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Slavery and the Making of AmericaPicture of a plantation house near Social Circle, Georgia
Time and Place Slave Memories Resources The Slave Experience

The Slave Experience: Living
Intro Historical Overview Character Spotlight A Year in the Life Personal Narratives Original Docs
Introduction Living Conditions
Character Spotlight: Jupiter Photo of dramatic re-enactment of young Thomas Jefferson and his friend Jupiter Get the historical overview
What was the ideal master-slave relationship? What is "paternalism"? What was life like for slaves living on large plantations? What about for slaves living on small farms and in cities? How was life different for house slaves and field workers? Why were slaves more prone to ailments like scurvy and rickets? If slaves received new shoes and clothing from their masters when would these items be given out?

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On a Virginia plantation, Thomas Jefferson shared childhood adventures with a boy named Jupiter. At twenty-one, having gained his majority, Thomas became Jupiter's master.

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A Year in the Life -- Exterior, slave cottage - Library of Congress Original Documents Personal Narratives
Personal Narratives
Learn about the diverse circumstances and living conditions experienced by slaves and indentured servants in America by reading documents dating to the Colonial, Antebellum, and Reconstruction periods.

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Read and listen to compelling first-hand accounts of life under slavery and Reconstruction.

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Examine how a slave's daily life changed with the seasons and learn what factors stayed the same throughout the year by exploring pages in a plantation account book.
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