Slaves for Hire: Renting Enslaved Laborers in Antebellum Virginia.



Many white Americans own slaves but not all can afford to. There are rich, middle, and poor classes in the economic system. Sometime, middle classes and lower class do not have enough money to afford slaves to work for them, so instead of buying slaves, they can hire instead. Hiring a slave to work for them can rise their reputation and make them feel more powerful.

Slaves hiring have increases in antebellum Arizona and it is spreading around the country. White people have rent or hire slaves to work for them in any kind works. They can be working in the house, plantation field, factory, coal mine, etc. It doesn't matter what gender the slaves are, both do the same type of job. "By the 1850s slave hiring was so commonplace that rental agreements were standardized and preprinted, as were insurance policies for hired slaves working in especially dangerous occupations." (Wood 580) Since slave hiring is increasing, there are agreements paper to give the right for the white people to hire slaves.

Renting or hiring a slave gives many white people the advantage to be successful in many ways. When a white family owns a slave, they considered themselves as high and rich. It allowed them to displays their slaves and show that they are powerful. Slaves hiring have changes and improves the economics in Arizona and other countries. Renting slaves can cause controversial for the white renter and the owner, "thus creating opportunities for slaves to exert a greater level of agency." (Wood 580) Slaves create their own agency from the overtime that they worked that allow them to earn more money. Even thought they are trying to form their agency, if they got caught, they are going to be sold or punished. Hiring can be both good and bad for the slaves.

The journal that I choose is by Nicholas Wood. The reason why I choose this article is because I heard about slavery a numerous of times but I have never heard bout slaves being rented. I thought it was interesting how some slaves who got sold and does the same work as the slaves that got hired but they didn't get paid. I thought it was surprising how in the 1850s, a white person would paid a African to do his work back because I never heard or learned about it. This article is related to the themes I learned in Professor Hyland class because most of the topics in class are slaves, work to improve economics and how they are not being treated fairy. This article is related to it because of it slavery and how slaves have change the economic in many white people family.

Wood, Nicholas. "Slaves For Hire: Renting Enslaved Laborers In Antebellum Virginia." Journal Of The Early Republic 33.3 (2013): 580-582. America: History & Life. Web. 3 July 2013.


I enjoyed reading your article about slavery. Sometimes it hurts reading about this topic because it doesn't seem like people would do that but it did happen. You did a substantial job at writing this it was clear and had a lot of detail.

This article really is interesting. Its crazy the thoughts I get when I read about articles like these that talk about this topic. I think you did a great job with it. This was a great read!

Its nicely put together. i liked reading it and it was very powerful. i can not imagine some one actually doing these things.

Reading this article I still don't believe that slavery actually was part of our history.

I think slave owners tried to de-humanize the slaves so that they think of them as chattle or property. But there is still no way to justify all the suffering they had to endure so that someone can profit off of.

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This page contains a single entry by leex6812 published on July 3, 2013 12:46 PM.

Racial Identity, Social Context, and Race-Related Social Cognition in African Americans During Middle Childhood was the previous entry in this blog.

'Silent Cinderellas' are trapped in domestic slavery; Child Labour; Briefing; International is the next entry in this blog.

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