I. Resistance to Industrialization and the Market Revolution
The South never industrialized like the North, and thus did not experience a “market revolution” like the North. Slavery limited the spread of transportation and cities in the backcountry. Immigration was much less because there were fewer available jobs. The culture of the South precluded industrialization. Only after the war did the south industrialize.
As a result of their heavy investment in cotton production and slaves, southerners had little money to invest in industrialization. The relative cost of maintaining slavery in the cities outpaced the cost of maintaining slavery on the plantations. Southerners feared an insurrection. Following in the beliefs of Jefferson, they disliked the idea of city life, of a strong white urban banker and businessman class and of a potentially-uncontrollable mass of African Americans in the cities. The plantation system was not conducive to the growth of towns and industrial enterprises. Towns contained merely the banks, stores, shipping facilities and warehouses needed to sustain the plantation. By concentrating slaves in the cities, it seemed like an insurrection would be more likely. Further, the banking system in the south encouraged plantation ventures by extending easy credit to planters.
The South did not experience massive developments in transportation. Comparatively few canal or railroad projects were completed. Few factories were built. Especially in the established coastal plantation regions, the planters and politicians there resisted roads and canals because they didn’t want the upcountry to develop and then compete with them. The South contained only 10% of the nation’s industry. By 1850, the industrial production of the state of New Hampshire equaled the industrial production of half of the South.
The South also lagged behind the North in reform movements. Adopting an “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” attitude, the South resisted change. They feared abolition, did not institute school reform, and women’s rights were stifled. As evidenced by the South Carolina Nullification Crisis in 1831, the South clashed more and more with the north’s economic needs and opposed tariffs, internal improvements.
A. Southern values
The South had different values from the North, as one of the leading historians of the history of slavery, a professor at Emory University named Eugene Genovese has written. Specifically, he insisted, planters had a different conception of virtue. Southerners valued family and status, honor, luxury, ease, accomplishment, paternalism, male dominance. They rejected the following northern values that thrift and hard work, commerce, business and money should be pursued. The South valued the accumulation of property and the ownership of property, but it meant more to be a successful from rags-to-riches entrepreneur in the North. Further, Southerners would defend these values at any cost. Northern travelers used the words “agrarian, independent, anti-government, traditional” to describe the South.
B. Slave ownership
Here are some figures that might challenge your preconceptions of the South: By 1860, only ¼ of all white southern families owned slaves. Of these, 50% owned five or fewer, 75% owned ten or fewer. Only 12% of slave owners owned twenty or more slaves, and only 1% owned 100 or more.
There is tremendous diversity among those who owned slaves. Immigrants, Native Americans, blacks, city dwellers, and women all contributed to the diversity of the master class.
The ownership of slaves was for many German and Scotch-Irish immigrants, a status symbol and a possible way to wealth. Still, few participated in the plantation economy. In places like Lexington, Virginia, or Greenville, South Carolina, there might be a few slaves working on a cattle farm, for example. Slaveholding was widespread among Native Americans who remained.
In places like Louisiana and New Orleans, lighter skinned free blacks owned slaves. Black masters were often viewed by whites as a threat to the principle of white supremacy. Women comprised 10% of the slaveholding class—typically widows, they relied on the help of overseers to manage the plantation.
Even though there was great diversity among who owned slaves and how many slaves they owned, as well as where slaves worked, the average slave owner was a 54-year old white male, born in the South. He owned fewer than 10 slaves. The vast majority were not planters.
Further, people should move in and out of the slave owning class. Some owners worked with their slaves, and for the small farmer, life was unpredictable, restless, and economically insecure. People often gradually saved and tried to buy up land and slaves. Many times, they then moved west where land was cheaper.
Pause for 60-Second Quiz #1: What are some of the causes of, and some of the effects of, southern resistance to industrialization? Which answer is correct?
a. All white southern families owned slaves
b. All slave-owners based their pro-slavery arguments on economics
c. All slave-owners based their pro-slavery arguments on religion
d. All slave-owners were white
II. Social Division in White Southern Society
A. The Planter Class
Planters are usually thought of in terms of Gone with the Wind; people who lived in lavish homes and owned large numbers of slaves. Planters did own enormous homes, large numbers of slaves. They benefited from luck and inherited wealth; few were rags to riches stories.
Planters served as leaders of their social, political, ideological, and religious communities. Their wealth, their paternalism, gave them the authority positions in society. They held political offices, they were the police, the judges, and the juries. They were smarter, harder-working, and worth more in their own minds than the non-slaveholders. They believed that they spoke for the community, and especially when the behavior of blacks became a public concern (some crime or fear of insurrection). Planters believed also that they would protect the poorer whites from the slaves.
The planter’s wealth came not from their possessions, not from their crops, but from the slaves they owned. Planters struggled with managing large plantations, with selling their crops, and with buying, maintaining, supervising, and selling slaves. Plantation wives often had to cope with being distant from their friends and relatives and being surrounded by people they owned. Their isolation was compounded by the sorrow of knowing that in many cases, their husbands, sons, cousins had fathered children with their slaves.
B. Planters and pro-slavery arguments
As the abolition movement took off in the 1830s, so did the pro-slavery arguments of planters. (We’ll address Uncle Tom’s Cabin and its impact at a later date.
Most southern planters began to look at slavery not as a negative evil but as a positive good. George Fitzhugh, a Virginian, wrote Sociology of the South, in which he argued that southern slaves were better cared for than northern workers. Factory workers were fired when they got too old to work and cut loose, whereas old slaves were cared for. It was the Northern system that was cruel, not the Southern one. Fitzhugh believed that slavery was normal, natural, and necessary to a civilized society. Slavery was an economic necessity and if emancipated, slaves couldn’t care for themselves.
Other southerners used the Bible to justify slave holding. Ministers tried to argue that none of the Biblical prophets or Christ himself had every criticized slavery. They asserted that there was a tradition of slavery in the Bible, and in Ancient Greece and Rome, and therefore it should be acceptable. Rev. Dr. Richard Furman, the leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, also became an outspoken supporter of slavery. The wrote Exposition of the Views of the Baptists Relative to the Coloured Population in the United States in 1823, and it was later republished several times. In it, Furman stated that in the Old Testament, the Israelites were directed to purchase slaves from the Heathen nations, and that these persons were “to be their bond-men forever” and “an inheritance for them and their children” according to the book of Leviticus.
Some preachers admonished masters to treat their slaves in accordance with the Golden Rule, however there was no enforcement of this either through laws or within the community. The efforts to recognize slave marriage, to keep families intact, led to fear. David Walker’s Appeal, a book that criticized colonization and called for slaves to rise up, made planters want to keep their slaves as uneducated as possible, thus they did not like the idea of improvement and perfection and education that the North did. Churches and individuals felt guilty but did little to change slave treatment or slave quality of life, and reform efforts were few.
Some, like James Henry Hammond, an eminent planter and senator from South Carolina, argued that African Americans were intellectually and emotionally inferior and dependent, and that slavery was doing them a favor. “Providence has placed the black man in our hands for his good, and has paid us from his labor for our guardianship,” echoing the words of Furman. Said Furman, “The children, the aged, the sick, the disabled, and the unruly, as well as those, who are capable of service and orderly, are the objects of his care: The labour of these, is applied to the benefit of those, and to their own support, as well as that of the master. Thus, what is effected, and often at a great public expense, in a free community, by taxes, benevolent institutions, bettering houses, and penitentiaries, lies here on the master, to be performed by him, whatever contingencies may happen; and often occasions much expense, care and trouble, from which the servants are free.”
A number of private authors published books supporting slavery—one is John Pendleton Kennedy’s Swallow Barn or A Sojourn in the Dominion. Originally written in the 1830s, he decided to republish it in the early 1850s, he said, as “an antidote to the abolition mischief.” The main character Merriwether feels that slavery is wrong, theoretically, but proves to his Northern visitor that his Negro slaves "could never become a happier people" than they are at present, as slaves at Swallow Barn.
C. Southern opponents of slavery
Not all southerners united to defend slavery, though. We’ve already seen how the Grimke sisters and how James G. Birney, a former slave owner in Alabama, became the Liberty Party candidate, moved to Cincinnati and was at one time the Secretary of the American Antislavery Society. Still, with the mail tampered with to prevent antislavery pamphlets, with their leading politicians and public figures defending slavery, many whites approved of slavery. To Hinton Helper, who wrote The Impending Crisis in 1857, slavery inhibited the South’s economic potential, limiting the opportunities available to small farmers. “Instead of keeping out money at home, patronizing our own mechanics, manufacturers, and laborers, we send it all away to the North, and there it remains.” He advocated freeing the slaves and sending them back to Africa and then developing the South like the North. Obviously, his writings were not popular in the South.
D. The Yeoman class
The largest single group of southern whites were non-slaveholding people called yeomen. These were small farmers who either grew crops to support their families or for local, small-market involvement. They typically owned between 50-200 acres, and were most common in the upcountry of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The majority of yeomen relied on animals for their livelihood. They did not want to be in debt or beholden to anyone. They cherished their liberty and independence, and created and continued a lifestyle that would allow this. They raised cattle and hogs, they had small farms here they planted corn too. They disliked work and supervision, so they were “careless farmers”—they let the pigs run loose and had what they wanted—liquor, leisure, tobacco, and food. They preferred fishing to working. Being lazy to these yeomen southerners, many of them of Scotch-Irish backgrounds, did not mean sitting about being slobs—they worked when they needed to and they helped their neighbors out. But it meant having time to have fun. Relying on livestock and corn allowed them to make a living and provided them with the food and drink they liked and the lifestyle that worked for them.
Yeomen relied on help from their neighbors; they were never 100% sufficient.
Yeomen, who may have owned none, or just a few slaves, typically approved of slavery. Feeling like they were better than slaves made them feel better about themselves. Further, they supported the plantation class because of the idea of states’ rights, and hands-off government, and because of the fear of northern abolitionists and reformers who seemed a threat to the south’s culture. Some hoped that they could improve their circumstances, and saw slave ownership as the path to wealth.
Dealing with the fear of debt, of economic or political dependence to the planters, and oft just trying to survive, yeomen lived in the upcountry and in plantation-slavery regions. So thus, the picture of tidewater Virginia or Berkeley County, South Carolina is not one entirely of plantations; there were small farms in between the plantations. Further, in the upcountry, though there might be some cotton plantations, more likely there were many small farmers with perhaps a couple of slaves Further, in less settled, mountain areas, yeomen were very poor, extremely unlikely to own any slaves at all.
As far as the yeoman class goes, to what extent were they impacted by the Second Great Awakening? The Second Great Awakening proceeded slower and less dramatically in the South, but it was there and it was a factor in yeoman life. Many men were uncomfortable discussing religion or with its emotion and introspection, felt effeminate; it was not manly, and subordinating one’s behavior to church rules would make them less of a man, they believed. It would compromise their ultimate authority within the household. Camp meetings were invaded by rebels, prostitutes, pranksters, and jokers. The evangelical preachers faced concerted opposition, especially along the Southern frontiers.
A new approach by a new group of ministers changed all this—they made it masculine to be an evangelical. Men were told they were “fighting for God.” That they were heroes in a military sense, that they were honorable. The Church tended to overlook private/family behavior and instead ask men to help out their neighbors and to contribute to society by spreading the Word to others.
The Baptists and the Methodists also spread to the South, but they were among the leading supporters of slavery.
E. White Women in the South
We’ve seen that white women in the North were on the cutting edge of the reform movements, but what about the South? What was life like for them? It was much more restrictive. Women were subordinate, they were expected to submit to their husbands and to not take a public role.
Pause for 60-second Quiz #2: Who were the planters and the yeomen, and how were they similar in some ways but different in others? Which answer is not correct?
a. Planters were more likely to own many slaves
b. Planters were likely to own no slaves
c. Yeomen were less likely to won many slaves
d. Yeomen were likely to own no slaves
III. Slave life in the antebellum South
It is important to point out that slaves worked and lived in a variety of settings:
The average southern slave lived on a plantation surrounded by at least ten other slaves.
A. Plantation Life
In South Carolina and Georgia low country areas, producing rice or Sea Island cotton, the task system was successful—slaves had assigned acre plots of the plantation to be responsible for, they had certain jobs to complete. For example, a slave might have to plant two acres of rice in day. A task was almost always based on a piece of land. If they finished those in less time than expected, could take a break and tend their own gardens and raise crops to sell in the towns or to poorer whites. By 1850, slaves produced a variety of crops, some raised their own animals, some also sold their woodworking, baskets, or fished and hunted in their free time. Slaves were also accumulating some possessions that they could pass down to their children.
The slave day began an hour before sunrise—5 AM, and continued until sunset. Men and women worked side by side in field gangs. Slaves worked in all seasons. In spring they planted, summer they tended and weeded crops, in the fall they harvested, and in the winter they prepared the fields for the upcoming season and did maintenance and construction work.
Aside from farming-related activities, slaves were involved in cutting firewood, doing household chores. The elderly slaves worked in gardens or cared for the youngest of children. Young children did the weeding and other tasks. After working until dusk, slaves went to their cabins, prepared meals based on their basic allotment of food and crops that they grew on their own—which might include collard greens or some squash, and went to sleep on the cold ground, only to be awakened at dawn the next day.
In West African culture, unstilted sloppy hair was associated with bad morals or was seen as embarrassing. Further, hair served as a sign of style and individuality. For plantation slave women, the humidity and the dirty conditions of the fields made their hair difficult to manage; they brushed and detangled their hair, styled it, and put it in a bandana to keep the dirt out; they then removed the bandana on Sunday. Other slave women braided their hair in elaborate styles; this allowed a sense of individuality and also became a source of pride in a life that gave them little else to be proud of. Women created their hair accessories and styles themselves.
Slave labor was commanded at the price of violence. Slaves who resisted masters or refused to work faced violence and torture. White overseers and black drivers whipped and punished slaves.
Not all slaves were forced to do field work. Some excelled as blacksmiths, carpenters, gin operators, and skilled house servants—nannies, cooks or butlers. There was a definite rivalry between house servants and field laborers. Not all slaves lived on plantations; some lived on small farms, working side-by-side with their owners. Others worked in the cities, where they might be hired out or literally rented to small businesses for work as blacksmith, carpenters, or other skilled jobs (see photo of Charleston). A small minority worked in grain processing plants in Virginia or in small iron foundries, but this was rare. Manufacturing was limited to begin with, and of the very few individuals involved in manufacturing, they were 95% white.
B. The slave family and culture
Although they came from a variety of African backgrounds, slaves forged a common language which allowed them to communicate with one another. Because this “Pidgin English” might be difficult for whites to understand, it was part of their common shared identity.
Regardless of the job they did, slaves created important family lives. Since their families could be separated at any time, it was difficult to forge any lasting family ties but they did. The typical slave family was a two-parent household, broken up only by sale. Masters rarely got involved in setting up relationships. Marital loyalty was a value, but premarital sex was tolerated—though slaves could not “legally” get married, they were often recognized as married within their African American communities, and some masters allowed their slaves to get married and to consider themselves married as a morale booster for the slaves—the master might throw a party for the slaves, they could celebrate and deflect their attention from the hard work at hand, and might see the master as kind.
Slave families valued the extended family even more than whites. They also established friendships and connections with slaves on neighboring plantations, and in the cities a vibrant African American culture emerged, however, as a result of Denmark Vesey’s conspiracy, white authorities cracked down on slave clubs and gatherings.
C. Slave markets
The threat of being sold was one that affected all slaves. The biggest slave markets were in New Orleans, Charleston and Savannah. Though the slave trade had ended, slaves could still be sold from one owner to the next, and many brought their slaves to these cities to make a big sale or went there to make a big purchase.
Many whites saw slave ownership as the path to prosperity and wealth. For others, paternalism motivated them—some justified slavery by saying that they were doing the slaves a favor. For some, owning a slave proved one’s status in society, could prove one’s gentility and masculinity (perhaps attracting a woman). For white women, owning a slave could offer some release from the demands of motherhood and wifehood. Some slaves were bought to be broken, to prove the master’s power and will to others, including to the slaves. Others purchased slaves for sex—it was the one thing that no one talked about. In perhaps the ultimate contradiction, slavery was the path for whites to freedom, leisure, and wealth.
D. Slave Religion
Slaves developed distinctive religious practices often modeled closely upon evangelical religion. The Second Great Awakening slowly reached the south, especially along the frontiers, where slaves joined the Methodist and Baptist churches. The likelihood that they would have little say in these churches, had a white preacher, and had to attend when and where they were told to and were constantly bombarded with messages on the importance of hard work and good behavior led many to shun organized religion altogether. Many clung to African traditions. Most slaves created their own Christianity on the plantations; they. As Frederick Douglass wrote, “The songs of the slave represent the sorrows of his heart.” Slaves also expressed themselves through folk tales, which helped the young to survive in a brutal world.
E. Slave Resistance
Slaves were never content in slavery. Plots to escape, however, were rare because most slaves lived in fear. They did not want to lose their families, they recognized the odds against them. Three major rebellions come to mind: Gabriel’s Rebellion in 1800, South Carolina’s Denmark Vesey conspiracy in 1822 and the successful Nat Turner Revolt in Virginia in 1831. There were remarkably few slave revolts in America compared to other slave societies; In Jamaica and Guyana, thousands of slaves rose up. Brazil comes to mind as a place with several bloody slave revolts in the 1830s alone.
1. Gabriel’s Rebellion
In Gabriel’s Rebellion, Gabriel, a slave blacksmith in his mid-twenties living just outside of Richmond, Virginia, recruited perhaps a couple hundred slaves to march on to Richmond and capture the governor (who was then at the time James Monroe). A heavy thunderstorm postponed the attack and a few slaves then turned Prosser in. Prosser and the other leaders were eventually captured and executed.
2. Denmark Vesey’s Revolt
In Charleston, Denmark Vesey’s conspiracy in 1822 met a similar fate. Vesey was a fifty-five year old free black carpenter in Charleston, and he planned what would have been the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history. His insurrection, which was to take place on July 14, 1822, became known by about 9,000 slaves and free blacks throughout Charleston who were to rebel. The plot was leaked by slaves opposed to Vesey's movement, and 131 people were charged with conspiracy by White Charleston authorities. 67 men were convicted and 35 hanged, including Denmark Vesey.
By the way, the Denmark Vesey plot (or, rather, the discovery of it) and the fear it caused among whites in Charleston, was the reason for the founding of The Citadel military academy in Charleston, South Carolina – the idea was to have a corps of cadets trained in military arts who would defend the (white) city against the next slave rebellion.
Also, the church where Denmark Vesey planned and recruited participants for his rebellion was burned to the ground. Another church was rebuilt in its place, the Mother Emanuel AME Church. This church was the site of a white supremacist’s mass murder of African American congregants in 2015. While the perpetrator’s motives were certainly informed by a racist hatred of black people, it is not clear whether the symbolism and history of this church played a role in his choice to target it.
3. Nat Turner’s Rebellion
The most famous slave revolt was led by a literate slave preacher named Nat Turner. He lived on a small farm in southeastern Virginia and launched on short notice, a slave revolt. Starting with a few trusted friends, the movement numbered in the fifties, and included a few free blacks. The slaves traveled from house to house, freeing slaves and killing all the white people they found. They used hatchets, knives, axes and guns instead of firearms. Turner gave the orders to “kill all whites,” and as a result, almost 60 men, women and children were killed. Within 48 hours, the rebellion was suppressed within 48 hours, but Turner eluded capture for months. On October 30 he was discovered in a swamp by a white farmer and then arrested.
After his capture, his court appointed trial lawyer, Thomas Ruffin Gray, took it upon himself to publish "The Confessions of Nat Turner," derived partly from research done while Turner was in hiding and partly from conversations with Turner before his trial. This document remains the primary window into Turner's mind. Due to its author's obvious bias, it is a subject of much contention among historians. In 1967, novelist William Styron wrote a novel by the same name in which he wrote from the perspective of Turner. The state legislature of Virginia considered abolishing slavery, but in a close vote, affected by the recent uprising, decided to retain slavery and instead support a repressive policy against slaves and free blacks. The freedoms of all black people in Virginia were tightly curtailed, and an official policy was instated that forbade questioning the slave system, on the grounds that any discussion might encourage similar slave revolts.
4. Silent Sabotage
Rebellion did not always take the form of rebellion or escape. Slaves could achieve a level of relief by committing acts of silent sabotage on a daily basis. Feigning injury or illness, working slowly, pretending not to understand, and trying to show a sense of humor in difficult situations— these were all ways of coping with the tragedy of daily life in slavery.
5. Running Away
As an alternative to revolt, slaves ran away, some via the Underground Railroad. While small groups of Quakers were helping slaves escape from the late-1700s, it was not until the abolitionist movement of the 1830s that the Underground Railroad began. Moreover, it was not until the 1850s, when slavery was really under attack that the Underground Railroad blossomed. Numbers vary; the average suggests that about 50,000 slaves escaped via the Underground Railroad. It mainly affected slaves in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, and Kentucky—not slaves in the Deep South.
A network of safe houses located about every ten to fifteen miles and of people helping them along the way to escape and to get established, often in Northern cities, made it possible for slaves to reach their freedom. After 1850, with the passage of the Fugitive Slave Act, something we’ll get at later, escaping slaves had to go to Canada to make sure they would be safe. As a result, Windsor and Toronto, Ontario’s black population includes many former American slaves as well as immigrants from the Caribbean and Africa that came later.
A surprising number of slaves escaped in trains or ships. Sometimes they borrowed or forged "free papers," legal papers that said that they were free. One reason that slaveholders did not want slaves to learn to read and write was that they feared that they would forge these papers. Sometimes slaves borrowed papers from free blacks. When Frederick Douglass escaped by riding the train from Baltimore to New York, he borrowed the freedom papers of a black sailor. He could show these to the train's conductor as proof that he had the right to be traveling northward. He later mailed these back to his friend.
One way to smuggle slaves out of the south was to pack them up and ship them as freight. In the winter of 1857, a young woman in Baltimore was boxed up by her friend, taken to the train depot, and sent to Philadelphia. The young woman lacked air, water, and food. Several times the box was turned over, sending the young woman tumbling. The next day, the box arrived in Philadelphia around 10 A.M. The friend, who was free, had traveled to Philadelphia to be there when the box arrived. He hired a hackman (a man who drove a one-horse wagon) to pick up the box and deliver it to the home of Mrs. Myers, a free black woman. Mrs. Myers, who was originally from Baltimore, frequently received fugitives traveling on the Underground Railroad.
Mrs. Myers was so afraid that the young woman would be dead after the journey that she asked her neighbor, who was an undertaker, to be present when she opened the box. The young woman did survive, but she was very weak. At first, she could not speak. They finally got her out and helped her upstairs where she went to bed for the rest of the day. It was three days until she was strong enough to talk in a normal way. She had almost died in that box, but her desire for freedom was so strong that she risked it. After three or four days with the Myers family, the young woman was sent on to Canada.
Slaves sometimes wore disguises to avoid being recognized and returned to slavery. The story of Ann Maria Weems is an interesting one. She belonged to a slave trade in Montgomery County Maryland (just north of D.C.) Her owner refused to grant her freedom even when her friends came forward offering money. A white doctor, a conductor for the Underground Railroad, picked her up in his carriage, she was disguised as a young boy and was told to act as a coachman who assisted with the carriage and horses. She traveled To Philadelphia, and to New York, and eventually to Canada.
8. Underground Railroad
Harriet Tubman was a slave born on a small plantation in Maryland. Sometime in the fall of 1849 she escaped northward, leaving behind her free husband who did not want to follow. On her way she was assisted by sympathetic Quakers and other members of the Abolitionist movement, both black and white, who were instrumental in maintaining the Underground Railroad.
Called "Moses" by those she helped escape on the Underground Railroad, Tubman made many trips to Maryland to help other slaves escape. According to her estimates and those of her close associates, Tubman personally guided more then 300 slaves to freedom in about 19 expeditions. She was never captured and, in her own words, "never lost a passenger." She also provided detailed instructions to many more who found their way to freedom on their own. Her owner, Eliza Brodess, posted a $100 reward for her return, but no one ever knew that it was Harriet Tubman who was responsible for spiriting away so many slaves from her old neighborhood in Maryland.
After the American Civil War, it was reported that there had been a $40,000 reward for Tubman's capture; but this was a myth to further dramatize Harriet's greatness in the post-war period. She was successful in bringing away her parents and her four brothers: Ben, Robert, Henry, and Moses, but failed to rescue her beloved sister Rachel, and Rachel's two children, Ben and Angerine. Rachel died in 1859 before Harriet could rescue her.
During the American Civil War, in addition to working as a cook and a nurse, she served as a spy for the North. Again she was never captured, and she guided hundreds of people trapped in slavery into Union camps during the Civil War. In 1863, Tubman led a raid at Combahee River Ferry in Colleton County, South Carolina, allowing hundreds of slaves to run to their freedom. This was the first military operation in U.S. history planned and executed by a woman. Tubman, in disguise, had visited plantations in advance of the raid and instructed slaves to prepare to run in to the river where Union ships would be waiting for them. Union troops exchanged fire with Confederate troops in this incident; there were casualties on both sides.
Pause for 60-second Quiz #3: What are some of the examples of slaves’ resistance to slavery? Which answer is NOT correct?
a. Running away was one way a slave could resist the system of slavery
b. Armed uprising was one way a slave could resist the system of slavery
c. Silent sabotage was one way a slave could resist the system of slavery
d. Being smuggled from the plantation to the nearest town was one way a slave could resist the system of slavery
Key for 60-second Quizzes: