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Summary Of Swing The Sickle

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As we study slavery we find out that it was not the same all over the south. It developed more in some areas where they would have over 200 slaves and a plantation with over 1,000 acres, and other areas there weren’t as many slaves or a large plantation. In Swing the Sickle we focus on two counties in Georgia, Wilkes and Glynn County, and the way slavery developed there. We also look at the way gender played or did not play a role in the way tasks were given out. A lot of things varied from the way labor was distributed with both agricultural and non-agricultural areas, to how the slaves interacted with other slaves on the plantation and those who lived on other plantations.

In low-country Georgia the way we see tasks distributed was no
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We read that at the Kelvin Plantation they had more female field workers than men. When deciding who would work in the fields they did not look at whether they were male or female, that didn’t matter, they looked at how skilled they were. Postell did as he wanted on his plantation when it came to cotton ginning. He uses women as ginners, unlike other communities who used boys and girls of younger ages. The women who he recorded as his ginners were Jane, Sarah, Nanny, Hamit, and Hester, he would rotate the work of ginning between this group of women. (D. R. Berry 2007) Just like Kelvin Plantation, Elizafield used workers based on their skill also. Grant, the owner of this plantation, realized that women could do work just as men. They did tasks such as ditching and chopping. The women on this plantation participating in tasks…show more content…
Unlike agricultural work non-agricultural work was based on gender and age. As a non-agricultural worker you had more close encounters with your slaveholders, this can be both beneficial and not beneficial. With men who had non-agricultural jobs they were artisans. Their jobs consisted of blacksmiths, brickmakers, boatmen and other various jobs. With women they had the jobs like cleaning, feeding, and caring for the slaveholder’s children. Some women were personal slaves to the slaveholders ad did various jobs that comforted the slaveholders. Although working in the house was viewed at as a privilege there were some disadvantages to it especially for the women that worked in the house. These women were open up to being sexually abused by their slaveholders. Although there were disadvantages being a nonagricultural slave had its benefits. Those who had the skills to stay in their slaveholders home had the privilege of running errands, and going on trips with their slaveholders. The house tasks were not only handed out by gender but also by age. (D. R. Berry 2007) Older women would be given the job as a nurse, cooks, and tended to the kids. At the Kelvin Plantation Postell had two elderly men on his plantation that he gave the job of gardening those men were Old Sam and Old Robin. These slaves were not listed on the slaveholder’s roster for monetary value, but they were on the list of bond people who were on the
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