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A Troublesome Property: Master-Slave Relationships in Florida

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Master-Slave Relations in Florida talked about religion on the plantations. In places such as Duval County slave master Zephaniah Kingsley didn’t like the idea of his slaves being religious because he claimed that the slaves were harder to manage, disobeyed his orders, and stole more food. In other counties like Madison slaves were not permitted to attend religious gatherings, but some of the braver slaves would meet up in secret and have religious services. If the slaves were ever caught taking part in the acts of independence they were whipped severely, some were eve whipped to death. During the time the slaves actually got a chance to practice Christianity the message was taught by a white preacher. He would basically preach to the slaves about minding their masters and mistresses and they would be saved, but if they disobeyed them they would not be saved. The white preachers would also tell the slaves to honor their masters and to have no other god but them because they cannot see the other god, but they can see their masters.

Another thing the passage talked about was the quote o quote good slave and master relationships. Some slaves state that their masters treated them well by feeding them well, and giving them comfortable living quarters. Some of the masters would reward the slaves by giving them money, and giving them time off. This chapter also talked about the percentage of runaway slaves. Out of 742 runaways 77 percent were males. The times when slaves ran away were in February, April, May, and June. Some of the main reasons why slaves fled were to be free of course, and because they were separated from their families or loved ones. Most of the runaway slave would flee to south Florida, or the Bahamas. Once the runaways were in the Bahamas they were safe under the British jurisdiction even though the slave masters would plea to get the slaves back.

My really disliked that the slave master’s didn’t allow the slaves to be religious. I may not be the most religious person but I do know that when someone tells you that god is your master or mistress something is wrong. Those preachers made it seem like the master Zephaniah was Jesus Christ himself and that made me very upset, because they act as if black males and females had no common sense at all to tell the difference between god and the masters. I condemn all the slaves that were brave enough to risk their own life’s to practice their religion the right way in secret. They knew what the repercussions would be harsh but they had to fight for what they believed in. Another thing that I disliked was how some of the slaves claimed that their masters were kind to them. To me once you are owned like a piece of property that’s not being kind, just because you may get treated better than your fellow brother does not mean you’re a free man or woman.

I also want to condemn the brave men and women who chose to fight back, like Douglass Dorsey who tried to poison his master after witnessing how brutally his mother was treated. This just proves that you that there is only so much a group of people can take before they revolt. One thing that I really liked about this chapter was when the slaves found out about the news of their freedom they quickly changed their attitudes. A woman who had been using crutches for 7 years began to walk, and a former cook in middle Florida stated that she is free now so don’t ever expect her to cook for her master and mistress again. A thing that I tend to notice is that whenever I read about how the slaves runaway and the lucky ones that are protected by officials, the masters tend to beg for them back as if they just lost a tool or a piece of machinery that they can’t live without. Like when the slaves that fled to the Bahamas were protected against their masters by the British jurisdiction the slave master would beg and pled to get their slaves back to Florida.

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