A Tale of Two Plantation: Slave Life at Mesopotamia in Jamaica and Mount Airy in Virginia, 1799 to 1828

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Main theme of article of book:The main theme was that all slaves' lives were not the same. In Mount Airy, VA the slaves had a much different life than the slaves from Mesopotamia, Jamaica. The life expectancy, amount of children born, amount of new slaves brought in, burden of labor, over all treatment from their owners, can all be considered different. This information was given by analyzing censuses from two the different plantations. The Jamaican slaves had to work much harder with the sugar cane than the slaves in Virginia with their crops or specialized skills. More babies were born to the slaves in Virginia which meant that they populated themselves and at the same time their lives were quite longer. Even though there was a majority of female slaves in Jamaica, they could not reproduce fast enough so more slaves have to be brought in from West Africa to keep the work force up to the needs of the plantation.

The Virginia plantation had a habit of getting rid of females by selling them, but that did not hinder the birth rate of babies being so much higher than those of Jamaica. Both areas experienced children being born of white fathers. Perhaps the diet and more difficult labor was why there were fewer births in Jamaica than in Virginia. Family ties amongst slaves were a bit different in the way that some members of a family might have been sold or sent to a different area owned by the same person in Virginia were as in Jamaica the slaves did not survive long enough or maintain a surplus population by childbirth to sell or redistribute them to other properties. Climate also had an impact of work load and cycles of work.

2. Arguments in support of the main...