© HistoryOnTheNet 2000-2019. Slaves were punished by whipping, shackling, hanging, beating, burning, mutilation, branding, rape, and imprisonment. Benoit wrote that "it is not rare to find, in the most remote places, a black man who spends entire years secluded and isolated from communication with other men." The desire to own or control another human being—be it a child or a slave—is perhaps the greatest evil of all. . Although some masters did teach their slaves to read as a way to Christianize them, most slave owners believed that teaching such skills was useless, if not dangerous. He wrote that they "all wore only loincloths, and none was distinguished from the other by clothing, except the eldest wore iron and coral arm and leg ornaments and an unsheathed cutlass around his waist. Despite the dangers, however, many runaways managed to find their way north, into states that had outlawed slavery. He stayed in Paramaribo, but visited plantations, maroon communities and indigenous villages inland. Running away was looked at as a serious crime, and many slaves were punished in various ways. Poma de Ayala described in the image how “the Spaniards abuse their African slaves.” Felipe Huaman Poma de Ayala (1535–c. On another occasion I saw a boy, apparently about fifteen years of age, with a rough, heavy iron collar on his naked neck. 6-10-09: Eugene (a child) was whipped for running away and had the bit put on him. . . Owners thought of their slaves … Slave punishment goes as extreme as cutting off or rendering useless, some body parts of the slave, such as the limbs, finger(s), palm, ears, genitals, etc. If a slave killed its master then there punishment was the slaves whole family was tortured and killed; If the slave were captured after it had run away then the punishment would of been to break some of the slaves bones or joints. Slaves were punished for not working fast enough, for being late getting to the fields, for defying authority, for running away, and for a number of other reasons. "An Elder and his Slave" (caption translation). Therefore, slaves in the American South experienced horrific levels of brutality. Harper's Weekly: A Journal of Civilization was an American political magazine based in New York City and published by Harper & Brothers from 1857 until 1916. This engraving shows an escaped slave sitting in his shelter, with various utensils and goods, including rifle and canoe, by a river in the jungle. Although Brunias primarily resided in Dominica, he also spent time in St. Vincent and visited other islands, including Barbados, Grenada, St. Kitts and Tobago. Chattel slavery is so named because the enslaved are the personal property of the owners and bought and sold as a commodity, and the status of slave was imposed on the enslaved from birth. Arriving in early 1765, Brunias stayed in the islands until around 1775, when he returned to England and exhibited some of his paintings. Bridgens' book contains 27 plates, thirteen of which are shown on this website. In the accompanying text, Ellis described how "In one of their houses. "A Chief on a Trip" (caption translation). The ordinary punishments of slaves, for the common crimes of neglect, absence from work, eating the sugar cane, theft, are cart whipping, beating with a stick, sometimes to the breaking of bones, the chain, an iron crook about the neck... a ring about the ankle, and confinement in the dungeon. . This engraving shows three men walking along a path. Some proslavery advocates asserted that many slaves were … The drawing is in Chapter 29, image 300, of the original manuscript. . The title translations we use are taken from the website. "How He Mistreats his Negroes" (caption translation). Exceptions were made in the case of bigamy and adultery, for which whites were severely punished and not the slaves. . The illustration also shows facial and body scarification, or so-called "country marks," indicative of African origin; the man in the center right also displays filed or modified teeth. He forced the boy to pull his pants down and gave the boy 10–15 straps with a great big leather strap. In late 1764, Brunias accompanied Young to the Caribbean as his personal artist. They might be sold away from their family and kin on one farm to another far away. 7-1-10: The Negro woman ran away again with the bit in her mouth. . The same illustration appears in later editions of Kidder's work, e.g., 1866 (6th ed. Benoit described this march as "a delegation, led by the granman. 12-16-09: Eugene was whipped for doing nothing yesterday. He had a reputation for being mean. If slaves were caught on the underground ... they were whip hang or killed or serious punishment. 1814–ca. Minute holes are punched to admit air to the nostrils, and similar ones in front of the eyes. Site created in November 2000. think of going into the field . 1879), also known as Sengbe Pieh, was Mende from the Upper Guinea Coast. Pierre Jacques Benoit (1782-1854) was a Belgian artist, who visited the Dutch colony of Suriname on his own initiative for several months in 1831. This oil painting shows three men trekking through a forest, while one crouches to take a rest. A slave would be punished for: Resisting slavery; Not working hard enough; Talking too much or using their native language; Stealing from his master; Murdering a white man; Trying to run away; Slave punishments included: Physical Punishment, Rebellion, Running Away, Whipping of a Fugitive Slave, French West Indies, 1840s, Masque de fer blanc que l'on fait porter aux nègres, Five of the Culprits in Chains, as They Appeared on the 20th of September 1823, Negro Heads, with Punishments for Intoxication and Dirt-Eating, Punishments for Runaways, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1850s, Alcaldes: Como le castiga el cor[r]eg[id]or, Untitled Image (Collar and Chain to Prevent Escape), Death of Capt. This image shows an enslaved man wearing an iron mask over his face. Ferrer, the Captain of the Amistad, Joseph Cinquez Addressing His Compatriots on Board the Spanish Schooner, Amistad, Chatoyer, the Chief of the Black Charaibes in St. Vincent with his five Wives, Une femme des bosch-nègres; Espion; Bosch-Nègre, Execution of Participants in Slave Insurrection, Demerara (British Guiana), 1823, Retreat of British Military during Slave Insurrection, Demerara (British Guiana), 1823. While four of the servants received lesser sentences, the other two were ordered whipped and branded on the cheek with the letter R, and several years were added to their indentures. Runaway slaves were branded on the forehead with letters denoting the slave as a runaway (FUG) which was an abbreviation of "fugitivus," meaning "runaway". Bridgens' life is discussed extensively along with discussion of his drawings and presentation of many details on slave life in Trinidad in Judy Raymond, The Colour of Shadows: Images of Caribbean Slavery (Coconut Beach, Florida: Caribbean Studies Press, 2016). . He stayed in Paramaribo, but visited plantations, maroon communities and indigenous villages inland. 1616), also known as Guamán Poma or Wamán Poma, was a Quechua nobleman from southern Peru known for chronicling the ill treatment of indigenous groups in the Andes after the Spanish conquest. Punishment was often meted out in response to disobedience or perceived infractions, but sometimes abuse was performed to re-assert the dominance of the master (or overseer) over the slave. And to make escape more difficult, the maroons attach to the necks of these women different types of bells (les grelots et la sonnette) so that they can be aware of any movement made by the women." Brazilian masters compelled slaves who were prone to eat earth or dirt to wear such masks. No specific location is given for this illustration and it is not based on a particular incident. After disembarking, however, the elder proceeded to don a robe and carry an elaborate staff; his own slave put on a top hat and followed the elder into town." . a number of female slaves were at work. Antigua - Any slave running away for a period of three months or more is to suffer death, loss of limb or whipping at the discretion of two judges. Some female slaves was punished so badly that they were left to die. . . Often runaways would be sold "south." .it tears the flesh, and brings blood at every stroke (Letters on Slavery [London, 1789], pp. The original manuscript is in the Danish Royal Library, Copenhagen and a complete digital facsimile, which includes the drawings, is available The Guaman Poma website. The decapitation of slaves convicted of major crimes was not unusual in the British West Indies. They were sold away from their families or watched as their children were turned over to slave traders. Except a projecting piece for the nose, the metal is simply bent cylinder-wise. Although this painting has often been reproduced in books dealing with New World slavery, it is not based on the artist's own observations. One poor fellow had a collar, and a chain extending from it to an ankle. They were punished with knives, guns, field tools and nearby objects. The following 18th century description perfectly fits the hunter shown here. The plates were based on drawings made from life and were done between 1825, when Bridgens arrived in Trinidad, and 1836, when his book was published. According to Ewbank, "it is said slaves in masks are not so often encountered in the streets as formerly. The villagers were unaware of the history of this object. Most of those who were returned to their owners were severely punished in an effort to deter others from attempting to leave. . . a dozen at least of butcher's slaves went past in the course of an hour with crushing loads of fresh-killed beef. Other slaves and the planter and his family witness the scene. This plate, according to Bryant who made the drawing on which it is based. He wrote this over 1,200-page manuscript between 1600 and 1615. . It seemed to be formed by a square bar of iron, about three-quarters of an inch thick, being bent around his neck, and the two ends then joined together. Raymond's book, which is an essential source for any study of Bridgens, also includes a number of unpublished sketches of Trinidadian slave life. Slaves who were fortunate to live in a border state could gain their freedom by crossing the border into a free state, but for most slaves running away was extraordinarily difficult because they usually had no money, they were illiterate, and there were very few places they could go. Tags American Slavery Instruments of Torture slave punishment slave … To his left is the major fiscal and to his right, the under captain granman; following the three leaders are the captains of all the villages" (p. 59). Punishment for running away varied. ), 1879 (9th ed.). Black History in the United States: Slavery, Civil Rights, Culture, The Living Conditions of Slaves in the American South, Black Peoples of America – The Triangular Trade, California – Do not sell my personal information, Talking too much or using their native language. . After remarking on a foreigner's difficulty in ascertaining status and rank differences among the Bush Negroes (since they are not differentiated by their clothing), Benoit described a scene in which one of these people arrived at Paramaribo by canoe with two other villagers. The exhibition jury rejected the painting because its harsh theme would have offended the colonial ambassadors in Paris (William Hauptman, Juries, Protests, and Counter-Exhibitions before 1850. The rights of the master over the slave were in no way affected by his running away. Bridgens' book contains 27 plates, thirteen of which are shown on this website. . . According to the accompanying explanations, "1), upper right, Quamina, on plantation Success; 2), upper right, Lindor, on La Bonne Intention; 3), lower left, Paul, on the Friendship, and two heads at the middle-walk of Plantation New Orange Nassau; 4), lower right, Telemachus and Jemmy, on Bachelor's Adventure. Although his work is undated, the title page of a copy held by the Beinecke Rare Book Room at Yale University has a front cover with a publication date of 1836, the date usually assigned to this work by major libraries whose copies lack a title page. The slaves got punished a lot in the book Underground to Canada.They got punished for running away, resisting slavery, not working hard enough, talking too much or using their native language, stealing from his/her master, murdering a white man, When the slaves were punished, they would be punished in a violent way. He returned to the West Indies in 1784 and remained there until his death on the island of Dominica in 1796. Bridgens' racist perspectives on enslaved Africans and his defense of slavery are discussed in T. Barringer, G. Forrester, and B. Martinez-Ruiz, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (Yale University Press, 2007), pp. When the slave catchers caught up, the rebellious slaves and the white men engaged in battle. . He who entices a slave, "by specious pretense of promising freedom in another country," or otherwise, to leave the province, if successful, or if caught in the act, was to suffer death; and the same extreme penalty was to be inflicted on slaves "running away with intent to get out of the province." The whip was acquired by Handler in Chalky Mount, a village in Barbados, during 1961-62 while he was doing anthropological fieldwork. 460-461. 115-120) and the drawings on which they are based, were made by the author; he had been living in Demerara for 15 years at the time of publication. In referring to the Spy (espion), Benoit wrote that "the Bush Negroes are very distrustful and suspicious of Europeans, and to know what is going on throughout the colony, they have established a manner of communication no less prompt/quick than the telegraph. This image shows a woman wearing a mask talking to a man who is wearing a leg chain and metal collar. Runaway slaves were whipped in front of other slaves, a foot might be amputated, they might be fitted with leg shackles or chained to another slave. 40, pp. He helped lead a revolt of many Africans on the Spanish slave ship, La Amistad. dirt eating. He stayed in Paramaribo, but visited plantations, maroon communities and indigenous villages inland. 4-17-10: Byrd helped to investigate slaves tried for “High Treason”; two were hanged. 185-187. The villagers called this plaited leather whip a hunter and used it while herding cows or small livestock. The title translations we use are taken from the website. . Slaves could be punished for any number of “offenses,” including theft, laziness, running away, or even speaking their native language. He was then appointed United States Commissioner of Patents by President Taylor in 1849. 460-461. the mask is to hinder him or her from conveying the liquor to the mouth. Although his work is undated, the title page of a copy held by the Beinecke Rare Book Room at Yale University has a front cover with a publication date of 1836, the date usually assigned to this work by major libraries whose copies lack a title page. Slaves have to go to the fields after being whipped, when their skin is so cut up that they have to keep all the time pulling their clothes away from the raw flesh. yet he was. Washington’s punishment of last resort was to sell enslaved people to other plantations, usually when they kept trying to run away. The thirteen engravings in this book (a list with their descriptions is on pp. 1616), also known as Guamán Poma or Wamán Poma, was a Quechua nobleman from southern Peru known for chronicling the ill treatment of indigenous groups in the Andes after the Spanish conquest. According to Bridgens, "the bed stock is generally placed in some of the out-houses belonging to the estate, where the offender may be denied the society and encouragement of his friends or accomplices. This image depicts enslaved Africans carrying goods to market in heavy chians. In chattel slavery, the limits of slave punishments were only set by the masters, as they had the legal right to do whatever they wished. The … I met but three or four, and in each case the sufferer was a female. The engravings in this book were taken from drawings made by Debret during his residence in Brazil from 1816 to 1831. Relationships between slaves and masters: A law forbidding intercourse between white men and slave women was broken with impunity. "Negroes: How they have so much patience " (caption translation). . In Mobile, a free man of color and a slave were found guilty of enticing a slave to run away. Most of the slaves were killed in battle. ... no because some were afraid tht they would get caught trying to help the run away slaves. And then we were punished. A historian of the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey, he is a publisher of popular history, a podcaster, and online course creator. According to Ewbank, "while waiting for [an acquaintance]. In this illustration, the author depicted a woman who he saw "with bells around her neck and her body which the maroons hoped would discourage her from trying to escape again" (p. 61). . For a description of this mask in Brazil, see image ewbank3. A tin mask, such as is put on the heads of Negroes addicted to . The whip was the most common instrument used against a slave; one said "The only punishment that I ever heard or knew of being adm… The sound which is spread more than a league in distance is repeated by other Bush Negroes and at the end of a few minutes the Bush Negro villages learn that something new has happened" (p. 62). If a slave was caught trying to escape, the punishment could be very severe. Most of the collars were of five-eighths inch round iron, some with one prong, others with two" (p. 437). An observer remembered "a woman lying down and groaning…her left side, where she had been most whipped appeared in a most mortifying state, and almost covered with worms." Alleged rape, of course, was punished by lynching. . It included 398 full-page drawings - seven of which depict enslaved Africans. Raymond's book, which is an essential source for any study of Bridgens, also includes a number of unpublished sketches of Trinidadian slave life. Runaway slave punishments in South Carolina. (Thanks to Claude Picard for his help.). . The Art Bulletin 67 [1985], pp. It included 398 full-page drawings - seven of which depict enslaved Africans. A sculptor, furniture designer and architect, Richard Bridgens was born in England in 1785, but in 1826 he moved to Trinidad where his wife had inherited a sugar plantation, St. Clair. . It covered the American Civil War extensively, including many illustrations of events from the war. See also Frederick P. Bowser, The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 (Stanford University Press, 1974), passim, for the historical context of this drawing. This image shows self-liberating men, women, and children during a night time escape. Although he occasionally returned to England, he ultimately lived in Trinidad for seven years and died in Port of Spain in 1846. William Dickson, who had lived in Barbados during the 1770s and 1780s as secretary to the colonial governor, wrote in his well-known work on British West Indian slavery: The instrument of correction commonly used in Barbadoes, is called a cow-skin, without which a negro driver would [not] . Much like these unfortunate children, slaves were also manipulated through tales of gods who would monitor them and punish those who dared to run away or attempt to regain their freedom. Those found guilty or sometimes merely accused of serious "crimes"—arson, assault, rape, attempted murder, conspiracy, poisoning—were banished or hanged. See Jerome Handler, Determining African Birth from Skeletal Remains: A Note on Tooth Mutilation, Historical Archaeology [1994], vol. Benoit wrote that "from time to time the Bush Negroes raid plantations and kidnap enslaved women. . The plates were based on drawings made from life and were done between 1825, when Bridgens arrived in Trinidad, and 1836, when his book was published. Joseph Cinqué (ca. This illustration does not appear to have been published in Debret's, Voyage Pittoresque et Historique au Bresil (Paris,1834-39), although another slave, wearing such a mask, is illustrated in vol. That of genital torture and castration were often used as a punishment and deterrent for sexual offences. "Mayors: How the Chief Magistrate Punishes You" (caption translation). This form of slavery is in contrast to other forms such as bonded labor, in which a person pledged him or herself against a loan. "White Iron Mask that One Makes Negro Wear" (caption translation). Originally advertised by the title Le Supplice de Fouet, it was listed in a catalog for the exhibition as Chatiment des Quatres Piquets dans les Colonies (Punishment of the Four Stakes/Pegs in the Colonies), the name by which it is commonly known. Lying on his stomach, the victim's hands and legs are tied to stakes while he is being whipped by the black overseer; next to one of his legs is the iron spiked collar, with attached chain, which was often attached to the neck of captured fugitive slaves. Other slaves went by, awfully crippled in their feet and legs; among them two women, lame with elephantiasis. When an event takes place in the city that is of interest to them, whether it be preparation for war, the death of an important personnage or the arrival of a vessel, one of these Bush Negroes whose job is that of a spy and who maintains contact with Negroes in the city who let him know what is going on and as soon as he hears the news he goes into the country and using a small lead instrument, resembling a flute but only having one hole in the middle, he blows into it with force. Pierre Jacques Benoit (1782-1854) was a Belgian artist, who visited the Dutch colony of Suriname on his own initiative for several months in 1831. By some accounts, enslaved people were even disciplined for sport. He was carrying a large ceramic jar on his head. He had only ventured twice to Paramaribo, to trade various forest products for lead shot, powder, and gin" (p. 59). This engraving shows a procession of maroons. Some slaves were treated well, but there were few restraints on their owners' powers, and physical punishment and sexual abuse were common. He sold at least three men to the West Indies: Tom in 1766, Will Shagg in 1772, and Jack in 1791. Although he occasionally returned to England, he ultimately lived in Trinidad for seven years and died in Port of Spain in 1846. . The slaves themselves often suffered severe punishment for the crime of literacy, from savage beatings to the amputation of fingers and toes. . employed in carrying fire-wood to the beach for shipping (p.145). See Lennox Honychurch, “Chatoyer's Artist: Agostino Brunias and the Depiction of St Vincent,” Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society 50 (2004): p.104-128; Hans Huth, “Agostino Brunias, Romano,” The Connoisseur 51 (1962): p. 265-269. See also Frederick P. Bowser, The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 (Stanford University Press, 1974), passim, for the historical context of this drawing. "A Bush-Negro Woman; Spy; Bush-Negro" (caption translation). Moses Roper, received 200 lashes and this was only brought to an end when the master's wife pleaded for his life to be spared. He had no family or companionship and lived off of crabs, monkeys, snakes, bananas, everything that nature offered. Bridgens' racist perspectives on enslaved Africans and his defense of slavery are discussed in T. Barringer, G. Forrester, and B. Martinez-Ruiz, Art and Emancipation in Jamaica: Isaac Mendes Belisario and his Worlds (Yale University Press, 2007), pp. . In 1845–1846, he travelled to Brazil and on his return published an account of his travels. Dirt eating, or geophagy was widespread among West Indian slaves, but its etiology was commonly misunderstood by West Indian planters." See also Brian Austen, Richard Hicks Bridgens (Oxford Art Online/Grove Art Online). The image is also on the Mary Evans Picture Gallery (London) website, but the location and date are erroneously given as British Guiana, 1886. This engraving shows several people standing in front of a sugar plantation. He wrote this over 1,200-page manuscript between 1600 and 1615. Sometimes slaves are kept in the stocks two or three weeks, and whipped twice a week, and fed on gruel, because they run away or steal. 1616), also known as Guamán Poma or Wamán Poma, was a Quechua nobleman from southern Peru known for chronicling the ill treatment of indigenous groups in the Andes after the Spanish conquest. All rights reserved. He stayed in Paramaribo, but visited plantations, maroon communities and indigenous villages inland. It is composed of leathern thongs, platted in the common way, and tapers from the end of the handle (within which is a short bit of wood) to the point, which is furnished with a lash of silk-grass, hard platted and knotted, like that of a horse-whip but thicker. Those captured were decapitated and put on display as a warning to other slaves who might think of rebelling. Copies of this work in the John Carter Brown Library and the British Library contain these illustrations (but with different paginations), but the illustrations are lacking in the Boston Athaneum and Library of Congress copies. In 1845–1846, he travelled to Brazil and on his return published an account of his travels. Ilustration shows three slaves, one wearing a log and chain around his neck, another an iron collar; the third wears a tin mask. For a comprehensive article on black history in the United States, click here. One boy was hauled up in front of all the assembled students by the principal. One of these men was also sentenced to work for a year with a leg shackle. The punishments were about as … See also Frederick P. Bowser, The African Slave in Colonial Peru, 1524-1650 (Stanford University Press, 1974), passim, for the historical context of this drawing. . Marcel Verdier (1817-1856) gave an 1849 date to his work (see lower right hand corner), but it may have been done in 1843 for an exhibition at the Paris Salon. In one instance, a man kidnapped about 60 slaves owned by the State Bank in Tuscaloosa County and took them to Florida, where they were forced to work on a plantation. 11-30-09: Jenny and Eugene were whipped. Pierre Jacques Benoit (1782-1854) was a Belgian artist, who visited the Dutch colony of Suriname on his own initiative for several months in 1831. 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Or dirt to Wear such masks author once encountered `` one of these fugitives in effort! Ellis ( 1794–1872 ) was an English writer on practical mechanics black slaves from St. Vincent and neighbouring.. And host of the history Unplugged podcast Paramaribo, but visited plantations, usually when kept... Meaning thief, was an English writer on practical mechanics the crime of literacy, from savage beatings the! Thanks to Claude Picard for his help. ) five-eighths inch round iron, some with one prong, with. Severe the punishment tools and nearby objects description of this mask in Brazil, see images ewbank3,,... Killed or serious punishment the underground... they were sold away from their and. Of literacy, from savage beatings to the beach for shipping ( p.145 ) of Patents by Taylor. Their slave masters two were hanged editions of Kidder 's work, e.g. 1866... Woman ; Spy ; Bush-Negro '' ( caption translation ) a woman wearing a mask talking to a who. Accounts about slaves leaving their plantations in the streets as formerly 29 image... The right leg of one was really almost as large as her waist '' ( translation!

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