Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mortality of Slave Children


From Digital History  --  Slaves suffered extremely high mortality. Half of all slave infants died during their first year of life, twice the rate of white babies. And while the death rate declined for those who survived their first year, it remained twice the white rate through age 14. As a result of this high infant and childhood death rate, the average life expectancy of a slave at birth was just 21 or 22 years, compared to 40 to 43 years for antebellum whites. Compared to whites, relatively few slaves lived into old age.


A major contributor to the high infant and child death rate was chronic undernourishment. Slaveowners showed surprisingly little concern for slave mothers' health or diet during pregnancy, providing pregnant women with no extra rations and employing them in intensive field work even in the last week before they gave birth. Not surprisingly, slave mothers suffered high rates of spontaneous abortions, stillbirths, and deaths shortly after birth. Half of all slave infants weighed less than 5.5 pounds at birth, or what we would today consider to be severely underweight.


Infants and children were badly malnourished. Most infants were weaned early, within three or four months of birth, and then fed gruel or porridge made of cornmeal. Around the age of three, they began to eat vegetables, soups, potatoes, molasses, grits, hominy, and cornbread. This diet lacked protein, thiamine, niacin, calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, and as a result, slave children often suffered from night blindness, abdominal swellings, swollen muscles, bowed legs, skin lesions, and convulsions. (source: Copyright 2012 Digital History)



Charles and Louis Manigault—Father and Son

From the South Carolina Information Highway, "Charles Manigault's Gowrie: A Starting Point
Or, Discrepancies in the Lives of a Master and His Slaves"  --  One South Carolina planter referred to his rice plantations on the Savannah River as "gold mines." And with profit rates as high as 26%, they were. But only for the planters. For the African-American slaves who worked on them, they were places of dread, where death was the most common of all companions.

Gowrie was one such plantation. It was bought by Charles Manigault in 1833. Manigault has been described as a "gentleman capitalist" and "cosmopolitan." He spoke French and prided himself on his wealth and social status. He invested $49,500 in Gowrie at its purchase; by 1861 the plantation was worth $266,000 – proving that it was, in fact, a gold mine.



Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity was founded at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut, on December 6, 1845 by three students: Louis Manigault of Charleston, South Carolina, Stephen Ormsby Rhea and Horace Spangler Weiser. Alpha Sigma Phi was originally founded as a sophomore class society for Yale students.


Manigault's records have been well preserved, and through them we are able to get a good idea of what life was like for not only for him, but for his slaves. As you will see, the difference between these was so great, it was often that of life and death.

For example, in 1841 Manigault bought two carriage horses and had them shipped from New York to South Carolina at a cost of $540. His order to his agent was, "Damn the expense." This is the same amount of money it would have cost him to build five two-room frame houses for 40 of his 90 or so Gowrie slaves, with each house costing about $108. In comparison, Marshlands – the house where Manigault spent his winters in the 1850s – had cost $10,000 to build in 1810.
Louis Manigault, Planter. He owned Gowrie Plantation in the postbellum era. He was the son of Charles I. Manigault, a wealthy South Carolinian rice planter who traced his ancestory to a Huguenot refugee who fled from Louis XIV's persecution and came to America in 1691.

Likewise, in 1859 Manigault paid $160 for a gold watch and chain. This was more than he paid to provide his Gowrie slaves with tobacco and molasses – their equivalent luxuries.


But Gowrie had a horrific child mortality rate. Ninety percent of the children died before they reached age 16. And this estimate doesn't take into account stillbirths or miscarriages. Between 1846 and 1854, there were 52 slave births at Gowrie and 144 slave deaths, for a net loss of 92 African Americans. In spite of this loss in "capital" (the dead slaves were worth at least $44,000), Gowrie still managed to yield a 4% return on investment between 1848 and 1854. And this was not unusual.

Why did so many slaves die? The answers are simple – poor health, poor shelter, poor food, and brutal work.  (source: sciway)

Gowrie Plantation, SC

Gowrie plantation was bought by Charles Manigault in 1833. Manigault has been described as a "gentleman capitalist" and "cosmopolitan." He spoke French and prided himself on his wealth and social status. He invested $49,500 in Gowrie at its purchase; by 1861 the plantation was worth $266,000 – proving that it was, in fact, a gold mine.


But Gowrie had a horrific child mortality rate Ninety percent of the children died before they reached age 16. And this estimate doesn’t take into account stillbirths or miscarriages. Between 1846 and 1854, there were 52 slave births at Gowrie and 144 slave deaths, for a net loss of 92 African Americans. In spite of this loss in "capital" (the dead slaves were worth at least $44,000), Gowrie still managed to yield a 4% return on investment between 1848 and 1854. And this was not unusual.

There were epidemics of measles, dysentery, and cholera at Gowrie in 1848, 1850, 1852, 1853, and 1854. In addition, there were the chronic killers – malaria and pleurisy. One white overseer at Gowrie complained to Manigault that because water was "oozeing" out of the ground around the slaves' houses, "I can't begin to get the ground dry under the houses."

Because of these conditions, mortality on Gowrie approached 50 percent. On the day after Christmas in 1854, Louis Manigault wrote to his father:
As Lord Raglan would say to the Duke of Newcastle, so Can I to You, viz.: that "it is now my painful duty to return You a list of the dead," and here they are in the order in which they died. – Hester, Flora, Cain, George, Sam, Eve, Cuffy, Will, Amos, Ellen, Rebecca, – Eleven from Cholera, and two Children viz.: Francis and Jane not from Cholera. – In all Thirteen names no longer on the Plantation Books."

It is telling to note Louis' attitude toward the newly dead. He does not mourn the loss of the slaves' lives, but rather the reduction in the plantation's labor force – and thus its value.

*Cholera is caused by the organism Cholera vibrio, which was carried to Europe and North America from Asia in the early nineteenth century. It was most often spread by contaminated water, but it could also be spread through food or simply by touching one's hand to one's mouth. It was common in
crowded, unsanitary conditions – just like the ones in which most slaves were forced to live.

Its symptoms came in a sudden, overwhelming attack. The first symptom was dehydration, marked by vomiting and profuse diarrhea. This dramatic loss of body fluid collapsed the tissue. Coagulated blood ceased to flow, skin turned blue, and the heart and kidneys failed – often within just a few hours. People who were perfectly healthy in the morning would die by nightfall. In the time between, they suffered unspeakable agony.

13 comments:

  1. Υou can also buy bundle deals, ωhich most radio stations offer, to decrеаѕe the
    οverall ad cost. Many peoplе will be hаppy with гeplaceаble batteriеs for hοme use
    аnd occasional outings. Τhis not only аllowѕ listеners to listen
    to theiг favoгite MP3 fіles along with their SIRIUS radio;
    іt alsο lets them digitally гесοrd their faѵoritе raԁіo songs for instant plaуback.


    Here is my page :: www.patrr.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hello sir, I got you by Google search.

    I feel so good to read your article of usslave.com. its a Valiable site for all the people .I always like this website .it’s a delicate game between a good site and a site that will rank good in Google.I also want to show about on The cost of this medication is quite affordable. Buy Cheap dianabol today. It is value trying, at least for 3 several weeks to experience the consequences. There will not be adverse reactions during this interval. Dianabol is a difference and all the medication is identical because of the identical component.

    Oh Thank You Very Much For Write That Fantastic Article.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I realize that there is not a ton of variety in this list, since
    Rogue and i - Net - Hack are essentially the same and Sorcerer
    #1 and #2 are more overtly the same. If you want to enjoy the
    game thoroughly then you need to get on board of
    a reliable online bingo site to get the maximum enjoyment
    as well as benefit of the game. A Twitter
    app for Zune has been created and is now available for download through Microsoft's Marketplace.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site :: onlineradio
    Also see my web site > http://www.wikifestera.com/index.php?title=Usuario_Discusión:TerrenceS

    ReplyDelete
  4. What's up to every one, the contents present at this site are really awesome for people experience, well, keep up the nice work fellows.

    Check out my web-site: buy followers on twitter

    ReplyDelete
  5. Remarkable video, actually a pleasant quality, this YouTube video touched me a lot in terms of features.



    Also visit my site ... variousgame.info

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi, yup this article is truly good and I have learned lot of things
    from it concerning blogging. thanks.

    My web page The web’s premiere DJ community
    my webpage - The web’s premiere DJ community

    ReplyDelete
  7. With havin so much content do you ever run into any
    problems of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My site has a lot of unique content I've either created myself or outsourced but it looks like a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my permission. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being ripped off? I'd truly appreciate
    it.

    Here is my webpage ... The web’s premiere DJ community
    My website: The web’s premiere DJ community

    ReplyDelete
  8. It's appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it's time to be happy.
    I have read this post and if I could I want to suggest you some interesting
    things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this
    article. I desire to read more things about it!

    Feel free to visit my site; solavei

    ReplyDelete
  9. What's up to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this website, and your views are fastidious designed for new users.

    Here is my web-site ... studentschoose.net

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like the helpful information you provide on your
    articles. I'll bookmark your weblog and check once more here regularly. I am fairly sure I will be told many new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

    Feel free to surf to my web blog: I Knew You Were Trouble - Taylor Swift (Kim Viera Cover)

    ReplyDelete
  11. This design is wicked! You most certainly know how to keep a
    reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I
    was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!
    ) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how
    you presented it. Too cool!

    My webpage - Basket Air Jordan

    ReplyDelete
  12. Wonderful beat ! I would like to apprentice while you amend your web
    site, how could i subscribe for a blog web site?
    The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept

    my web page full Report

    ReplyDelete
  13. What's Going down i am new to this, I stumbled upon this I've discovered It absolutely useful and it has
    aided me out loads. I'm hoping to contribute & assist other customers like its helped me. Good job.

    my homepage: related site

    ReplyDelete

There was an error in this gadget

HOME

HOME
Click here to return to the US Slave Home Page