Where did slaves in Colonial America live?

For field slave families, home was a small one or two room cabin where as many as twelve people might live.

Archaeologists excavating seventeenth- and eighteenth-century sites found that slave dwellings in those early years of slavery had clay walls and thatch roofs, similar to those in West Africa. By the nineteenth century, log cabins were used as slave quarters.

The cabins were sweltering hot in summer and freezing cold in winter. Slaves made mattresses of straw or moss and were given thin cotton blankets. Their usual furniture was wooden benches and chairs.

They used knives and wooden spoons provided by the slave owners, or made their own wooden utensils. They made bowls and jugs out of dried gourds.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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