General History/slavery


What ways was the experience of urban slaves in South Carolina, especially that of Charleston's urban slaves, different from that of rural slaves in that colony?How were South Carolin's urban slaves culturally different, if at all, from rural slaves?What occupations were Charleston's urban slaves likely to be found in?Which of these, if any did male and female dominate

Hi Chris,

First off, keep in mind that Charleston was not "urban" in the sense we think of today.  The entire population of Charleston at the time of the American Revolution was only around 12,000 people.  By the Civil War, it was around 50,000.  It was not a large city as we think of that term in the modern US.

A slave experience varied a great deal depending on age, sex, skills, and the owner.  The biggest difference for slaves living in Charleston was that they did not work as farm hands, as most slaves in the countryside did.  Most Charleston slaves worked as house servants. Women tended to work as maids, nannies, cooks, etc.  Men tended to have outside jobs such as caring for horses or general labor.  Some were rented out by their owners as day laborers.  Some were trained as blacksmiths or other basic trades.  Many slaves arrived in Charleston, only to be auctioned and sold to area plantations.

I hope this helps!
- Mike

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Michael Troy


My specialties are 17th through 19th Century history, especially in the Americas and Europe. I also have a fair knowledge of ancient Greek and Roman History, and some knowledge of Medieval European history. My expertise is focuses on Military and political history, but I`ll take a crack at anything.


I have been a guest lecturer at George Washington University. Mostly, I have just read hundreds of books about world history.


J.D. Univ. of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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