Field slaves in the United States

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Field hands were slaves who labored in the plantation fields. They commonly were used to plant, tend, and harvest cotton, sugar, rice, and tobacco.


Field slaves usually worked in the fields from sunrise to sundown, while being monitored by an overseer. The overseer was there to make sure that slaves did not slow down or cease their field work until the day was over.[citation needed]


Field slaves were given one outfit annually. During the winter time, field slaves were given additional clothing, or material to make additional cloth, in order to keep them warm.[1]


Children of course did not go to school but were put to work as young as they were able, though younger children were given lesser tasks, like fetching meals or guarding animals. In general, slave children received little to no clothing until they reached puberty,[2] after which time they were given gender-appropriate clothing.


Women were given long dresses to wear in the summer. During the winter they made themselves a shawl and pantalettes.[3] Women often wore turbans on the heads, covering their hair.


Men were given pants to wear during the summer and then in the winter they were also given long coats to wear. [3]


Field slaves were given weekly rations of food by their master, which included some meat, corn meal and flour. If permitted, the slaves could have a garden to grow themselves fresh vegetables.[1] Otherwise they would make a meal from their rations and anything else they could find.[1] They had breakfast at daybreak, before going to work in the fields and had dinner at the end of the workday. This happened every day when they were on the fields or when they were under the rule of their masters.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Slavery and the Making of America . The Slave Experience: Living". PBS. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  2. ^ "Slavery and the Making of America . The Slave Experience: Men, Women & Gender". PBS. Retrieved 2013-12-15.
  3. ^ a b "Slavery and the Making of America . The Slave Experience: Men, Women & Gender". PBS. Retrieved 2013-12-15.