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La Slave History

In: Historical Events

Submitted By buds3614
Words 3597
Pages 15
A Gumbo of Influences: Louisiana’s Slave History, 1763 to Statehood The state of Louisiana has a very diverse and rich heritage and unique history. The history that will be referred to in this essay is that of Louisiana's slaves and slave laws. Much of the country’s slave history is easily traceable through the original thirteen colonies before the Revolutionary War and declaration of the states’ independence from British rule. But what about the slave territories that were later added to the Union? Being the eighteenth state to join the Union, Louisiana’s slave history originates from a different colonial super-power; but which one? Many are lead to believe that to be the French. While they are not incorrect, they are not entirely correct in saying that. Louisiana was a territory transferred through the hands of many. Louisiana was most touched by the hands of the Company of the West Indies, the French Crown, as well as the Spanish Crown and each hand left its own print in the territory’s slave history. First, one needs to take an initial look into some general concessions about Southern Slavery and the so called Southern Slave System. The purpose of slavery was to acquire cheap labor. There is also what many people refer to as the “Chattel System” or “Chattel Principle” which held slaves to a numeric value. A fugitive slave, J.W.C Pennington, recalled this principle: any slave’s identity might be disrupted as easily as a price could be set and a piece of paper passed from one hand to another. Economically speaking, this referred to slaves not as people, but as units of labor. The two main crops produced in the South through this system were cotton and sugar cane. Workers slaved from sun-up to sun-down: field workers worked from “can to can't” – when they could see the sun to when they could no longer. During cotton picking season, laborers often ginned cotton...

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