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Harvesting the Rice

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Harvesting the Rice

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The black worker in this picture could have been harvesting rice on Arthur Middleton's plantation, or one of many other rice plantations scattered throughout the lowcountry of coastal South Carolina by the min-18th century. This picture, however, comes from the November 1859 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine, about three years before the Emancipation Proclamation.

The article, entitled "The Rice Lands of the South," describes the life of African Americans forced to work on rice plantations, including their work schedules, religious activities, and recreations. Sprinkled with derogatory comments throughout, the article reveals the author's prejudice against the slaves.

Image Credit: Harvard College Library

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Arthur Middleton

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