Devil Slavery and Dr. Faust
In the essay from Dr. Faust’s “Community, Culture, and Conflict on an Antebellum Plantation”, she explores the balance of power between slave owners and their bondsmen, primarily, on the Hammond Plantation, Silver Bluff. She will focus on four areas of research, religion, work patterns, and payments/privileges, escape attempts/rebellion and external influences. She maintains that there was an intricate communal order among the slaves of the Silver Bluff Plantation. Using primary and secondary sources I will either verify or disprove Dr. Faust’s thesis. Dr. Faust has used the journal writings of James Hammond as her main primary source for her essay. I will use Dr. Faust’s essay for my secondary and writings from former slaves (primary) for my sources. As master of the plantation, Silver Bluff, James Hammond strived to gain complete control over every aspect of his slave’s lives. It was a struggle that spanned decades, and one he never fully realized. Through his journal entries we see the daily struggle for control, and the means he used to uphold his authority. They also show how the slaves resisted Hammond’s attempts while holding on to their own society. Dr. Faust shows through Hammond’s own words how he tried to control the slave’s religion by replacing Black worship with White belief. (pg. 220) He first tried by taking away all Black churches and forcing the slave to attend White churches. He then changed track by hiring traveling preachers for the slaves Sunday worship. In 1845 he built his own church on the plantation. He was admired for the conformity his slaves showed for the white social norms. However, his slaves had learned to show Hammond the behavior he wanted all the while still holding true to their own religious beliefs. Even after twenty years Hammond was still trying to eradicate the Blacks religion. “Have ordered all church meetings to be broken up except at the church with a white preacher.” (pg. 220) To have...
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