Hammond Instruction Reading

After reading the document and the rules and regulations of slavery, the most blaring aspect of the piece is that the slaves were treated as animals. By animals I do not necessarily mean treated cruelly and inhumanely, though by no means am I saying there is any aspect of slavery that is not cruel and inhumane, but I mean the manner in which the slaves were treated was that of a farmer and an animal. An overseer could “show no favoritism among negroes” which in one sense dehumanizes slaves because it leaves the idea that slaves and masters could not be friends. Even in professional relationships in which an employer and employee relationship is established, it is still possible to be friends and not show favoritism. In the slave setting however, I feel that the favoritism comment connotes that this is strictly not allowed. What really displays the animal like tending was the descriptions of food and feeding the slaves. Each slave had a specific diet that they got once a week, and there were such condescending reasons for the dietary plan. Meat was not given on a Sunday because the slaves would eat it all and not have anything for the rest of the week or perhaps get sick from it. The way that this is described and the assumption that slaves cannot ration or even learn how to ration makes them seem more and more like animals. This piece shows how data and observations can be used as propaganda. While data is in essence bias free and just facts, it can be contorted to perpetuate a certain viewpoint. It is valid that this is how plantations were run and that this method may have been efficient. With these instructions, however, slaves are treated like animals, or at the very least as humans who cannot act on their own accord, and therefore it is necessary that they have masters. The men who read and followed these instructions probably believed that they were superior and that slavery was therefore necessary not only for their way of life, but also for the slave.

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