Hence, people from Senegambia were prominent everywhere in the United States, much more so than virtually anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere, although there were also considerable numbers of Senegambians in the French Caribbean islands and in French Guiana. Senegambia was strongly influenced by Islam, more so than any other region of origin, which means that many enslaved Africans in the United States had been exposed to Islam, more so proportionately than in the rest of the Americas.
The 1850s could be called the decade of the launching pad to freedom. In the decade leading to the Civil War, the struggle for freedom continued to evolve. The impediments of the Fugitive Slave Law, violence between pro-slavery and anti-slavery factions across the state and region, and the venture to find freedom in other lands occupied the mind of African Americans. By the time the Civil War commenced in 1861, hardened Black men in militias volunteered to settle the slavery issue once and for all. But it wasn't until 1863 that hundreds of Pittsburgh men went off to join the Massachusetts regiments and the United States Colored Troops at Camp William Penn and elsewhere that the fight for freedom would continue on the battlefield.
Unit 1 Review – Slavery in the Chesapeake | APUSH @ …
Many factors contributed to this development. Morgan’s first topical section explores the “Contours of the Plantation Experience.” He notes regional differences in topography, climate, natural vegetation, and even coastal features. These gave rise to a sharp distinction based on the regional choice of staple crop – tobacco in the Chesapeake and rice in the Lowcountry. Tobacco’s economic inefficiency and market instability forced greater crop diversification in the Chesapeake, which gave those slaves a more diverse set of skills than possessed by Lowcountry slaves. These slaves, however, benefited from a more stable social setting borne of rice’s non-exhaustive features and profitability. Thus, staple choice shaped the regional demand for slave labor and the nature of the regional slave trade. Morgan also reads regional differences between the slaves based on their material possessions. Within and across the two regions, Morgan finds relatively substantial variations between slave experiences on small, subsistence farms versus larger, commercial plantations. These situations themselves varied between house and field slaves, as well as over time. The natural crop rhythms afforded Lowcountry slaves wider latitude over their domestic lives, including opportunities to grow their own garden crops or keep their own livestock. By contrast, Chesapeake slaves were generally better fed and clothed. Morgan finds additional such contrasts in assessing field and skilled labor between the regions. Field labor generated a set of shared experiences across time and space, but skilled labor more explicitly demonstrated regional differences. As with material possessions, Chesapeake slaves engaged in a wider variety of skilled labors, but Lowcountry slaves actually found greater opportunities to use such skills.