To The Teacher
I. Guide to document based questions.
Exhibit A: Poster beginning with "To Be Sold on board the ship Bance
1. Who is selling these Negroes?(To the teacher: Austin, Laurens and
Appleby will be the
sellers of Priscilla who will be the case study in a later lesson).
2. What is the significance of calling the ship Bance Island?
(To the teacher: Bance-Island, aka Bence Island and Bunce Island, was a
fortress and home base for the Royal African Company among other slave
companies and was a
probable stop for Priscilla).
3. What indications are there that these slaves might be skilled
(To the teacher: Slaves from the Windward and Rice Coast of Africa
would come with rice
4. Why is there so much emphasis on small pox?
(To the teacher: Small pox was of great concern. Jettisoning afflicted
illness was a routine practice during the Middle Passage to elimate the
epidemic and a potential financial loss for the slaver. A pest house was
set up on
Sullivan's Island to ensure that only healthy slaves would be sold in
Immunity to small pox and malaria were desirable traits in slaves,
promising a return on
the slave holder's investment.)
5. What is your reaction to the illustrations? If you were designing the
posters to sell a
"commodity" would you have included them?
(To the teacher: This should prompt a discussion for the students
should have differing
opinions. The illustrations seem to be at odds with the idea of skilled
the illustrations be an attempt to portray the captives as savage
"others"? Could the
illustrations focus on their strength and earning potential?)
Exhibit B: The poster entitled, "Gang of 25 Sea Island..."
1. The preceding poster advertised slaves coming from Africa. From where
2. In light of this, what kind of skills do you believe these individuals
3. Look over this list and make a hypothesis concerning the individuals
who are being
(To the teacher: These groupings seem to indicate that there might be
involved. Are they being sold as a group or individually? The names
indicate that most,
except Cudjoe, have been given "Christian" names, perhaps an indication
that they are
second generation slaves. What might be happening to the slave trade?
Students might also
notice that both men and women qualify as field hands and that there are
Exhibit C: The Illustration from Harper's Weekly entitled "Rice
and the two Illustrations labeled, "Hoeing" and "Unloading".
1. Explain at least four tasks undertaken by individuals enslaved on a
2. Which of these would you have preferred to have assigned to you as your
task? Be sure
to explain the reasons for your answer.
(To the teacher: This should lead to a discussion of the task system
vs. the gang
system, a discussion of which tasks might require more or less skill, and
the conditions a
slave might encounter like standing knee deep in mud and in snake and
Exhibit D: The illustration from Harper's Weekly entitled, "Planter's
1. Look carefully at this illustration and describe what is depicted.
2. Choose a different caption for this illustration and explain why you
(To the teacher: The planter's mansion is illustrated but the "slave
street" is clearly
visible. a discussion of the dependence of the rice economy on skilled
labor would be
appropriate. Observations on the proximity of slave dwellings to the
might lead to further discussion.)
Exhibit E: The Plan of Middleton Place
1. Discuss two influences of geography on this plantation.
2. Although the plantation house burned during the Civil War, place an X
where you believe
it might have been, based on your knowledge of plantation life.
3. Place a double XX where you believe the "slave street" might have
(To the teacher: A discussion of this drawing will provide an
opportunity to summarize
what students have learned about rice cultivation, slave labor, and
II. For Homework
Reflect on how your perceptions of slavery have changed as a result of
this lesson. Refer
to at least two documents to explain your ideas.