Richard Ligon in Barbados

Topics: Slavery, Slavery in the United States, Master Pages: 4 (1321 words) Published: November 10, 2008
Richard Ligon was from England and moved to Barbados in 1647. There, he lived amongst slaves, servants, and planters for approximately ten years. He witnessed many forms of slavery and paid close attention to how the different slave groups were being treated, in comparison to one another. In his article, he compares the living conditions of the slaves to the servants. Ligon also discusses what their motives and methods of resistance to their master’s authority are. In his work, it is also evident that cultural adaptations were made between the European and African inhabitants of Barbados. He demonstrates this by going into detail about how the slaves expressed their African culture through their music, religion, and recreation. While in Barbados, servants and slaves had to live amongst each other to satisfy their masters’ desires, yet they did it without proper living conditions while trying to make the best out of every day with their own cultural practices. While in Barbados, Richard Ligon compared the working life of a slave to the working life of a servant and gathered information. “The slaves and their posterity, being subject to their Masters forever, are kept preserved with greater care than the servants.” This is because the slaves are owned by their master for their entire life, whereas the servants can only be used for up to 5 years by law. Since the slaves were kept for a longer period of time, the masters’ would try to keep them healthier and happier longer than they would for servants. A servant’s life included many harsh living conditions, whereas the slave life wasn’t as horrific. The servants were put through very excruciating labour; ill lodging and they were barely fed enough to maintain a healthy diet. However, your living conditions were also determined by the type of master you had. Some were lenient and others were cruel. The lenient masters would treat their servants to higher quality foods, better drinks, and a good...

Bibliography: Shannon, Timothy. “A Pennsylvania Woman’s Adoption into an Indian Family.” In Atlantic Lives: A Comparative Approach to Early America, edited by James Seaver, 51-55. United States: Pearson Longman, 2004.
Shannon, Timothy. “A French Missionary’s Captivity Among the Mohawks” In Atlantic Lives: A Comparative Approach to Early America, edited by Reuben Thwaites, 47-49. United States: Pearson Longman, 2004.
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