To what extent were Hammonds's slaves able to resist the oppression of slavery? Was the plantation an all powerful institution that made slaves helpless and passive, or did slaves have opportunities to exercise power?
When James Henry Hammond's marriage placed this plantation in his possession he had 147 slaves he had to control. He made a "system of roguery" to dominate his slaves. He discouraged slave society and their culture and created a system to destroy the base of black harmony. He physically and psychologically overpowered and controlled these slaves. Hammond's slaves didn't have much choice but to accept the fact that they were slaves and do what they were told. The rules were very harsh and they were left with no other choice than to follow their master's rules. Hammond wanted control over their religious behavior and work patterns. Because the slaves were not used to this cruel strictness they would challenge his need for perfection. When slaves wanted to have Christmas off and were refused he would whip them back onto the fields. Silver Buffs residents were escaping and setting fires to rebel against Hammond. Slaves would run away to resist against the master's control over them. There were many attempts to escape the plantation trying to resist the oppression of slavery. At Silver Bluff's there was no successful escapes. The slaves would either get captured eventually or come back voluntarily. If new slaves would try to escape when caught they were sold right away. Later on there was a policy to punish runaways. If they escape and come back voluntarily they receive 3 lashes for each day gone. If they care captured they receive 10 lashes for each day gone. This new system fixed the problem of runaways. The plantation was a powerful institution that made slaves helpless and passive. When they would try to fight like having Christmas off or going to church on Sunday Hammond would only allow it under his rules and conditions. Hammond's...
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