Humane Treatment of slaves.

Discussion in 'Slavery other than national politics' started by jgoodguy, Nov 22, 2019.

  1. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Webmaster Staff Member Administrator

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    My assumption is that slavery being inherently inhumane needs examples of humane treatment to rise above the inherent inhumanity.

    So tangible examples, please.
     
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  2. 5fish

    5fish Well-Known Member

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    WAIT!! there were Slave codes... Slaves had rights? maybe owners had rights?

    Link: http://www.ushistory.org/us/27b.asp

    Snips...

    As the Peculiar Institution spread across the South, many states passed "SLAVE CODES," which outlined the rights of slaves and the acceptable treatment and rules regarding slaves. Slave codes varied from state to state, but there were many common threads. One could not do business with a slave without the prior consent of the owner. Slaves could be awarded as prizes in raffles, wagered in gambling, offered as security for loans, and transferred as gifts from one person to another.

    A slave was not permitted to keep a gun. If caught carrying a gun, the slave received 39 lashes and forfeited the gun. Blacks were held incompetent as witnesses in legal cases involving whites. The education of slaves was prohibited. Anyone operating a school or teaching reading and writing to any African-American in Missouri could be punished by a fine of not less than $500 and up to six months in jail. Slaves could not assemble without a white person present. Marriages between slaves were not considered legally binding. Therefore, owners were free to split up families through sale.

    Any slave found guilty of arson, rape of a white woman, or conspiracy to rebel was put to death. However, since the slave woman was chattel, a white man who raped her was guilty only of a trespass on the master's property. Rape was common on the plantation, and very few cases were ever reported.

    Slave codes wiki..

    Snips...

    Slave codes - Wikipedia

    Slave Codes are the subset of laws regarding slavery and enslaved people, specifically regarding the Transatlantic Slave Trade and chattel slavery in the Americas.
    Most slave codes were concerned with the rights and duties of free people in regards to enslaved people. Slave codes left a great deal unsaid, with much of the actual practice of slavery being a matter of traditions rather than formal law.

    There are many similarities between the various slave codes. The most common elements are:



      • Movement Restrictions: Most regions required any slaves away from their plantations or outside of the cities they resided in to have a pass signed by their master. Many cities in the slave-states required slave-tags, small copper badges that enslaved people wore, to show that they were allowed to move about.[4]
      • Marriage Restrictions: Most places restricted the marriage rights of enslaved people, ostensibly to prevent them from trying to change masters by marrying into a family on another plantation.[5] Marriage between people of different races was also usually restricted.
      • Prohibitions on Gathering: Slave codes generally prevented large groups of enslaved people from gathering away from their plantations.
      • Slave Patrols: In the slave-dependent portions of North America, varying degrees of legal authority backed patrols by plantation owners and other free whites to ensure that enslaved people were not free to move about at night, and to generally enforce the restrictions on slaves.[6]
      • Trade and Commerce by Slaves: Initially, most places gave enslaved people some land to work personally and allowed them to operate their markets. As slavery became more profitable, slave codes restricting the rights of enslaved people to buy, sell, and produce goods were introduced.[7] In some places, slave tags were required to be worn by enslaved people to prove that they were allowed to participate in certain types of work.[8]
      • Punishment and Killing of Slaves: Slave codes regulated how slaves could be punished, usually going so far as to apply no penalty for accidentally killing a slave while punishing them.[9] Later laws began to apply restrictions on this, but slave-owners were still rarely punished for killing their slaves.[10] Historian Lawrence M. Friedman wrote: "Ten Southern codes made it a crime to mistreat a slave.... Under the Louisiana Civil Code of 1825 (art. 192), if a master was ′convicted of cruel treatment,′ the judge could order the sale of the mistreated slave, presumably to a better master."[11]
    Other nations with slavery had slave codes too...
     
  3. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Webmaster Staff Member Administrator

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    Applying this to Silas, if he was not properly subservient to his master, his wife and child could be sold away.
     
  4. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    The tangible evidence is the fact that certain posters have already documented that tens of thousands of black men volunteered to fight in the Confederate Army and their white comrades gladly allowed their black brothers in arms to date their sisters:)
    Kirk's Raider's
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2019
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  5. O' Be Joyful

    O' Be Joyful Well-Known Member

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    That is a subjective term, "It" may have taken "upon" multiple "meanings" at the time. Including "other" than being sold...repeatedly each day...
     
  6. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Webmaster Staff Member Administrator

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    Or the master taking a liking to one's wife. For a house servant or a skilled one like Silas who was a carpenter. there were benefits that accrued to a 'proper' attitude to the master. Mixed motives muddle motivation.
     
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  7. Joshism

    Joshism Active Member

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    Slavery involves ownership by another human. That in an of itself would seem to make slavery inhumane regardless of how well an owner treated his slave. Even an owner who made earnest efforts to properly feed, house, and cloth his slaves, didn't whip them, and didn't engage in sexual relations with them still would deny them freedom and (usually) education. And he was a heartbeat (or a financial crisis) away from having the slaves pass to another owner who likely would not be so benevolent.

    The one exception I can think of is when the ownership is solely because of a legal technicality. Mostly this involves a free black who purchases a family member but cannot legally emancipate them due to local laws. Despite their legal status they are treated by their owner as if they were free. I can imagine a similar (but very rare) situation occurring with a white owner, but whether we have any evidence of such a situation I haven't any idea.

    It's telling that people became indentured servants (itself often considered somewhat inhumane), often reluctantly and out of desperation, yet nobody voluntarily became a chattel slave.
     
  8. jgoodguy

    jgoodguy Webmaster Staff Member Administrator

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    Good points, thanks.

    Even the legal technicality was abused.

    The default is that slavery was inhumane in the absence of mitigating evidence. It could be is not an excuse.
     
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  9. Kirk's Raider's

    Kirk's Raider's Well-Known Member

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    Of course the wonderful aspect of American slavery is that slaves don't have wives ( at least in the eyes of the law) so any slave is fair game. Certainly Chief Justice Taney did state "a black man has no rights a white man is obligated to respect.
    Kirk's Raider's
     
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