Laws Regarding What Slave Owners in the British Colonies Had to Provide for Their Slaves

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1) Laws on how much food was required per slave. 2) What type of clothing did slave owners have to provide to there workers. 3) What type of shelter, if any, are owners required to have for slaves. Food, clothing and shelter are the three most basic needs for survival that we all tend to take for granted. Slaves of the early British colonies did not have the same luxury of knowing that these needs would be meet on a day to day basis. Frederick Douglass, an ex-slave and author of Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave, discusses each of these necessities. “Our food was course corn meal boiled. This was called MUSH. It was put inot a large wooden tray or trough, and set down upon the ground…He that ate fastest got most, he that was strongest secured the best place; and few left the trough satisfied.” One can live without clothing or shelter, but not without food. Douglass, along with a majority of other slaves, were given the bare minimum to sustain life, if that much. In order to work in the fields slaves needed clothing to protect them from the weather. “In hottest summer and coldest winter, I was kept almost naked -- no shoes, no stockings, no jacket, no trousers, nothing on but a coarse tow linen shirt, reaching only to my knees.” Without the proper clothing many slaves perished in the fields due to the extreme temperature and weather conditions. To escape these conditions slaves also needed some sort of shelter and a place to sleep, but there was little to be found, “old and young, male and female, married and single, drop down side by side, on one common bed, -- the cold, damp floor.” Slaves couldn’t even escape there tough lives in sleep. With minimal amounts of food, terrible clothing, and hardly any shelter to speak of; one has to wonder what laws or regarding what they were required to provide for their slaves, if any at

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