Though I was a mere child during the preparation for the Civil War and during the war itself, I now recall the many late-at-night whispered discussions that I heard my mother and the other slaves on the plantation indulge in.
On the plantation in Virginia, and even later, meals were gotten by the children very much as dumb animals get theirs.
I think the slaves felt the deprivation less than the whites, because the usual diet for slaves was corn bread and pork, and these could be raised on the plantation; but coffee, tea, sugar, and other articles which the whites had been accustomed to use could not be raised on the plantation, and the conditions brought about by the war frequently made it impossible to secure these things.
The case was plain; he was bred a gentleman, and by consequence was not only unacquainted, but indolent, and when we did settle, would much rather go out into the woods with his gun, which they call there hunting, and which is the ordinary work of the Indians, and which they do as servants; I say, he would rather do that than attend the natural business of his plantation.
Our affair was in a very good posture; we purchased of the proprietors of the colony as much land for #35, paid in ready money, as would make a sufficient plantation to employ between fifty and sixty servants, and which, being well improved, would be sufficient to us as long as we could either of us live; and as for children, I was past the prospect of anything of that kind.
This was a fair proposal, it must be confessed, had it been made to any one that had not had a settlement and a plantation of his own to look after, which was in a fair way of coming to be very considerable, and with a good stock upon it; but for me, that was thus entered and established, and had nothing to do but to go on as I had begun, for three or four years more, and to have sent for the other hundred pounds from England; and who in that time, and with that little addition, could scarce have failed of being worth three or four thousand pounds sterling, and that increasing too - for me to think of such a voyage was the most preposterous thing that ever man in such circumstances could be guilty of.
In a word, I told them I would go with all my heart, if they would undertake to look after my plantation in my absence, and would dispose of it to such as I should direct, if I miscarried.
Chickens and puarkas and cats, that he had never seen before, had a way of abruptly appearing on Meringe Plantation.
Out of the unknown, from the somewhere and something else, too unconditional for him to know any of the conditions, instantly they appeared, full-statured, walking about Meringe Plantation with loin-cloths about their middles and bone bodkins through their noses, and being put to work by Mister Haggin, Derby, and Bob.
Legree, like some potentates we read of in history, governed his plantation by a sort of resolution of forces.
The quarters was a little sort of street of rude shanties, in a row, in a part of the plantation, far off from the house.
Since the blacks were worth thirty dollars apiece, or less, according to how much of their time had been worked out, Berande plantation
could ill afford the loss.