St. John de Crevecoeur, a French Agriculturalist, came over to America in the mid eighteenth century. He wrote the Letters From An American Farmer to inform a friend in England about the way of life in the British Colonies of America. Letter IX gives a brief account of Charlestown, South Carolina and the lives of the plantation owners and their slaves.
Charlestown is one of the richest colonies in all of America and it is not full of gold or silver but commodities like indigo or rice. These products create an industry far greater than any mines could produce. (223) In order for this industry to prosper, plantation owners need many workers to cover such vast properties. The owners buy slaves that are brought over from Africa to do all the labor on the farm.
Crevecoeur visits these plantations and he cannot believe how the slaves are treated. "Oh Nature, where art thou? âAre not these blacks thy children as well as we. Â (227) He cannot understand how the slaves can be treated worse than animals. "They are arranged like horses at a fair, they are branded like cattle, and then driven to toil, to starve, to languish for a few years on the different plantations of these citizens. Â (226) How can these people be so different from us (whites)?
Slavery is not new to Crevecoeur but the way the slaves are treated is. The slaves from the northern provinces have as much liberty as their masters. They are fed as well as their owners, when they are sick they are taken care of and they all live under one roof. (230-231) In Charlestown, the situation is much different. The whites eat drink and live contently while doing no work while the slaves eat from the ground, work in the boiling sun, during the warmest hours, raising crops for someone they know not. On one side, their is a people who enjoy all of life's luxuries while never working and on the other side their are the slaves who have been torn from their ... Continue Reading