The difference in the treatment of chattel slaves varies greatly between the regions on British Colonial North America. These regions include New England, the Middle Colonies, and the Colonial South. Chattel slaves are considered their masters??™ property, meaning they are exchanged for items such as vehicles or money and then expected to perform labour and sexual favours. Chattel slavery is primarily race based and typically once you are a slave you are a slave for life. If you were born from a slave mother, you were considered a slave yourself. These oppressed people came from western and central Africa mostly but some came from the West Indies
In the Southern Colonies, slaves were more plentiful. Slaves were so plentiful down in this region that they formed the majority of the population. These slaves worked as field hands in tobacco, rice, sugar cane, and cotton fields. On larger plantations they worked as weavers, tailors and shoemakers, as well. Their masters were within close proximity because most of the fields were surrounding the plantations that the masters owned. Creole slaves were also more popular in this region. These creoles slaves, also called American-born slaves, lived longer and had more children. These southern slaves also didn??™t have issues regarding leaving Africa.
In New England, the slave conditions were probably the harshest. The winters were cold and food was scarce. Women were also scarce, so the ability to procreate to have more labourers was substantially lower then in the Southern Colonies. The slaves worked mainly on farms that had livestock and wheat fields. The slaves that lived on the smaller farms had more freedom then slaves that lived on the larger plantations of the south. Most slaves in this region lived in the cities compared to the plantations of the south. They lived in port cities and also did work as domestic servants and artisans. Many of the slaves in these urban areas had fewer restrictions than the slaves in the rural areas.
The Middle Colonies had many slaves that worked as skilled and unskilled labourers. These slaves worked on trading or fishing ships, shipyards, factories, and homes. Here the climate was a little bit warmer then in the northern colonies but still couldn??™t support some of the crops of the warmer southern colonies. Large profiting crops couldn??™t flourish in the conditions here as well as in New England. Most slaves here lived on estates that were owned by their masters so they were within close proximity. Many of the slaves that worked in this region were not direct imports from Africa and were more accustomed to the work habits and customs of the region. In both New England and the Middle Colonies the older slaves were typically turned out compared to the Southern Colony that ensured more care for the elderly ones.
In closing, the differences between the chattel slaves of British Colonial North America differed in many aspects. Between living conditions, to types of work they were allowed to do, to how well they were treated by their masters??™ differentiate the regions they inhabited. Although slavery has been around for many years prior to the development of British Colonial North America, it continued to be a very oppressive way of life for many years to come. Slavery continued to be entirely race based and the formation of slave codes only enforced the oppression these people had to endure at the hands of their oppressors.