Slavery was common throughout all thirteen colonies during the 1700s.
What jobs did slaves have?
Slaves worked all sorts of jobs. Many slaves worked in the fields, such as the tobacco fields in the southern colonies. These slaves worked very hard and were often treated poorly. Other slaves were house servants. They did housework and chores. Some slaves worked in the master's trade shop.
Where did slaves live?
Slaves who worked on farms and plantations lived in small houses near the fields. Although these houses were small and cramped, they gave the slaves some privacy from the master. Family life and communities could develop around these houses. House slaves had less privacy, sometimes living by themselves in a loft above the kitchen.
What did they wear?
Field slaves were generally given one set of work clothes that had to last them a year. House slaves often wore their master's old clothing.
How were slaves treated?
Slaves were treated differently depending on their masters. Field slaves were sometimes beaten and whipped. They were forced to work long hours with little rest. House slaves were usually treated better.
Slaves had no rights. They had to obey their masters’ orders 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They could be bought or sold at any time, taken away from their family. Children were often sold as soon as they were old enough to work. They would never see their parents again.
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