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  #1  
Old 12-01-2002, 12:18 PM
Pantone Swatchbook Pantone Swatchbook is offline
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how were slaves "bred"?

inspired by the other thread about slaves:

As I understand it, American slaves of African origin were bred according to excellent physical characteristics - strength, durability, health - but what practices did slaveowners use to mate men and women? Did they just take a healthy male and put him in a room with a healthy female to go at it or did they arrange some form of marriage for them (even if not legally bound)? What if the female did not approve of her sexual partner? Was she raped? What if the male did not approve of his sexual partner, or had "difficulties" in copulating? What if either one was already emotionally and romantically attached to other slaves and did not wish to have sex with another?

I guess all these were moot points considering the little human rights that were granted to slaves; but I am curious about the emotional and sociological aspects of forced breeding for humans.
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  #2  
Old 12-01-2002, 01:11 PM
astro astro is offline
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The Breeding of Slaves
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These Mulatto women were also often sold into prostitution. This was particular the case in the French Quarters of New Orleans were some slave owners even resorted to placing ads in college newspapers for White students to come by the plantation for sex. Students were paid as much as $20 to impregnate a Black slave.

The second type of slave that was in demand was the strong male and female slave that was used as a laborer. Many were forced to breed in order to produce superior offspring. Many selected women conceived twenty or more children for this purpose. Both male and female slaves were routinely paraded naked before White audiences to be sold to the highest bidder.
Slave Breeding

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The death-rate amongst slaves was high. To replace their losses, plantation owners encouraged the slaves to have children. Child-bearing started around the age of thirteen, and by twenty the women slaves would be expected to have four or five children. To encourage child-bearing some population owners promised women slaves their freedom after they had produced fifteen children.

Young women were often advertised for sale as "good breeding stock". To encourage child-bearing some population owners promised women slaves their freedom after they had produced fifteen children. One slave trader from Virginia boasted that his successful breeding policies enabled him to sell 6,000 slave children a year.
BACK IN BLACK

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I don't remember the days of slavery, but I got some remedial education reading her chapters on plantation life, the breeding of slaves and how it was for men and women. If I didn't know then, now I do. Black experience in the diaspora is far and wide, timeless and familiar.

Of course, there's the expected sufferation, like from interviewee Austin Grant: "They didn't give us nothin', I tell you, but a grubbin' hoe and axe and the whip."

But there are also the sidewinders, like from Florence Napier: "Ise sho 'joy myse'f on de old plantation, an' weuns all had a good time."

You wanna talk about sistahs with 'tude? Check out Mandy Morrow talking about her string of marriages, the last of which began in 1920: "If I wants de pet, den I's gits de dawg or de cat. Shucks! It don't tooks me long. When dey don't satisfy dis nigger, I's transpo't dem."

And if we want a different context to indulge the mythology of the voracious black sexual appetite, then consider the circumstance Lewis Jones was born into: "My pappy am the breeding nigger. When I's meet a cullud person on dat plantation, I's sho mos'ly dat it am my brudder or sistah." His father had roughly 50 kids -- that Jones knew of and could count off- hand.

These folks are neither meek nor short of words when they get to throwing it down, live and direct
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  #3  
Old 12-01-2002, 02:42 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Re: how were slaves "bred"?

Quote:
Originally posted by Pantone Swatchbook
As I understand it, American slaves of African origin were bred according to excellent physical characteristics - strength, durability, health - but what practices did slaveowners use to mate men and women?
Well, sometimes a white owner just bought females slaves and "bred" them himself... Since the result would them be a mulatto, quadroon, or octroon, if the the result was female the owner would wind up with an extremely valuable slave that could be sold into prostitution (in other words - yes, the owner would sell his own daughters for a profit. Of course, he didn't regard them as his daughters. Legally, he could have sex with those girls and sell his granddaughters, too)

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Did they just take a healthy male and put him in a room with a healthy female to go at it or did they arrange some form of marriage for them (even if not legally bound)?
Ya gotta understand -- the American system of slavery evolved rapidly into a situation where the slaves were viewed as livestock. Even to the point of breeding records for the slaves being kept in the same sort of studbooks used for horses and cattle.

Does a farmer "marry" cow and bull, mare and stallion? There was no recognition of marriage between slaves by any level of government or society. Yes, slaves "jumped the broom" and married in that sense, but at any time such joinings could be ripped apart by having spouses sold off, and the white males had total and unrestricted access to the black women, whether they or their men protested or not.

Yes, I'm sure the two healthy people locked in a room sceanario took place many times. Given that the alternative might have been forcible rape by the owner, maybe some folks even preferred that, if "preferred" could be used between two bad choices. But, remember - there was no social penalty for sex between slaves when ordered by the master. Indeed, since a woman's fertility would make her more valuable, she might even see some advantage in it. Just more of the horrible psychological cost of slavery.

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What if the female did not approve of her sexual partner?
Irrelvant. She had no say in these matters. Remember, legally she wasn't considered a human being - her status is that of a cow or mare used for breeding.

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Was she raped?
Happened all the time.

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What if the male did not approve of his sexual partner, or had "difficulties" in copulating?
What do you do with a stud animal that is no longer able to perform studly duties? If the man was still capable of labor he might be kept for that, but his value -- and possibly how well he was treated -- might be considerably less. The owner could do anything he wanted to a slave that didn't do as asked - including execution.

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What if either one was already emotionally and romantically attached to other slaves and did not wish to have sex with another?
Absolutely irrelevant. Remember, these people had the legal status of livestock. Who cares if Bessie the Cow prefers Tom the Bull over Jake the Bull? The personal feelings of the slaves was of no consequence to those who bred other human beings for profit.

Granted, not all plantations or owners were worst-case sceanario. Many slave owners found sex with their own slaves repugnant or immoral. Certainly many understood that if they DID father children on the women slaves those children were their children (in some cases, these children were freed and sent north). Some made keeping the family unit intact a reward for good behavior. Which in no way excuses the practice, just pointing out there was a wide variation in how slaves were actually treated. But legally, all the horrors listed above were possible, and did happen to many people.
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  #4  
Old 12-01-2002, 03:11 PM
istara istara is offline
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Fucking hell. I never knew any of this stuff. I had no idea breeding, selling into prostitution ever went on. Slavery was horrific enough - and now I find out this.

God. We are such fucked, evil beings.
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  #5  
Old 12-01-2002, 05:37 PM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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What the heck, maybe I could also mention that castration was used to make a "difficult" male more docile.

Yes, human beings are capable of remarkable evil.
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  #6  
Old 12-01-2002, 07:21 PM
effac3d effac3d is offline
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I"m sure it happened,but was there ever a documentd case of a slave owner marrying a owned slave and publically calling the children his/her own?

Could women own slaves?
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  #7  
Old 12-01-2002, 07:33 PM
Mighty_Girl Mighty_Girl is offline
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Frigging hell! This is a side of slavery in the US that I had never heard of. I had just figured that slaves kinda had a "regular partner" and they had some kind of family unit. Boy, humans have just dropped another 10 points in my scaled of fuckedness.
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  #8  
Old 12-01-2002, 08:07 PM
occ occ is offline
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Wait, wait, here. No offense, but a few of those early cites sound pretty dubious, based on their misuse of grammar and such. According to my American Studies professor, the US slave population became self-sufficient fairly early on; that is, without external influences. From my understanding, the concept of "slave breeding" may just be based on the fact that slaves would have been purchased due to physical qualities. While there was certainly some "unnatural selection" due to these decisions, its not as if the planters were carrying on bizarre genetics experiments with their slaves. I'd suspect that "breeding" amongst slaves took place much as it does amongst non-slaves, involving courtship rituals and the like. As well, doing something so cruel and humiliating, and disrupting sexual couplings, etc, etc, seems like it would have far more detriment than benefit...this seems like the kind of thing that would have been conducive to revolts, rather than keeping things moving smoothly for the slave owner.

Now, I fully conceded that I may be wrong, but logic suggests that this doesn't make all that much sense.
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Old 12-01-2002, 08:08 PM
occ occ is offline
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Oh, and my "misuse of grammar" comment wasn't a snide remark about the "slave grammar" used in some of the direct quotes -- I was referring to astro's first cite (referring to such things as the "French Quarters", using "were" instead of "where", etc.)

Carry on.
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  #10  
Old 12-01-2002, 11:04 PM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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Astro--

Who is Kevin Hallaway and why is he and expert in Slavery? A Google on his unusual name produced nothing of note.

As a fellow Marylander, I have long heard that Salisbury was the center of slave breeding. I would like to see proof.

Certainly in a few centuries of slavery somedarnbody bred slaves. On the other hand, having a farm that did nothign but raise little black (or "high-yellow") babies seems wasteful.

I am 45 years old. If I impregnated a slave today, I could sell the resultant daught er in say ten or twelve years? I would rather go for the quick profit of raising some crops and selling slaves as they come. Breeding would be a by-product.

Frankly all of this sounds like some sort of sick sexual fantasy. It seems to be an urban legand. Still I am willing to be convinced.

Any more information on this from reputable sources?
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  #11  
Old 12-02-2002, 12:13 AM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul in Saudi
Who is Kevin Hallaway and why is he and expert in Slavery?
According to his front page, he's a "wide-eyed, sanctified, blood bought, spirit taught, Bible totin', scripture quotin', Satan bashin', sin trashin', Christ followin', pride shallowin, hard prayin', truth conveyin', faith walkin', Gospel takin', Big Time Believer and proud of it.". Don't miss his debunking of the theory of evolution.

(Not that it's impossible for someone to be an authority on a particular subject and yet still believe that there are faeries living at the bottom of their garden...)

That being said, his unsubstantiated allegations and absurd generalizations relating to more recent history lessen my inclination to take him at his word somewhat:
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For forty years, some Black leaders have illegally accepted money from the Democratic party and have ignored the real problems within the Black community. Democratic leaders pad the pockets of church pastors and elders in exchange for votes. Other leaders have become poverty pimps who exploit the issue or race and poverty in America. For forty years, Blacks have dedicated themselves to a party that advocates abortion at anytime, homosexuality as an alternate lifestype, condoms instead of abstinence, needles instead of just say no, jobs programs instead of quality schools, welfare instead of responsibility, and lying to obtain victory. For forty straight years, the conditions of Black America have gotten worse and Blacks continue to blindly vote for the people who caused these problems in the first place, liberal Democrats.
Uh...
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  #12  
Old 12-02-2002, 12:14 AM
astro astro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Paul in Saudi
Astro--

Who is Kevin Hallaway and why is he and expert in Slavery? A Google on his unusual name produced nothing of note.

As a fellow Marylander, I have long heard that Salisbury was the center of slave breeding. I would like to see proof. Certainly in a few centuries of slavery somedarnbody bred slaves. On the other hand, having a farm that did nothign but raise little black (or "high-yellow") babies seems wasteful.

I am 45 years old. If I impregnated a slave today, I could sell the resultant daught er in say ten or twelve years? I would rather go for the quick profit of raising some crops and selling slaves as they come. Breeding would be a by-product.

Frankly all of this sounds like some sort of sick sexual fantasy. It seems to be an urban legand. Still I am willing to be convinced.

Any more information on this from reputable sources?
1: Re Kevin Halladay what you see is what I Googled up. You are welcome to jump in the Google pond too and do additional research.

2: I only came to Salisbury in 1986, but with respect to Salisbury being a center for slave breeding I have never heard this. In addition to being the bread and seafood basket for the East coast in the 1800's and 1900's we did have a Civil War Prison camp where many prisoners starved to death. Beyond this I would have to dig for the info in local archives and I am not so inclined, but you are welcome to come down and do research if you would like.

3: I don't think the farms were exclusively breeding farms for human slaves. They were working farms that happened to produce an excess of slave children/adolescents beyond the needs of the farm and these were sold.

4: While it is true that some people may make exaggerated claims for the scope of a particular heinous activity it is not all that unlikely that these things happened to some slaves, on some farms at some time(s). Why do you think it is beyond the bounds of human behavior for an owner to impregnate his own slaves? Slave owners have been doing this since time immemorial. Slave treatment under southern slavery was less harsh in many respects to the way other conquered peoples were treated throughout history, with castration of all males of a conquered population over a certain age being a matter of course in some instances. The really offensive thing about American slavery (historically) was the way it made and institutionalized the slave not just a conquered person, but a sub-human chattle whose natural destiny was to be property. That was new.

Our modern moral sentiments about the natural rights of man and equality between men is very recent and to the extent it existed the black man was not a member of that "members only" club. Black people were considered to be chattle. At the furtherest end of the attitude spectrum why should I care if my cow has calves I helped make. This is/was a reprehensible attitude from a modern perspective but may have simply been practical farming to a plantation owner. To the farmer they are still just animals and improving the breed was just good animal husbandry.
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Old 12-02-2002, 12:37 AM
astro astro is offline
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Thanks for the link Larry. In re-reading the page from Kevin Hollaway I found and linked initially, as it appeared to have something to say on the subject, there is nothing there that I can see, with the possible exception of the "college boys paid to impregnate" assertion, which has not been confirmed in at least half a dozen other histories of slavery I have read. Hollaway may be a fundie loon re evolution but his synopsis of slave breeding and how slaves were treated seems to be fairly reasonable.

Here is his cited bibliography
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  #14  
Old 12-02-2002, 01:27 AM
Larry Mudd Larry Mudd is offline
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Quote:
there is nothing there that I can see [...] which has not been confirmed...
One thing that stands out:
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However, most of the slaves were Christian and conducted their own marriage ceremonies.
False on the face of it. Indoctrination into christianity was far from the norm, and as I understand it, the 19th century was well underway before you started seeing many "Christianized" slaves -- and this as a result of Rev. Charles Colcock Jones' cynical scheme to discourage slave revolt.

Absent any contemporary accounts to support it, I'm not quite ready to believe that "both male and female slaves were routinely paraded naked before White audiences to be sold to the highest bidder," either.

Slavery is ugly, and its institution is north america was even uglier than many other forms. Adding hyperbole to history serves no one, and I've never understood the appeal of it. With such a litany of abuses, why embellish? For the same reason people seem to need to believe in the more recent "Lampshades and Soap" stories, in my opinion. It creates a sort of a safety-buffer. "The people who commited those atrocities were capable of any atrocity. They weren't even human. Certainly no one I know could do anything so evil. And positively not me."

That such things come about as a result of something as banal as economic convenience is just too horrible to acknowledge.
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  #15  
Old 12-02-2002, 02:29 AM
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Without denying ANY of the above, it should be pointed out that the practice of slavery varied A LOT from place to place and time to time. Some owners allowed and even encouraged something approximating normalcy for their slaves, ie, marriage, churches, etc.

Mind you, this wasn't always done with the best of intentions; many owners operated under the theory that happy slaves worked harder or didn't run away. You don't beat them for the same reason you don't whip your own horse to death. The psychological impact of "good" slavery was different, but of course, no less insidious.
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Old 12-02-2002, 05:08 AM
Broomstick Broomstick is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by effac3d
I"m sure it happened,but was there ever a documentd case of a slave owner marrying a owned slave and publically calling the children his/her own?
I don't have a specific cite... but probably. This would have been complicatd by laws against mixed-race marriage, but those laws were by no means universal. Certainly, there were many instances where slaves were known and acknowledge offspring of the owner or his close relatives, but marriage to the woman in involved would be extremely rare and perhaps of no legal standing.

There's a family in Illinois who are descended from a black man who was freed, moved to Illinois and took up a trade, saved his money, and went back and bought his wife and children from his former owner... but that's probably not what you meant.

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Could women own slaves?
In those states where women were allowed to own property (which was not a universal right until recently) yes, they could and did own slaves.

Quote:
Originally posted by effac3d
Frigging hell! This is a side of slavery in the US that I had never heard of. I had just figured that slaves kinda had a "regular partner" and they had some kind of family unit.
In some places they did, in fact, have some semblance of a normal family life. Slavery varied enormously from place to place even under the same laws. There was enormous difference between life as one of just a few slaves (or as the only slave) of a middle-class family, and life on one of the enormous plantations with thousands of slaves. There was a vast difference between being a laborer in the fields versus a house slave versus a slave with a trade (in the south, many slaves were trained as masons, blacksmiths, and other skilled trades). There was a huge difference between living under a master who viewed blacks as literal animals and one who viewed them as an inferior type of human. The slaves of Thomas Jefferson lived in brick houses and materially might have been better off than some poor whites. The slaves of other folks lived in drafty shacks and horribly primative conditions.

Quote:
Originally posted by occ
As well, doing something so cruel and humiliating, and disrupting sexual couplings, etc, etc, seems like it would have far more detriment than benefit...this seems like the kind of thing that would have been conducive to revolts, rather than keeping things moving smoothly for the slave owner.
A master could inspire enormous loyalty just by being less cruel than his near neighbors, and use the threat of being sold to a nortoriously cruel master to keep order.

Yes, it was cruel and humiliating. But it happened. Remember, the owner has the power of life and death. He could torture a slave if he chose. Just because he felt like it.

If you want another cite for these goings-on, Alex Haley in Roots relates the story of his ancestress Kizzy (I think that's the spelling) who was sold away from her parents for the "crime" of learning to read. She was sold to a man who could only afford one slave (if I recall... it's been a long time since I read the book) and delibrately raped her to obtain more slaves. Keep in mind that a 5 or 6 year old is capable of performing some labor, even if it's not heavy labor. It only took about 5 years to get a salable "crop", as slave children were commonly sold as well as the adults.

I don't think there were any farms where slave breeding was the main activity, but it could be a profitable side-line.

Mr. Haley was also taken aback when doing his research at having to look in the animal studbooks to trace his family. Granted, some aspects of the book are reconstructions of events, but it was based on factual evidence.

Malcolm X's grandmother was raped by her owner as well, although I don't know if that was a delibrate attempt to get more slaves, plain and simple lust, or punishment of some sort.

Was this sort of stuff universal? No. Did it happen? Yes.

As hard as it is for someone like me, who's family arrived in the US well after the end of this horror, to look at this, it's a lot worse for the descendants of those involved. A lot of whites these days don't want to admit their great-grandparents acted with such cruelty, and blacks have to deal with being related to the perpetrators of such horrors. Which is one reason race relations in the country are such a mess.
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Old 12-02-2002, 05:57 AM
chula chula is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Broomstick
I don't have a specific cite... but probably. This would have been complicatd by laws against mixed-race marriage, but those laws were by no means universal. Certainly, there were many instances where slaves were known and acknowledge offspring of the owner or his close relatives, but marriage to the woman in involved would be extremely rare and perhaps of no legal standing.
Weren't the laws against interracial marriage pretty close to universal, especially in the South? I found a cite that says that 33 states had these laws. Considering how many states there were at the time, it looks like a solid majority. I also found a cite that says Pennsylvania was the first state to allow interracial marriage, in 1780, which implies it was illegal everywhere else. I haven't found any reliable sources, so please correct me if I'm wrong.
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  #18  
Old 12-02-2002, 06:20 AM
Paul in Qatar Paul in Qatar is offline
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OK, so we are agreed, while almost everything possible happened to some slaves in someplace at sometime, the breeding of slaves for certain traits (strength, lack of intelligence, whatever) is LARGELY a myth.

Astro, love to come to Salisbury. But only in Tomato season. I never leave Saudi Arabia to go anywhere cold. As for the slave breeding center of Salisbury idea; it was put in my undergraduate head by Doctor Eli Burkette at Frostburg State many moons ago.
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Old 12-02-2002, 10:23 AM
Janx Janx is offline
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About acknowledging white offspring as the slave owners children:
I just received this from a friend of mine who is Black. He grew up in the Virgin Islands but has always known that his heritage comes from north American slaves and native Americans, He thought this was interesting and sent it along to me as we are both shaking our family trees and getting into genealogy lately. I have omitted the first 4 letters of the family names involved and replaced them with XXXX as he wasn’t comfortable sending out all the info over a public board.

My friend Jerry, now a days from Sacramento wrote
Quote:
My family comes from union county south Carolina. An area called Fish Dam known to inhabit many native Americans. our family story history begins with a john XXXXdale. he was a large slave owner. over 28 slaves of his own. (1865) my great grandfather was harry XXXXdale he was part native American. he married Mary XXXXkins who was a mix of native American and African American.
As I was told by other white XXXXdales that their was a rift between two brothers in the XXXXdale family. One brother (A) was whipping the slaves and children of the other brother. the XXXXdale brother and father (B) of the slaves did not like for the other brother to whip his children. even though they were slaves he did not like to whip them. So the one brother changed his name to XXXXster. thus harry and Mary XXXXdale changed their name to XXXXster. This is how the XXXXters and the XXXXdales are related.

<SNIP>

Every thing fits with this new Information other than we are descendents of two white slave owners, one who believed in Child abuse and one who did not.
So, it would seem this sort of thing did go on.
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  #20  
Old 12-02-2002, 11:48 PM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by occ
While there was certainly some "unnatural selection" due to these decisions, its not as if the planters were carrying on bizarre genetics experiments with their slaves.
I had an economic history professor whose specialty was the Piedmont during the slave owning time, he did some research on the returns to scale of using slave families in work gangs, for example. He was quite clear that there is no real documentary evidence that eugenics was actively practiced by the slave owners.

His lecture doesn't have a link.
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  #21  
Old 08-11-2014, 12:08 PM
khalifa_ibn_karah khalifa_ibn_karah is offline
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Slaves in Louisiana

In Louisiana, there were probably more free blacks than in anywhere else in the south. The French instituted a set of laws called the Code Noire, or black code that specifically governed what blacks could do, and who they could marry. Mixed blood blacks, the mulattos (mules) the Quadroons, and Octaroons were specifically banned from interbreeding with full blooded blacks. The Quadroon women were highly sought after by the Creole (local whites who were descendants from the first colonists. It is not a racial term, and means native or local, creole cooking describes cooking whatever its origin if it is made with local ingredients). In the French Quarter, there was a Quadroon Ball, where the young mixed race women were expected to show themselves off in hopes of attracting the attention of a rich white creole to become his mistress. The book, The French Quarter: a History of the New Orleans Underworld, by the same author who wrote Gangs of New York, details all this. The Code Noire was kept in affect until after the civil war. Then the Quadroons intermarried at will. It seems the number of Creole men diminished due to the numbers killed on battle fields across the south. Rampart Street the 3rd street north of Bourbon Street was where at one time, the Quadroon mistresses were kept in nice white cottages by their white sugar daddies. Halle Berry, Vanessa Williams and the like would have been categorized as Quadroons or quarter bloods. It is interesting that in the old slavery days, it was the slaver's definition the "one drop" rule that caused people to be discriminated as being "black". Today those with African American blood, choose to be defined by that definition. I have a great great great grandmother who was a "high yellar" in Virginia. That is, she would have passed for white, being a Quadroon or Octaroon. My grandfather and his sister had the recessive black genes and it showed. I myself look Caucasian but am a lot darker than any of my sibling sisters, with only about 1/98th African American ancestry in me.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:13 PM
Martin Hyde Martin Hyde is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Broomstick View Post
What the heck, maybe I could also mention that castration was used to make a "difficult" male more docile.

Yes, human beings are capable of remarkable evil.
The Ottoman Empire had court eunuchs (slaves in the case of the OE) until the end of WWI. A lot of times if you wanted to use a male servant or slave as someone who works inside a house/palace (speaking more broadly than American slavery), you would want them to be eunuchs. You wouldn't trust an intact male around say, your harem or your wife.
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Old 08-11-2014, 12:31 PM
Malacandra Malacandra is offline
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Originally Posted by Martin Hyde View Post
The Ottoman Empire had court eunuchs (slaves in the case of the OE) until the end of WWI. A lot of times if you wanted to use a male servant or slave as someone who works inside a house/palace (speaking more broadly than American slavery), you would want them to be eunuchs. You wouldn't trust an intact male around say, your harem or your wife.
At least Broomstick is still about the place to see your answer...
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:00 PM
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I can't cut and paste this academic paper but it seems clear that slave breeding farms were a figment of prurient writer's imaginations. That is with the exception of the British Island of Barbuda:
Quote:
After the abolition of the slave trade (1807), the Codringtons established a big ‘slave-farm’ on Barbuda, where children were bred to supply the region’s unpaid labour force, until slaves were emancipated in 1834. - See more at: http://thecommonwealth.org/our-membe....240ZnFPG.dpuf
There can be no doubt however that slaves were routinely abused in every way imaginable. The 'cattle' analogy is a good one except that farmers do not usually have sex with the cows. Any slave owner would take the more attractive females for his and his son's pleasure, and to breed. As with cattle, it would be natural for them to selectively breed to improve the 'herd'.

The only saving grace I can think of, is that for the most part they wanted slaves to be fit to work, unlike the Nazis with the death camps.
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Old 08-11-2014, 01:40 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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As mentioned, slave treatment varied from the brutally sadistic to the strict to the somewhat benign, depending on the master(s). Never underestimate the sadistic or neglectful tendencies of human beings. Even at the best, there are plenty of stories of slaves promised by a dying master that they would be freed, only to have the children realize that a thousand dollars or more was a lot of money to "give away" and the slave was simply sold down the river. Even Feynman mentions in his observations of Barbados that the problem with black culture is that the entire traditional culture was actively destroyed.

There are plenty of obvious indicators - many owners did not want their slaves to learn or know very much; many did not see value in teaching them even religion. The slave communities on plantations consisted to individuals from multiple ethnic groups and social backgrounds simply tossed together and treated like livestock. The traditional social controls disappear. men have no restraint - the biggest and meanest get what they want, and nobody other than the master can tell them what the can't do. Elders may not get respect, Women were not restrained by morality - after all, traditional morality was about preventing a woman from becoming pregnant before marriage, or from creating strife among competing males - all that disappears when the ultimate authority really does not care - or worse, encourages breeding early and often. The only restraint would be that males who injured each other fighting over women would find themselves punished for injuring property.

As for claims of breeding slaves... other than the obvious - producing children is profitable, and healthy offspring are better - I'm pretty skeptical about eugenics programs. IIRC it was Jared Diamond in Guns, Germs, and Steel who mentioned that plants like oaks (for acorns) had never actually been bred, given the long cycles needed to create purebreds; similarly, even elephants were actually just caught and tamed, never actually bred like livestock - due to the extremely long breeding cycle. The same to me would be true of slaves, to get crass. I doubt that anyone had the time and ability to institute breeding programs beyond the very obvious - in a harsh situation, only the hardy survived so of course the males were bigger and stronger. To be blunt, even if the master did not "select" the mating pairs, odds are the guy with the biggest muscles got what he wanted.

As for the variety and cleverness of human cruelty, no location or time has a monopoly on that; read of the tortures dreamed up in Roman times, in the middle ages, by Cathay in Marco Polo's journeys, and so on.
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Old 08-11-2014, 03:31 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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I know the post was an old one, but Broomstick, as I understand, a lot of Roots was later found to be plagarized, and that much of it could not be verified, when they checked his sources.

Not that raping one's slaves didn't happen, of course.

Last edited by Guinastasia; 08-11-2014 at 03:32 PM..
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  #27  
Old 08-11-2014, 04:16 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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After 12 years, I think this. . .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul in Qatar View Post
. . . Who is Kevin Hallaway and why is he and expert in Slavery? A Google on his unusual name produced nothing of note.
is worth revisiting. Anyone???

Last edited by Earl Snake-Hips Tucker; 08-11-2014 at 04:16 PM..
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  #28  
Old 08-11-2014, 06:20 PM
janeslogin janeslogin is online now
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You may want checkout Mandingo:This controversial potboiler set in antebellum Louisiana chronicles the decline of the slave-breeding Maxwell family.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:29 PM
filmstar-en filmstar-en is online now
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Originally Posted by Guinastasia View Post
I know the post was an old one, but Broomstick, as I understand, a lot of Roots was later found to be plagarized, and that much of it could not be verified, when they checked his sources.

Not that raping one's slaves didn't happen, of course.
I seem to remember that it was just the part of the Roots story based in Africa was questioned. I guess because of the lack of records and the reliance on anecdote. The parts of the story based In the US, may have had more evidence to go on.
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Old 08-11-2014, 07:31 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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Originally Posted by istara View Post
Fucking hell. I never knew any of this stuff. I had no idea breeding, selling into prostitution ever went on. Slavery was horrific enough - and now I find out this.

God. We are such fucked, evil beings.
Kinda dumb, too. Most of this never went on.
A lot of "Booga Booga White Devil" tales.
It takes 5 or more years to breed a human to where he can't even stop shitting himself. That's a big expense, and a lot of trouble. Then, you have to train him/her to do things, another X number of years.
Any 'breeding slaves', or what-have-you, are just sort of like the big daddy slave-he gets to/does have sex with all the slave women; they have kids-this doesn't mean that the paternalistic slave owner said "Uncle Tom, get out there and start making me a slave farm; don't give me no sass, and quit being uppity; go out there and mate with Jemimah or I'll whip you again". It's more like
Uncle Tom: Hey, babe, sup?
Jemimah: Dunno, sup with you?
UT: Just jammin...wanna come to my slave shack and hear some Lil Wayne?
J: I dunno...you gots a bad reputation...(giggle)
Followed by standard mating rituals.
THAT'S the breeding process on slave owners' land.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:03 AM
Urbanredneck Urbanredneck is offline
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If it makes it any better, what I read from Booker T. Washington was that after the slaves were freed the former slaveowners basically fell themselves into poverty because over the years they had not learned any of the skills involved in farming, raising livestock, growing cotton, or raising children. He said his former masters children, whom he kept in contact with, never amounted to anything. Plus from what I've read is that most slave plantations were later sold to the carpetbaggers and the owners lost everything. Other times the plantations were burned to the ground by freed slaves or Union troops.

So in the long run the slaveowners gained nothing. You people who live in the south will need to help me if you know of any old plantations still owned by the original families descendants.

Booker also says that OTOH, many slaves prospered because their skills in things such as blacksmithing, carpentry, and farming were highly prized.

I concur that slavery was different depending upon the circumstances. George Washington Carver's mother was bought to be a household servant of an elderly Missouri couple and when she was stolen, the Carver family raised little George as their own.
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  #32  
Old 08-12-2014, 01:56 AM
LiliesOfTheField LiliesOfTheField is offline
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These "slave narratives" below are an oral history given by former slaves to WPA writers during the depression. While you must read them with some discernment (The writers were largely young caucasian men. If I were being interviewed, even now, there are many areas of my life I would never tell)-- You can see that "breeding" or marriage were done differently in different states, different times, different plantations.

Some slaves felt great allegiance or love toward their owners, and said that their lives were easier under slavery (very few wanted to return to it tho). They worked. They ate. They had some freedoms. Sounds to me like modern prison inmates who become institutionalized.

Of course, some reported great brutality (and those who were brutalized the worst didn't live long enough to be interviewed). These stories really opened my eyes as to what life was really like, and why the institution lasted so long. Most of what we think we know about slavery was written by or with abolitionists. They had a noble agenda, but they had to simplify the complicated relationship between slave and owner by emphasizing brutality over the slavery of the mind.

I've worked in the domestic violence community for decades and the similarities are shocking. Most folks who haven't seen domestic violence firsthand have a very different idea than those who have. The media presents brutality because it is easier to understand than the more subtle aspects.

Anyway, I highly recommend these tho some are better written than others:
http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/snhtml/
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  #33  
Old 08-12-2014, 03:05 AM
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As it happens, I've just been reading 'How to manage your slaves' which covers slavery in the Roman era. It's an interesting book and I recommend it. Slaves didn't seem to be bred deliberately; rather, children were an occupational hazard of being a concubine and a good master encouraged marriages between his slaves. And children of slaves were themselves slaves.
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Old 08-12-2014, 11:19 AM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is offline
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Interestingly, in Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup recounts one owner being told that he could lose his slaves if he was excessively cruel. So there may have been, in places, some small restrictions on torture and summary executions.
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Old 08-12-2014, 12:02 PM
Really Not All That Bright Really Not All That Bright is offline
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We had a thread about that just recently. IIRC, there was a South Carolina slaveowner who was imprisoned for murdering one of his slaves.
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:12 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Son of a Rich View Post
Interestingly, in Twelve Years a Slave, Solomon Northup recounts one owner being told that he could lose his slaves if he was excessively cruel. So there may have been, in places, some small restrictions on torture and summary executions.
I was thinking that Twelve Years a Slave is likely accurate, and so an interesting random cross-section of slave life in the South. Some owners were OK, some really bad, and everything in between. Some took out their frustrations (or sadism) on slaves. Some recognized that slaves could be smart and resourceful, others (like some office co-workers) felt threatened by being shown up by someone smarter.

Interesting, browsing the slave narratives:

"...dey got him fresh of de ship from Africa. He sho' was a man; he run all the other niggers away from my mammy and took up wid her widout askin' de marster."

"You see, dey would have two or three women on de plantation dat was good breeders and dey would have chillum pretty regular fore freedom come here. You know, some people does be rightf ast in catchin chillum [getting pregnant]. Yes'um dey must be bless wid a pile o' dem, I say..."

"my mother name Ann. Her b'long to my marster, James Barber. Dat's not a fair question when you ask me who my daddy was. Well, just say that he was a white man and dat my mother never did marry nobody, while he lived. I was de onliest child my mother ever had. "

Reading about a dozen narratives, most of people born not long before the civil war, and the results vary but generally no suggestion that any applied effort was made to "breed" more slaves. It seems leaving slaves to their own devices provided plenty. other than the first quote, most narratives seemed to suggest that pairing, common law marriage, and even formal marriage was common among the slaves.

(One interesting quote- one ex-slave said they weren't taught to read and write because the owners were afraid the slaves would write their own permission passes - apparently slave one did just that and they think he made it to the North.)
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Old 08-12-2014, 01:23 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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As it happens, I've just been reading 'How to manage your slaves' which covers slavery in the Roman era. It's an interesting book and I recommend it. Slaves didn't seem to be bred deliberately; rather, children were an occupational hazard of being a concubine and a good master encouraged marriages between his slaves. And children of slaves were themselves slaves.
Slavery was very different in the Roman era. In fact, most other slave cultures, I don't think there was a racial component. Roman slaves were people indebted and spoils of war. Many cultures, slaves had assorted rights, were allowed to own property, and could even buy their own freedom. Some Roman slaves were very educated - a rich man might have an educated slave who was essentially the manager and treasurer for the household.

C.J. Cherryh, was a teacher as well a being an SF writer. In one of her discussions of Romans and their empire, she says this:

Quote:
When Romans took slaves, it was as a result of an army defeated in the field miles and miles of nasty hostile territory out of their borders, and with no established way to deal with POWs. Effectively, slaves were POWs, were watched as such, and rarely were women and children included---then only if there were really uncommon circumstances, such as a barbarian army being accompanied by families.

This sort of slavery only came about when the Roman armies were in the field in foreign territory. The Romans actually didn't want more slaves. But the alternative was what their barbarian neighbors were doing, which was to kill all the prisoners, or to let the batch go rearm and come back again, or go attack their neigbors who, tired of being raided, had allied with the Romans.

There were domestic-born slaves, too, and they were few in number and had the right to earn money, complain of bad treatment, and held a guaranteed right to buy their freedom with a personal savings fund that had to be protected by the owner. Once the big influx of POW slaves came in, that changed the social and the legal picture. The nation as a whole realized they had a problem that had to be solved. Mass manumission turned people onto the streets with no money and too far from home to go home; the Senate passed a law that forbade that, after well-meaning and financially strapped Romans manumitted hundreds of people who then had no livelihood and who wandered the streets at loose ends.

Romans could not sleep with slaves: against the law. If you were caught at it, you were in trouble, and could lose your citizenship.

A Roman who physically mistreated his slaves was an exception and a social pariah: the fact that such incidents were written of tells us that if you want to say something bad about a person, and that's what you pick, that's considered very bad behavior.

Slaves who were properly manumitted became freedmen, clients of the family: they were given support in business, set up in a shop or activity, and could come to the family for funds or medical help or business advice, or protection legally. The child of a freedman is born a free man, and can become a Roman citizen.
http://www.cherryh.com/www/panel_room.htm
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Old 08-12-2014, 02:26 PM
Lemur866 Lemur866 is offline
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Yes, and the earlier contention that slaves were legally and socially non-human is just false. It was certainly true that a white man who killed a slave wasn't likely to face any sort of consequences. But that doesn't mean slaves were legally animals.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:04 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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I'm not an expert on the subject by any means, but it seems to me the process was this - as the more enlightened part of society claimed that enslaving a fellow human was simply wrong on a moral level, there was a push-back from the regions that relied on slavery. Their self-justification was to limit slavery as much as possible to Africans, and then claim their distinct difference in appearance was proof they were less than human compared to Europeans and therefore did not merit the same moral consideration. The Dredd Scott decision is an example of this, asserting that slaves were property not persons under the law. the more the abolitionists pushed, the more the slave society pushed back, ratcheting up the rhetoric on both sides.
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:21 PM
MEBuckner MEBuckner is offline
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The pro-slavery side in antebellum America wasn't arguing that blacks were not "persons", but that they were inferior persons--that they were somehow innately "child-like" and in need of (allegedly benevolent) white guidance in order to provide them with food, shelter, and clothing; to provide them with jobs doing useful labor; and of course to "Christianize" the "savage" Africans.

Thus, the Declaration of the Causes which Impel the State of Texas to Secede from the Federal Union calls blacks "an inferior and dependent race", essentially designated by God to be servants of whites. From that same source, it was asserted that slavery was a "beneficent and patriarchal system" and even that it was "mutually beneficial to both bond and free". Similarly, Confederate Vice President Alexander Stephens did not say that blacks weren't people, but he did say that "the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery -- subordination to the superior race -- is his natural and normal condition" and, again, the claim is made that the enslavement of blacks by whites provides for a "harmonious working for the benefit and advantage of both".
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Old 08-12-2014, 05:26 PM
MEBuckner MEBuckner is offline
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And the Dred Scott decision, while certainly bad enough, did not say that blacks are not people; it said that blacks (even blacks who had been manumitted in accordance with established legal procedures, or whose ancestors had been thus freed) were not and could not be citizens.

Partly it seems very strange to us now to say that a person is also "property", but the essence of slavery is declaring that some people are nonetheless owned by other people.
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Old 08-12-2014, 09:41 PM
Guinastasia Guinastasia is offline
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Originally Posted by filmstar-en View Post
I seem to remember that it was just the part of the Roots story based in Africa was questioned. I guess because of the lack of records and the reliance on anecdote. The parts of the story based In the US, may have had more evidence to go on.
No, there were definitely allegations of plagarism, from at least two authors, IIRC.
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Old 08-13-2014, 05:14 AM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Romans could not sleep with slaves: against the law. If you were caught at it, you were in trouble, and could lose your citizenship.
I'm not so sure about that. Slaves were commonly used in brothels, for instance. And on p70 of the book is the line, 'It is an occupational hazard that you will get some of your slave girls pregnant' and in the commentary on p76 Mary Beard writes 'There is plenty of evidence for the sexual abuse of slaves' and 'Unwanted slave pregnancies were sufficiently common to joke about...'.
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  #44  
Old 08-13-2014, 01:55 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Quite a lengthy document on the rules of citizenship, slavery and the number of combinations of situations where someone gains or inherits slavery, freedom, or citizenship.


Quote:
Gaius institutes 1(88)
If a female slave should conceive by a Roman citizen and afterwards, having been manumitted, should become a Roman citizen and a child should be born, although the latter would be a Roman citizen like its father, it would still not be under the control of the latter, for the reason that it was not conceived in lawful marriage, and because an union of this kind is not declared to be legal by any decree of the Senate.
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Old 08-13-2014, 02:49 PM
Quartz Quartz is offline
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
Quite a lengthy document on the rules of citizenship, slavery and the number of combinations of situations where someone gains or inherits slavery, freedom, or citizenship.
Ah, that's referring to a marriage between citizen and slave, not a mating, isn't it?
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Old 08-13-2014, 03:42 PM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Originally Posted by Quartz View Post
Ah, that's referring to a marriage between citizen and slave, not a mating, isn't it?
yes, I went through a number of the laws and saw I think only one that referred to an illegitimate child, but not from a slave. A lot of "what if A is a citizen, B is a foreigner/freed slave/Latinum, etc."
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