3.1.                      departed in early fall, and walked 25 miles/day

2.3.2.                      manacled men, women and children weren't manacled, young children were in wagons

2.4.                         biggest firm was Franklin and Armfield

2.4.1.                      based in Alexandria, VA with major offices in New Orleans and Natchez

2.4.2.                      Isaac Franklin was well regarded in society -    owned Bellmont plantation    several plantations in LA (one was Angola)    5-600 slaves total    worth $750k    d. 1849    When he died, his wife married J.A.S. Acklen.  All of the money went to the wife; Acklen had a son with Franklin's former wife.  This past year, Acklen's grandson donated a whole lot of money to form the Acklin library at UNC Chapel Hill.  The majority of that money was inherited from Franklin's slave trade - but UNC doesn't know that.

2.4.3.                      Nathan Bedford Forrest    made lots of money in Memphis trade    fits the stereotype of planters

2.4.4.                      Rice C. Ballard    From KY    Papers at UNC    really horrific accounts of things he did to slaves    was the Natchez agent for Franklin and Armfield    had 500 slaves in several states    d. 1860    His wife married a union officer soon after he died.    Ballard was a partner with Samuel Boyd, a Natchez Judge.  Boyd was originally from Maine.  He was married, but had a slave mistress.  His wife almost found out about the mistress.  Boyd asked Ballard to sell the mistress and his children in Texas so the wife wouldn't find out.

3.    Procreation

3.1.                         Frederick Bancroft claimed that slaves were bred for the market, but there's no evidence.

3.1.1.                      Masters did welcome pregnancy on the plantation, though

3.1.2.                      They didn't force breeding

3.1.3.                      Encouraged monogamous, married relationships, although there was no legal sanction for slave marriages and masters weren't legally bound not to separate families.

3.1.4.                      LA (Code Noir, 1837) and AL (1852) prohibited sale of kids under 10 from their mothers.

3.1.5.                      Probably 20-25% of families were split up.

3.1.6.                      Some masters wrote wills to keep families together after they died.

4.    Some lower states prohibited importation of slaves for sale

4.1.                         Economic, not moral

4.2.                         Bad slaves might get into the market

4.3.                         Each slave imported had to have a certificate of good character signed by 2 citizens of originating state.

4.4.                         1832 MS Code outlawed importation for sale, but it wasn't enforced, Repealed in 1846.




Slave Laws: 6 different types:

1.    Federal

1.1.                         Federal Fugitive Slave Law

1.1.1.                      1793 - reads slaves that escape from their masters and make it to a free state would be returned to their masters.

1.1.2.                      North was opposed.  Prigg v. PA emasculated the fugitive slave law.

1.1.3.                      1850 - South got a new and stronger law with the Compromise of 1850

2.    State General Criminal Code

2.1.                         Applies to Blacks and Whites

2.2.                         Master compensated for the slave if a capital offense was committed and the slave was hanged.

2.3.                         Minor laws got corporal punishment - branding for felonies.

2.4.                         Under both constitutions in MS, slaves accused of felonies got a jury trial.  From a panel of 24, 12 were chosen, 6 had to be slaveholders.

3.    State Slave Code

3.1.                         Codes tightened around 1830

3.2.                         Against the law in all but MD, TN, and KY to teach a slave or free black to read or write.

3.3.                         Couldn't leave plantation without written pass

3.4.                         Curfew - usually 9pm

3.5.                         No firearms, horses, or drums

3.6.                         Couldn't administer medication to whites

3.7.                         No more than 7 together on the highway

3.8.                         No more than 5 in assembly

3.9.                         Couldn't enter Legal contract

3.10.                     Couldn't testify in court

3.11.                     Couldn't strike whites unless in defense of the master

3.12.                     Punished by any means other than death

3.13.                     Upon resistance to punishment, slave could be killed.

Mostly honored in breech rather than enforcement

3.14.                     Master required to:

3.14.1.                  Provide food and Shelter

3.14.2.                  Provide medical and old age care

3.14.3.                  Limit work hours

3.14.4.                  Cruel and Unusual punishment outlawed

4.    County Patrol System (Patty Rollers)

4.1.                         Enforcement of code

4.2.                         At first the responsibility was left up to the community

4.3.                         Administered by militia muster, and later policemen

4.4.                         Obligates every man to go on patrol

4.4.1.                      Women and clergy exempt

4.4.2.                      Planters usually bought out

4.4.3.                      Went out one month at a time on random nights

4.4.4.                      Patrolled roads

4.4.5.                      Inspected cabins for contraband

4.5.                         Some were regularly scheduled, others only with suspected threat of a revolt

4.6.                         Occasionally men got drunk and just beat up any blacks they found.

5.    Municipal

5.1.                         Town servants had to abide by city laws - this presented 3 problems.

5.1.1.                      Often slaves were obliged by the nature of their employment to move around

5.1.2.                      Not unlikely they'd be confused with free blacks

5.1.3.                      Frequently hired out to some other business

6.    Plantation

6.1.                         Most disciplinary action conducted privately

6.2.                         Most slaves participated in day-to-day resistance

6.2.1.                      Breaking tools

6.2.2.                      Burning barns

6.2.3.                      Feigning sickness

6.2.4.                      Slowing work

6.2.5.                      Hurting animals

6.3.                         Maybe it wasn't the slave's attempt to hurt the master, just human nature

6.4.                         Running away was endemic, but only border states lost them permanently.

6.5.                         Why?

6.5.1.                      Escape of punishment

6.5.2.                      Be with family

6.5.3.                      New overseer

6.6.                         How'd they get them back?

6.6.1.                      Some came back voluntarily

6.6.2.                      Newspaper advertisements

6.6.3.                      Other slaves turning them in

6.6.4.                      Neighbors turning them in

6.6.5.                      Lower south used bloodhounds

6.7.                         Typical Punishments

6.7.1.                      Flogging - Most plantations specify maximum number of lashes - 15-50, with 50 being average max limit.  In royal navy sailors could get 300 lashes

6.7.2.                      Extra work on Sunday and Holidays

6.7.3.                      Stocks - common for free people in colonial times

6.7.4.                      Confinement to Plantation

6.7.5.                      Bennett Barrow in LA dressed offending men in women's clothes.

6.8.                         Rules were also enforced by a reward system

6.8.1.                      Maunsel White on his Plaquemines Parish plantation "Deer Range"    Paid for work on Sunday    Provided socks, mosquito nets, sheets    Rewards for work well done after harvest, etc.


Economics of Slavery



Costs are variable, it's difficult to calculate the real value of a slave.


General consensus - slavery was profitable for individuals, but the institution had a negative effect on the region as a whole.  It was bad for education, industrialization, urbanization, and immigration.


Market Price:


Colonial:  trend was upward, but since supply was limited, it didn't skyrocket.


Post-Revolution:  prices declined with sympathetic attitudes


1800-1860:  Price tripled with the cotton boom - $300 in 1800 $1000 in 1860, because the supply was cut off, demand increases with the demand for cotton, and speculation.


Prices varied according to many factors -



Living Conditions: 


Housing - frame houses of 1-2 rooms, sparse furniture, arranged together in a group.  Occasionally there are brick houses, but they usually date from colonial times.  Ex: Boone Hall


Common problem was overcrowding - Jefferson Davis @ Briarfield had 5 per house - his brother Joshua had 77 cabins for 335 slaves at Hurricane.


Food:  nutritious but not much variation - 3-4lbs of pork, 1 peck of cornmeal, and 1pt of molasses.  Supplemented by gardens, fish, chickens, occasionally a side of beef for special occasions.


Clothing:  Two times a year, usually May and September - slaves got two summer/winter outfits, one straw/wool hat, two pairs of shoes, but most went barefoot in the summer.  Got blankets every 2-3 years.  Most clothing was made on the plantation by superannuated slaves


Deer Ridge -

63 total slaves

41 men - 2 shirts, 1 pants, 1 jacket, 1 blanket, 1 pair of shoes /$326 total

22 women - 1 robe, 1 chemise, 1 blanket, 1 pair of shoes, 1 handkerchief/$458 total

8 October 2001


Type and degree of plantation work


Northern abolitionists said that slaves on sugar plantations in LA were worked to death.  In reality, no one was.  On average, about 300 pounds of cotton were picked a day, both before the war by slaves and after the war by paid workers.  Anyone employed in agriculture works from sunup to sundown, regardless of their position in life.  Conditions in European factories and mines were much worse.




Family life: 

Religious Life: 

§         Southerners were interested in introducing their slaves to Christianity.  Why?

o        Had a genuine interest

o        Used church as a means of social control

§         Churches weren't segregated before the war

§         Some masters built chapels on their plantations

o        Traveling ministers and other missionaries visited periodically

§         Any open religious observation was Christian

§         Slave children were taught catechisms by plantation mistresses

o        Text of the catechisms was biased toward slaves.

§         Plantation ministry enterprise

o        300 Methodist bishops in SC

§         Slaves were divided among the denominations - in 1860

o        250,000 Baptists

o        66,000 Methodists

o        Less than 60,000 Presbyterians

o        Lots of Catholics in LA

o        No Jews - just a few in GA


12 October 2001


After Walker's Appeal in 1829, and Nat Turner revolt in 1831, the prohibition of teaching blacks to read and write was a bigger deal, but sometimes slave children knew how to read.


General living conditions were very bad to pretty good.  Slaves in small farms in the upper south were better off than those in the big plantations.


Greater degree of paternalism in the US than other slave-holding societies - as slaves, southern blacks were probably treated pretty well, but as people they weren't treated well at all.


Town Slavery

Slavery is involved in every considerable aspect of ante-bellum southern history.  They were in factories, iron factories, coal mines, newspapers, hotels, schools, and convents.


Largest number were domestic servants, some were in factories as workers, master craftsmen.  Much greater proportion were sold or hired out.  30-35% were probably hired out.  Regular brokers made sales arrangements.


White workers who competed with the slaves in factories disputed use of slaves in cities.  Tredegar Iron Works had a labor strike over slaves hired by owner.


Some skilled slaves earned $300-500 a year which went to the master.  Were allowed to get bonuses, some saved the money and bought their freedom.





Slavery and Crime


Most crime occurred on the plantation and action was taken there.  Some crimes were public, and punished by the state.  Considering slave's status, there was a low crime rate.


VA - from the end of the revolution to the end of the Civil War - ca. 45 years - rose until 1830's and then fell.  Total number is 1400 or 17 per year (public crimes only) majority were by males. 


Slave Insurrections


West Indies Islands - Jamaica, late 1600's


Surviving insurgents escaped to mountains, were called maroons.  Finally in 1738, authorities made agreement not to bother them and maroons agreed to accept runaways.  1790's they were rounded up and sent to Sierra Leone. 


Most notable in the North were in 1712 and 1741 in New York City.


1741 - Hughson Insurrection


1739 - Stono Insurrection


15 October 2001


After 1800, revolutions were inspired by Toussiant L'Ouverture, there were four major ones.


Gabriel Insurrection - 1800


Saint John the Baptist Parish, LA - 1811


Denmark Vesy - Charleston, SC - 1822


Nat Turner Revolt - South Hampton County, VA - 1831


Why weren't there more revolts?  Genovese says these conditions increase likelihood, and none were present in Antebellum South:


Southern Reaction to Abolition Movement


Abolitionist Literature



Black Abolitionists


  1. Frederick Douglass
    1. Born a slave in MD, ran away
    2. Gave speeches and wrote books


17 October 2001


The push for individual free manumission in the south ends around 1830 with the north's growing abolition movement.


Mob actions in the 1830's


Reaction in the south - Bloodshed was suspended because the abolitionists wouldn't go south.  In Memphis, minister Amos Dresser was publicly whipped for receiving abolitionist materials.


In Alabama, the penalty for producing or receiving abolitionist literature was death, in Maryland, it was 10-20 years in prison.


Seamen's Acts - 1822 - South Carolina was first to implement


Censorship of the Mail


Right of Petition


Underground Railroad



1842 Prigg v. PA


Church Splits


Anti-Slavery Political Parties


Each section was trying to impose its views on the other.


In 1836, Beverly Tucker wrote The Partisan Leader


19 October 2001


Southern attitudes became that of positive defense. 


Pro-slavery writers:

      William F. Wickham - VA - Pro-Unionists

      Thomas W. Dew - VA - William and Mary

      William Gillmore - SC - Sims College

      George Fitzhugh - VA - Lawyer - Had the most radical view - all laborers should be       slaves - wrote Sociology of the South, and Cannibals All.


Besides writers, both teachers and ministers wrote pro-slavery books.




1860 - 262,000 in the south, and 238,000 in the north.


Free blacks in general were:


Majority are in the upper south.  84,000 in Maryland, and 778 in Mississippi.  They usually lived in towns, and were usually mulattoes.


Free blacks had obtained their freedom in one of three ways:


§         voluntary manumission:  Wholesale manumissions took place after the revolution.  It was more difficult after that.  Slaves could be freed by legislature for meritorious conduct.   1830-47 NC Legislature passed 98 acts for freeing slaves.  1857 - George Washington Park Custis freed 300 slaves.  Also, Robert Carter III.

§         purchase of their freedom:  for slaves living in the cities, if they had a job they could save  money to buy their freedom.  In LA, John McDonagh paid slaves wages for overtime earned from 1825-1842.  80 slaves purchased their freedom and went to Liberia.

§         accident of birth to a free mother:  Free black mother and slave father.  Usually happened in Louisiana and the upper south.


22 October 2001


What did they do?

      Usually they were domestic servants, agricultural laborers, or skilled artisans.  A few earned great distinction.  Free blacks almost held a monopoly on barbering.  Some did very well.  Many were mulatto and could pass for white. 


Black Slave holders:


1832 - NC there were black slave holders with 44 slaves each - by 1860 none had slaves. 


Metoyer - Natchitoches, LA had lots of slaves, and consanguination. 

James Pendarvis - SC - with his daughter held 250 slaves

Cyprian Richard had $250,000 in land. 

Thomas Lafoon of New Orleans, LA was worth $500,000


In VA free blacks were better off before the end of the war than after.


William Tyler Johnson - “Barber of Natchez”  son of a white father and mulatto mother, was set free by his master.  Johnson had 1500 acres of land with 18 slaves.  He owned 8 barber shops, and was very literate.  Johnson made about $2000 of loans to whites in Natchez.  He gambled, attended the theater, and bought liquor.  Johnson won a lawsuit against Baylor Winn, and was later killed by him.  The only witness was a young black boy who couldn’t testify against the white Baylor Winn.  Winn wasn’t prosecuted.


Professional Men -

Inventor Norbert Rilleux - New Orleans, LA.  Educated in Paris.  In 1843, invented a vacuum pan for boiling sugar cane juice.  By the Civil War, the Rilleux apparatus was in use on every sugar plantation in LA.  Benjamin P. Judah was the first to use it.


Minister Morris Brown - minister in Charleston


John Chavis - Attended Washington and Lee, owned and operated schools in Raleigh and Hillsboro.  In his schools were enrolled the sons of Justices, Governors, and Senators.


William James - Consulted with white doctors in Georgia.


Legal Status of Free Blacks


Toward the end, there were efforts to completely remove free blacks.

All former slaves were granted the right to vote with the 15th amendment in 1868, and three northern states voted it down.  When John Randolf of Roanoke sent his slaves to Mercer County, Ohio, the whites kicked them out.  In Indiana in 1831, migrations from other states were prohibited unless a white resident of Indiana had a $500 bond to ensure that the traveling slave wouldn’t become a ward of the state.  In 1843, Indiana said its free blacks couldn’t testify.


White Social Order

There are serious popular misconceptions.  Why?

      Abolitionist influences

      Southern Romanticism influences


Abolitionists said the south had aristocrats, poor white trash who were ignorant, sorry, lazy, and composed the majority of the population, and slaves.


The Southern Romanticism view popularized by the novels of Sir Walter Scott, Page, and Cook.

      idealized southern society - mideveal chivalry

      psychological need to compensate for loss in Virginia

      said that all whites had slaves and plantations (only true of the richest of the rich)

      said that all slaves were happy (not true at all)


Popularized by modern-day movies - Gone With The Wind, etc.


In the Slave States:  1860 population = 12,000,000 - 4M slaves, 8M whites with 262,000 free blacks.  Within the total of 8 Million people in the south, 1/2 million were foreign born, 335,000 were from the north; including John Quittman from NY, Steven Duncan from PA, Gail Borden from NY - lived in Liberty, Mississippi  (inventor of condensed milk), John C. Pemberton from PA, and 50 other Confederate Generals.


1.  Planter Class:  Planters owned 20 or more slaves and 200 or more acres of developed land.  In 1860, 384,000 people held 53% of the slaves.  1 in 4 owned slaves - with the exclusion of the border states, 1 in 3 owned slaves.  Largest slave holding states were SC (rice), LA (sugar), and MS (cotton).


24 October 2001


Planters despite small numbers had the majority of the power both in state and national governments.


Emphasis on honor, pride, and chivalry was adopted by the upper and lower classes.  Planters were well educated but tendency was to be condescending.  There was some opportunity for upward mobility.  Smaller planters lived on much more modest terms than the larger ones in the East or Natchez.


2.  Business and professional groups:

      Manufacturers:  Manufacturers weren’t associated with the Planters, but Merchants and Factors were.

      Merchants and Factors:  Professionals - physicians, lawyers, teachers were close economically and socially to the planter class.  Everyone but the manufacturers were identified with the agrarian ideal.

There was some mixing between the planter and merchant class. 


H.R.W. Hill - a New Orleans merchant with 6 plantations in the Delta.

Maunsel White - A New Orleans sugar plantation owner involved in mercantile.


John Burnside -  North Ireland Immigrant


North Virginia storekeeper - got involved in the mercantile business with the storekeeper’s son.  In 1858 he purchased the $2 Million sugar empire of the Preston family - the Houmas House - 6,000 acres planted in cane and 900 slaves.  At that point he was the largest planter in the US and the largest slaveholder in LA.


Physicians also became planters -


Martin W. Phillips

      MS doctor who became a planter


Also, Stephen Duncan, William Newton Mercer, and John Carmichael Jenkins


3.  Yeoman Farmers


Middle class - it was bigger than the planter class.  Most had no slaves, but some had one or two.  In 1860, 51.6% of people in MS didn’t own slaves - half of those who did own slaves had less than 10.  Many non-slave holders aspired to own slave.  Often they were more militantly race-conscious than the planters. 


Majority lived in the Peidmont, Hills of Northern MS and AL, Western GA, and Eastern Tennessee. 


Yeoman farmers were usually subsistence farmers who grew cotton and tobacco for some money.  Also, they grew grain, wheat, corn, oats, sweet potatoes, livestock, poultry, hogs, and sheep.


The overwhelming majority (81%) owned their own land before the war.


4.  Artisans and Laborers


1860 - Most white artisans are in towns, and most black artisans work on plantations.


1845 - A GA law prohibited black construction workers.


Mechanics Institutes were founded as a social group for the lower classes.


Printers in New Orleans and Augusta had labor unions in the 50‘s and 60‘s.


The largest unions in the Antebellum South were Screwman’s Benevolent Union and the Longshoremen’s and Stewardadore’s unions in Louisiana.

5.  Mountain Highlanders:  Lived in the Ozarks west of the Mississippi, and the Appalachians east of the Mississippi.  The poor soil where they lived forced these people to have crude subsistence farms.  They were usually unionists, but didn’t hold or have much to say about slaves.


6.  Poor White Trash:  about 10% or less in 1860.  Poor soil - lived in the pine barrens, along the coast, and in mountains in almost every state.  They all had derogatory names - sandhillers, rednecks, crackers.  Were usually lazy, ignorant, drunkards, superstitious, illiterate.  Subsisted on corn and hog meat = pellagra.  They usually hated blacks and were pro-slavery because at least someone was beneath them.


26 October 2001


Women in the Antebellum South -


The only way southern women were oppressed was by the quick succession of children.  They do not feel oppressed - They are acclimated to the society.  They are oppressed by the number of pregnancies, and they do worry about their men having relationships with female slaves.


The Cult of Southern Hospitality -


      Makes a huge difference between the North and South

      It was born of Social and Economic Conditions

            Extended Family

            Isolation of Scattered Houses

            Bad Roads

            Poor public housing

            Abundance of food and servants


Noblesse Oblige:  Obligation of honorable and generous behaviour toward people of lower birth.  ex:  Robert F.W. Allston - A rich SC rice planter and paternalistic master who served as SC governor from 1856-58.  Was a nullifier, a secessionist - pushed for public schools, and in the 1830‘s he gave a scholarship to a SC college for boys who were training to be episcopalian ministers. 


29 October 2001


Planter Class Diversions - Outdoor

Foxhunting, Horse Racing with Heavy Betting, Fishing

Indoor - Music, Dancing, and Card Playing


Resorts in the north provided vacations - Newport, Rhode Island; and Saratoga Springs, NY.

As sectional animosity grew, so did the popularity of Southern Resorts.  Biloxi and Pass Christian, MS; and White Sulphur Springs, WV.


Militia Muster, Court Day, and the Fourth of July were special occasions.


The Middle and Lower classes worked sunup to sundown, so their diversions often accomplished tasks around the farm as well.


EX:  log rollings, corn huskings, and quilting bees.


Also, dances like the virginia reel, singings, and camp meetings were popular.  Court day was important, Getting drunk was a common past time.  Hunting, wrestling, fighting, target competitions, barbecues, and holidays like halloween, the fourth of July, and the harvest were also important.


Towns and Town Life -


1860 - There were 22 towns with a population of 10,000 or more in the South.


New Orleans w/ 168,000

VA had 5 cities - Richmond was the largest with 37,000

5 states didn’t have cities - TX, AK, MS, NC, FL


In Mississippi, there were 5 - Natchez, Vicksburg, Columbus, Jackson, and Holly Springs.


Towns were unattractive, poorly kept, and unsanitary.  They had open gutters, privies, with shallow wells.  Gaslights were installed in Baltimore in the 20‘s and in New Orleans in 33.  The working class (Irish) were frequently exploited in the cities - there was no workman’s compensation; working class whites were often worse off than the slaves; and blue collar workers were frequently immigrants.


Social Life:  Mardi Gras was a huge deal in New Orleans and Mobile - 1837 New Orleans had the first organized mardi gras.  The Grand Ball held on Fat Tuesday was only for the upper class.  The theatre was hugely popular in the south - the best US and European actors came to the south to perform.  (Jenny Lind was in Natchez).  Lyceum concerts, lectures, and general entertainment for the upper classes were also popular.


Prison Reforms/Care of the Mentally Ill


Gradually unusual practices began to die out - cockfighting, dueling, were dying out.  In 1839, Mississippi passed a law allowing women to retain their title to property after marriage.  (First in the union.  Because they don’t want to lose property in a poor marriage.)  Temperance and Local Option Laws grew in popularity.


Prison Reforms:


During the first half of the 19th century, milder prisons resulted from the growing dislike of flogging, branding, and public hanging.  The number of capital crimes were reduced.  in KY 1798, the only capital crime was murder.  In 1817, the GA penitentiary prisoners had self-sustaining trades.  There was a textile mill at the Jackson, MS penitentiary.  Baltimore had separate quarters for women.  Richmond had honor badges and a grading system for good behavior.  TN passed legislation in 1830 for time off for good behavior.  In 1825, KY passed the first legal sanction for the convict lease system.  It allowed corporations to lease convicts for their labor.  The corporation was not bound to care for convicts, and was horrible for the convicts.  It was in use until the 1920‘s.


Mentally Ill -

From the 1700-1800‘s, the mentally ill were either in jail or left to roam.  In the 1830‘s, Dorthea Dix persuaded the MA legislature to form separate institutions for the insane.  Dix went to the north and the south lobbying for separated institutions.  TN and NC formed insane asylums in 1848, and MS formed theirs in 1850, but in 1848 they had authorized money for the foundation of institutions.  By 1850, every state but Florida had one.


Philosophical Defense of Slavery

Henry Hughes - Port Gibson, MS

Author of A Treatise on Sociology 1854 - defended Waranteeism

Said the process of Southern civilization changed slavery.  Slave owners were trustees of the state and owned only the labor of the slave and not his body.  Believes in centralization of power and wanted to reopen the slave trade from Africa.


George Fitzhugh - VA Lawyer

Says that slavery is the proper condition for all laborers.  He focused attention on the wage slaves of the north.  In 1854 wrote Sociology for the South, and later Cannibals All.  Slavery eliminates class conflict between administrators and laborers.  Fitzhugh’s view wasn’t accepted by many.



31 October 2001

The Flowering of Southern Nationalism


The flowering of Southern Nationalism has its roots in:


§         Abolitionism

§         Dispute over protective tariff.  This dispute climaxed in the early 30‘s.

§         Expansion of slavery - conflicted in 1820 with Missouri, later with the Mexican Cession.

§         Panics of 1819 and 1837 - were worst on the southwest (MS and LA) people went to TX - led to industrial awakening - we had too much dependence on the North.  Cotton fell to $0.05/lb.


§         Agriculture - The agricultural revolution was nationwide.  Profits were usually made by exploitation of land and labor.  Because land was cheap and labor wasn’t, land conservation was poor.  In the upper south in the 20‘s and 30‘s there was a severe depression due to the soil depletion with single-crop tobacco cultivation.

5 November 2001


Consequences of Reformers/fairs/societies:

      Decade of 1850's is the most prosperous.