Free female cam slaves


By 1860, there were 4 million slaves in the United States, and 400,000 of them -- 10 percent -- lived in South Carolina.African-Americans, enslaved and free, made up 57 percent of the state's population.South Carolina held such a concentration of slave labor because the Lowcountry's largest cash crop was rice, which required 10 times the labor needed to harvest, say, short staple cotton.Bob Sherman, a historical interpreter with Middleton Place, notes that by 1860 there were 14 men who owned 500 or more slaves, and a majority of them lived in the Lowcountry.Some toiled in the same fields, day after day, year after year, the view never changing; others worked in the comfort of fine homes, with better food, clothing and living conditions, yet had to be on-call 24 hours a day, subject to the whims and moods of their owners.Many slaves, interviewed by government writers in the 1930s, described brutal beatings for the smallest offense.Most of these slaves lived in cabins on the plantation grounds, small shacks that generally held 10 or more people.



Coffin, a reporter with the Boston Journal, was one of the first newspapermen to reach Charleston after the Confederate military abandoned it in February 1865.

Charles Carleton Coffin would be haunted by the sight for the rest of his life.