Photo Gallery: Urban Slave Quarters

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Before the war, Southern slave holders resided in both urban and rural areas. Urban slaves mainly performed household duties for their owners, cooking, cleaning, serving, or caring for children. Most slaves on the plantations worked in the fields, preparing and harvesting crops of tobacco, rice and cotton. Slave quarters in the city were dormitory-style buildings, often made of brick, while those in the country were usually small wooden cabins. The Heyward-Washington House in Charleston, South Carolina, named after its owner, Daniel Heyward, and George Washington, who visited the house in 1791, offers a glimpse of what life was like for the slaves who served an urban Southern family.

Images used with permission of the Charleston Museum, Charleston, South Carolina.

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The laundry room

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Kitchen fireplace

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Bread-making tools

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A place for storage

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Brick oven for baking bread

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Kitchen hutch

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