Relationship Of Slavery In Fifty Years In Chains By Charles Ball

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When someone thinks of slavery, they automatically come to the conclusion of the expected relationship of a slave and his master, the master treats his slave with cruelty and disregards the slaves human nature. For most cases of slavery, this is primarily the foundation of the relationship, however sometimes it goes deeper than what is common. In Fifty Years in Chains by Charles Ball, there are so many aspects of slavery illustrated throughout, but the most prominent is the dynamics of the relationships between the slaves and their owners. As the relationship between these two figures is ultimately the same across the table, each relationship has its own characteristics making it unique from the other. These characteristics can be anything…show more content…
Rather than identifying the relationship with the direct slave owner, we will begin with that of the mistresses and the slaves. The mistress is the master’s wife, who constantly resides on the estate. With that being, she tends to become very well acquainted with all of the slaves on the plantation. She does most of the caring for the slaves, maintaining their health and happiness to her furthest ability. The mistress often comes between the master and slave and prevents them from being innocently beaten. Charles Ball communicates a time in Maryland when his mistresses “were all good women,” especially that of his wife, whom he claimed was a lady of “most benevolent and kindly feelings” ( pg. 48). This may not be the direct relationship between a slave owner and his slave, however the mistress is the wife of the owner, and his wife she could most commonly be expected to retain the same mindset and opinions on the matter of slavery. However, as described by Ball, some of the mistresses he had encountered were women who practically befriended the slaves and treated them with respect and fairness in comparison to the ways of the owner…show more content…
Sometimes for no reason at all and other times because of a certain act that the slave did. When a slave owner punishes his slaves he takes into account a few factors. He decides the severity of the crime, he take into account the effect it will have on himself, and the effect it will have on his farm. No matter who the person is, male or female, the slave will indeed pay for any crime that they commit. Several different punishment styles are described in Ball’s narrative, from lashing with a “roasted and greased hickory gad” ( pg. 87) to lashing with a ten foot long whip made of buckskin twisted together to form a twine like firmness, some tie their slaves to a post and others have them lay on the ground to proceed with the allotted lashes. When the owner takes into account his farm, he realizes that he has to make a limit on the amount of lashes one can receive before they are deemed incapable of working. Depending on the criminal, the owner could lose profit from his farm because he could be short two of his best hands. However, sometimes the master forgets all else but the crime itself and enforces the strongest most detrimental punishment to teach his lesson through the means of direct payback, majority of the time the slave will even plead guilty but the master does not trust in the words of the criminal. An example of this is when Ball pleads guilty for the young lady’s
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