Slavery During The Nineteenth Century Essays

Slavery During The Nineteenth Century Essays

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During the nineteenth century, there were many enslaved African Americans living in the Deep South. Most were enslaved for life and worked until their death. Suffering from harsh working conditions, lack of well-being, and mistreatment by slaveholders, slaves were not considered to be equal to the “common white man”. At first, in response to the growing economic importance of slavery for the south, it had been justified as a necessity to the United States economy. But over time, in response to growing criticism of the institution, some Southerners were beginning to defend the continuation of slavery as a positive good. They justified this in part by comparing the United States to that of Africa, the slaves home country. The Southerners argued that the United States was a less hostile environment for slaves because conditions in Africa were harsh and unbearable. By looking at the testimony of a person who was enslaved during this time, we get a glimpse of the conditions slaves endured. One enslaved person during this time was John Finnelly, whose experiences reveal a human facet of what life was really like during the nineteenth century; he endured things like organized slave fighting, mistreatment by slaveholders, and the denial of his basic rights.
John Finnelly was a single African American enslaved adult male who was held in the Deep South in Jackson County, Alabama during the nineteenth century. He was a field worker, who owned no land of his own due to his lack of rights as an enslaved person. He was born into the life of slavery on December 15, 1807. His mother Janelle contemplated ending John’s life when he was born due to the brutality of slavery at the time. However, Janelle chooses to raise her child and fortunately he...


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...for cotton in the United States, which increased slave labor immensely making his workload heavier and the hours longer. He also experienced the beginning of the abolitionist movement to end slavery between the North and the South. Although he was in the lower South of Alabama, he still was prone to experiencing effects of the movement and revolts by slaves.
It is important to realize that John’s experiences during the nineteenth century; enduring things like beatings, slave fighting, hard labor, and dehumanization were not unheard of. From enslaved fighting, to sneaking his religious practices early in the morning to stay closer to his roots, Finnelly was a hardworking field worker and earned his leisure time; whether it was allowed or forbidden. Despite this free time, we cannot forget the mistreatment and lack of masculinity he faced along with his fellow slaves.

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Slavery During The Nineteenth Century Essays

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