Assignment 2


  1. Slavery was most prominent in the southern states later but also existed in the north in the early days of the US.
    1. This was not changed from the narrative
  2. They tended to work on plantations and lived in shacks or shelters provided by the owner.
    1. In the narrative the family stayed in a house and had land given to them by the owner.
  3. The slaves mainly performed manual labor such as working the fields or as servants in the household.
    1. Silas abbot worked the field, but his family mother was a house girl.
  4. Work conditions and the rhythm of work would have been repetitive and decided by the owner of the plantation
    1. Silas had good working conditions.
  5. The food, clothing, and shelter would all have been given by the owner and so depended on what they wanted to provide.
    1. This was not changed from the narrative
  6. Slaves often married and had families, but the family could have been separated at any time depending on if they got sold or not.
    1. This was not changed from the narrative
  7. Slaves didn’t have the education we received but they were trained in professions that would be useful on the plantation.
    1. This was not changed from the narrative.
  8. Early on they might have practiced their religion from when they were captured. Once they arrived the States they would have been forced to convert to Christianity.
    1. This was not discussed in the narrative I read.
  9. In the initial period of slavery there was some freedoms and rights held by the slaves but as time progressed they went away.
    1. Silas and his family were given more freedoms than other slaves were given.
  10. Slave views of whites most likely was not the best but it could also depend on who their owner was and how they were treated.
    1. Silas had a very positive view of some whiter people.
  11. No one wants to be a slave and they likely viewed freedom with a holy reverence and had a disdain for slavery.
    1. This was not changed from the narrative
  12. My source of understanding of slavery is what I have learned in high school and other courses I have taken that have briefly covered this topic.




Through this exercise I have learned a lot about how to analyze texts to gain information to help form an argument. The narrative I read by Silas Abbot was very different compared to that of Henry Bibb. Silas had a very different kind of relationship with his owner who saw him as more of a human being, whereas Henry was property and not well treated because of this. And because of this Henry formed a very strong resentment for slavery and those who abused him. This exercise helped me to see both of these points of view that described slavery in different ways as both being different forms of slavery that existed at the same time.

7 Replies to “Assignment 2”

  1. It’s interesting because when we first get taught about slavery, we learn about all the bad experiences from slaves. Some slaves were treated much better because of who their masters were and what their relationship with them was like. Even though they were not free, some slaves were much better off than others.

  2. I agree with the point you made about slave’s views of white people greatly depended on their owner and personal experiences. I think it is important to note that not all slaves were treated poorly, and that treatment sometimes depended on attitude. I do think that there is a lack of comparison between your narrative and Henry Bib though. It seems as though Bibb did not have a good experience with slavery and that there would be some good contrasting experiences between him and your narrative.

  3. Hey Zachary,

    I also found it very beneficial with the way this assignment was structured when gaining the information to formulate our ideas and learn from the narrative basis of even slaves them selves. On top of that, comparing them to one another and noticing the differences that many slaves had during their experiences and time as slaves was very eye opening for me as it seemed to be for you too. One thing I did tend to notice in my own conclusions, is that do you think time period played a role in how slavery was perceived from each person? Mostly exemplifying individuals who were born into the late stages of slavery vs the ones who had to live a whole life time of it like Bibb? From the narratives I read it seemed as if most born into slavery slaves that were interviewed experienced it from a much younger age (children-early 20’s) than the typical full life span slave. Just an aspect I thought about and wonder what conclusions you drew from it?


  4. As I went into depth about what I thought slavery was like in the twelve topics we had to cover, I thought after reading about Henry Bibb’s experience as a slave helped me gain information I was not aware of before. Learning about the different perspectives that others have on slavery has been interesting to compare to my findings as well.

  5. Zach, I completely agree with your summary. Before Abbots story, I have only heard one side of the stories pertaining to slavery. After his story i was able to finally see both views and recognize the difference in certain slave owners.

  6. When we’re first taught about slavery in elementary school, most of the stories we here are from slaves who hated their predicament and yearned for freedom. We don’t really hear a lot about slaves who were content with their situation and were treated well. I think my reaction was the same as yours when I read the narrative of a slave who loved his master and enjoyed the protection he received. I always thought that everybody was against slavery, and there wasn’t a single slave that supported it. Apparently there were some that didn’t want to be free, and would much rather live on the plantation. It was the only world they’d ever known.

  7. I also found it interesting how drastic a slaves experience could be. It was really interesting reading about how one slave liked and even missed his owner when they went to fight in the war. Also, it was interesting to also read how some slaves despised/ hated their owners and only wanted to be free.

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