Slavery: What Rights did one have as a Slave?".
The answer to this question is very simple, none. Regardless of the position of the person who gave their account on slavery, the answer remained the same. Although the slaves had no rights, the pro-slavery account belittles the amount of work required of a slave, and how in England their treatment would have been crueler; however, the anti-slavery account argued that despite whether or not the life of slaves was better in America, the slaves were still denied basic human rights. In spite of the biases or the main purpose of each account, the conclusion remains the same; Slaves had not rights.
Robert Beverly, who wrote about the differentiation between slaves and servants, made a case for the lack of slave rights by accident when he mentioned the rights of servants and omitted those of slaves. Beverly was a historian of the Virginia colony and he worked in various government positions. His position in society may have accounted for his pro-slavery bias.
First of all, he distinguished slaves from servants by " the names of slaves for life and servants for a time (45)." In this situation, a servant has the right for their servitude to end after a period of time, while the slave had no right to end his forced labor. Beverly attempted to justify slavery as less severe and cruel when he said, " that generally their slaves are not worked near so hard, nor as many hours a day, as the husbandmen, and day laborers in England (46)." Whether or not this statement is valid, the workers Beverly compared the slaves to still had rights within the legal system; they also had the right to decide where and when they wanted to work. .
In conclusion to his document, Beverly ended with a list of servants rights. This list of rights is more significant for the information which is not present. Most of these laws pertain to the protection of basic human rights, none in which slaves are mentioned.